Mr. Radioman through the speakers of the orphanage: A few words from our governor, "people of Deldin Bay I am relieved to be able to say, our first step in this new phase is complete. We've successfully demolished the planned buildings and are now in the process of rebuilding this town into a beauty in the bay, thank you," your governor, people of Deldin Bay.

A boy shook his head in disgust registering the information of the radio, it cut to a commercial which flipped his thoughts to the reality in front of him. A lady emerged from a door and settled at the desk, Dart stood.

Chapter 16

Part 1

Old Man James

"Good morning, how can I..." The lady dressed in white, had noticed someone walking towards her. She didn't look up from sorting paper but once glancing she said, "help you- oh you're here again!"

I'm surprised she remembered me, our last meeting was very brief and somewhat odd. Ha she probably thinks I'm some stalker... ha... haha- great... Ignoring her last statement I jump right to the chase, "have you seen Sweetie?"

The lady leaned against the desk and rested her head on a propped arm. "Ah yes, the little blue haired girl... hm she hasn't been visiting as much as she use to but I did manage to overhear a little kid calling out her name." My ears perk up and I feel fully awake, waiting for the lady to continue. She looks off into the distance, "it wasn't very clear, no and I was in a rush with work... oh dear. Her name was long and unique, oh and very pretty. Ah yes! It started with the letter 'P'! Now let's see here, Per-? no, Pa-? P...r?" She looks back at me a little embarrassed and then apologizes, "I'm sorry my boy, I can't quite make it out now."

"I understand," I say giving her a nod.

It probably took all of my inner strength at that exact moment to not go berserk. But for the sake of everyone in that stuffy building, I instantly turned quietly to leave. I find my cheeks expanding with an outburst of air and my eyes icy from the outside air. "Whaaaat?!" I cough out in a whisper, still conscious of bystanders. Alright ya know what? Let's just take a huge step back, like way back and calm the cake down. This situation- no wait, that lady back there better have not been choking. Seriously, I know other people could have blue hair- not just Pandora but, now life is throwing me all these turns, the mystery Sweetie's name starts with the letter P? Ha what a knee-slapper. Man, this all started when that girl barged in with a sassy boot. I sigh, "this. is just. great."

I'm welcomed with a lifting light breeze that has a potential to become colder if it wasn't warmed by the sun. The sun which lights a world that is lively without me; all around there are smiles and laughter. None that I can see myself enjoying, so I remain in the corner of my mind and block out any emotion of this beautiful day. The low town was busier than most days so I decided to head to the park, part of me was hoping to find the girl there even though everything is making me crazy. Some days she can really surprise me and I'm hoping for some miracle to jump up and this and this emptiness would just leave. Walking around for a good ten minutes, I wasn't able to find Pandora and I started to ask myself if I should just retire for the day and wait to see her tomorrow. That's right, my talk with Phosphora wasn't too long ago but it feels like days.

Somehow I eventually steady myself by saying it could have been anyone again. There's a lot of people with blue hair just like how there's a lot of people with names that start with 'P'. Well it worked because in the end I decided to spend the rest of my daylight brainstorming for the Monster bull. Sitting on a bench that chills my legs, I flip through some events that will take place around the school. One in particular catches my attention with the word challenge bolded at the top. Looks like there's a ball game taking place at Deldinian Oaks, a field that's usually popular in summer. It's surrounded by trees but has an open sky that you'll be able to see the school from. Because of its convenient location, it's a burning spot for students to come together.

OAKS BASEBALL FIELD
CAN YOU TAKE THE PITCH ~ STRIKEOUT CHALLENGE
STEP UP AND SWING A CHANCE AGAINST DELDINIAN COAST'S LEADING PITCHER, BREYAN MARC
DON'T MISS OUT THIS FRIDAY

Heh I would say this has been easy, but it's only begun. I shouldn't waste anytime prepping Panda and so tomorrow will come and business will begin.

"Er watch ya got there, son?"

What the? "Old man!" I turn over to the same homeless guy that thought duct taping a scratch was a good idea.

"Ay now, er I ain't old!"

"What are you doing here?"

He zooms into my breathing space, "what're you doin' here?" He pats on the wood between us, "this here, er is my bench."

I'm confused. Has this guy been sitting here to whole time? I shake away the thought and just lean back, there's too much going on my mind right now. And I breath out, "you're crazy."

He mirrors me but also pulls a sort of metal tin from his coat then shake out a little candy thing and eats it. "Vodurai," he says in his weird raspy accent.

Despite all those safety precautions, I took the rectangular tin that was a little bigger than the size of my hand. The design was a simple ship riding a crazy storm. The labeling printed the words: Vodurai, metris da faryarl. It didn't have a smell and it didn't look like anything dangerous. Basically just a cough drop. So I shook one out and and popped it into my mouth. "What is this?" I ask chewing, not really sure of what to think of this. The taste was extremely strong of this menthol aroma that filled my mouth and throat, it was chewy like gum but contained these small little pieces like sugar.

The man points to the words on the tin, "Voudurai like er gold, er treasure and value. Metris, silence. Da faryarl, is the ocean, the sea. It tells er to, calm the mind, let go of tension that builds and builds. It tells to be in control of the mind like er, like a captain to lead his crew and ship, er but as well as his fears. Here, keep I could get more later." The old man grins his crazy but warming smile.

"Thank you," and at that moment, don't ask because I don't know why but, I wanted to tell him my name, "my name, is James- by the way..."

He nods before relaxing again, "my name, er it's also James."

"You're crazy."

xxx

I wanted to make sure whatever I was putting into my body wasn't some kind of drug, to be honest I could make it my official comfort food. The taste is so interesting and strong that it cleared up headaches, stomach grumbles, my senses and even took away the attention from my arm wound. It was before class I decided to research about the weird tin candy. My morning was, heheh a little on the rough side today. The churches were full and I couldn't get into a homeless aid last night so I ended up spending a lot of time to go search for a place to sleep. After washing my face and brushing my teeth at the nearly empty school, I put everything in my pockets in my locker. If I were to sleep outside, the last thing I want is to lose my phone or wallet due to a mugging incident. There was an empty picnic table behind a corner store that was out for the season, I've seen the owners and they're a nice old couple that I'm sure won't be too mad if I borrowed their backyard. The Vodurai helped me fight off the shivers and fall asleep. I was kinda surprised when I realized it after waking up so looks like I'm going to class early and looking up this crazy magic candy.

"Ah thank the goddesses," it's not a drug, just a traditional candy from early Deldin Bay. I wonder why I haven't heard of this before though, it's only sold here too. Suddenly, I hear the classroom door slide open and I quickly sit up from my tilted chair, shoes on the desk position. It's strange for a teacher to be this early though so, I turn my head to the door across the room, "Class doesn't start for another hour and a... oh, Pandora?"

I see her surprised expression be hidden by an 'annoyed' sigh, "and I thought I could get some peace and quiet." I watch as she makes her way to one of the chairs in the front row. Another weird sign. And she thinks nothing of it, "close the window will ya? It's chilly in here."

"Uh sorry," I say kinda awkwardly and slide the glass shut. It feels different and I find myself nervously shaking my knee and having nonstop glances from my research to the girl that's so far away. Try for some small talk? "New seat, eh?"

"Hey, I..." she turns around on her chair and says something I never saw coming. "I love you-" HAHAHA ONLY IN MY DREAMS. No, Pandora did not say that, instead she said the opposite. "Dart I don't think we should be friends... anymore..."

What is she talking about? Why would she even say that? Then I instantly think of what happened after the mall and what she said, right now she's acting just like that day. Well you know what I have to say about that? I sigh and shake my head a little, saying, "I wish you had a choice." I could tell she was a little irritated because at that exact moment she spun around in her chair again and stared at me with this questioning expression. I gave her a small grin and she started to laugh. And she's the most beautiful when she laughs.

End

I nod, "good, I have an idea, but you'll have to listen to what I say."