In the world there are so many mysteries! Not just hidden ruins or deep jungles, but even the most mundane places can have a mystery just waiting to be discovered!
The sun glares at my eyes as I exit the train station. I turn my head from side to side, searching for that familiar long black hair of my childhood friend Sumi. “Riki!” A familiar voice calls out to me, leading me to turn towards it. Sumi long black hair flows as she runs to me.
I smile at her and run to her too. “Sumi!” We meet in the middle of the square next to a giant fountain. Sumi gives me an enthusiastic hug and I hug her back.
“I missed you so much!” Sumi and I release each other.
I haven’t seen Sumi for 2 months since she was accepted into WBMA Academy. You see, after elementary school graduation Sumi decided to attend an elite private academy called “WBMA Academy”. Even though we have been together since we were babies, Sumi and I went our separate ways in junior high, but we still keep contact with each other! Right now it’s the holidays and after Sumi invited me over to help out at an event, I decided to pay a visit.
Sumi gives me a mini tour through the town since we had a while before the event began. On the way, we stop by a park, and I train a bit on the jungle gym. You see, I want to be an adventurer in the future, so I have to build up strength and skills!
Sumi sighs at the display of my training, “Geez, Riki! When are you ever going to start acting like a girl?!” Sumi shakes her head, “Exercising is good and all, but you need to start thinking more about your appearance! I mean look at you! You look just like a boy!” She points to me.
I jump down from the jungle gym and land perfectly on my feet before examining myself. I was wearing a casual white and red sweater with blue accents and my comfy yellow sweatpants with a blue stripe on each side which was rolled up to my knees. I certainly didn’t see anything wrong with my outfit: it was easy to move in and comfortable. “Well, I don’t see the problem.” I reply, “It’s easy to move in and really comfortable, plus it’s suited for adventure!”
“But still!” Sumi pouts, “This is why you are always mistaken as a boy!”
“Well that’s fine,” I nod, “It’s easier to become an adventurer this way too.”
Sumi shakes her head in exasperation and sighs, “There is no changing your mind.” She then pulls out something from her pocket. It was white figurine with its head the shape of a rabbit and its center seemed like there could be something placed inside.
I tilt my head in curiosity over the toy, “What’s this?”
“It’s a b-daman!” Sumi puffs proudly, “This here is my b-daman Lightning Rabbit!”
I blink twice, “A b-daman?”
“Yeah! They’re really popular these days.” Sumi hums as she places a marble in the toy. “In fact, they even have b-daman clubs.” She pushes the back of the toy, shooting out a marble straight across the grass.
I let out an amazed gasp, “Ohh!”
“Pretty cool don’t you think?” Sumi hands me the b-daman.
I inspect the toy with wonder. “Mystery…” I grin.
Sumi then checks her cell phone and jumps from the time, “Oh no! We have to hurry or we’ll be late!” Hastily, she grabs my hand and dashes, dragging me to the event.
Upon arriving at the event square, Sumi grabs her b-daman from me and rushes to the stage, where they are hosting a b-daman challenge. “Riki, could you help my friend, Saiga? He is over there.” She points to the blue tent with some b-daman lined up at front. “Just tell him you are with me, he’ll understand!”
“Where are you going?”
Sumi skips towards the stage waving to me, “I’m going to take part in the event! Wish me luck~”
“Good luck!” I watch Sumi blend into the crowd before turning towards the blue tent. It seemed like the tent was for a shop: a b-daman shop. Behind the counter was a rather big man with waxed brown hair and a yellow and green apron. I assumed he was Saiga, so I walk up to him and introduce myself. “Hi there! I’m Riki Ryugasaki, nice to meet you. I’m here with Sumi.”
The man returns a friendly smile, “Oh! You’re that friend of Sumi’s! I’ve heard a lot about you!” he welcomes me into the tent, “I’m Akira Saiga, nice to meet you. I’m actually the instructor of the b-daman club!”
“Is that like a sports club?” I drop down dejected, “Because I feel pretty lame since I didn’t know about it until today…”
“Oh don’t worry about it!” Saiga shrugs, “The whole point of this event here today is so everyone can enjoy their b-daman and have some fun!” Saiga explains enthusiastically, “Can I ask you a favor?”
“U-uh, sure!” I reply unsurely.
Saiga grabs my hands, “Can you lend me a hand? I want this event to be successful!” Tears brim at the edges of the big man’s eyes. “You see, I lend out parts to some of the players… I have no one else to help me here!”
From hearing his story, tears also reach the end of my eyes. “I had no idea! You can count on me!” I clench my fist in determination. “We can do this together!”
“Thanks so much!” Suddenly, Saiga turns his head, and announces. “We’re open for business!”
In an instant a horde of people fight over parts and it was a real struggle to get everything done. Honestly, the crowd of customers intimidated me; but soon enough, the crowd clears away.
Saiga dismisses me from the booth, saying that I should go and watch the event, so I entered the crowd. And what luck! It was Sumi’s turn!
The MC shouts, “B-shots! Ready! Aim! Crossfire!”
In an instant Sumi calls out, “Go—Lightning Rabbit!” and she shoots out a number of marbles at the targets on the table. She manages to knock down all but one, and the crowd roars with cheers, so I guess it was a very good score. I clap along with the excitement.
“I heard there is a secret tournament being held again.” My ears catch the voices of two boys.
The other guy adds in, “You are such a liar! There is no such thing as a secret tournament!”
“Really! It’s true!” the first guy defends, “They say that only chosen members from WBMA Academy are allowed to enter!”
“There is no way that that is real!” his friend laughs.
A secret tournament? Hmmm… I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on them, and now I can’t help but wonder about that secret tournament they were talking about. I mutter to myself, “Like that’ll happen! Besides that isn’t even a mystery, it’s just a bunch of made up stories.” I shrug.
Suddenly, a deep voice flows out from behind me. “Hmph! Are you sure of that, boy? There are still many things in this world that you know nothing about.”
“Quiet Dravise.” A different, cooler voice spoke.
“Huh?” I quickly turn around to face the voices, only to knock into something. “Ah! Sorry—!” I look up to see what or who I had knocked into. A handsome boy a little taller than me with long curly midnight blue hair tied in a ponytail and sharp blue eyes looms over me. I notice how the boy was alone which made me confused. “Oh, it’s just you… Hey, wasn’t there someone with you just a second ago?” I point out.
“You’re just imagining things.” The mysterious boy walks away, and I watch as he disappears into the crowds.
I couldn’t help but wonder about that boy after that, but I soon became distracted by the cheers of the audience from the event.
A few hours later, the event had finally ended and now I was back at Saiga’s b-daman shop along with Saiga and Sumi. “Hey! Sixth place in the tournament, huh! You were so close to winning, Sumi.” Saiga cheers on Sumi.
Meanwhile, I am browsing through the shop and examining all the b-daman. “Oh wow! So this is the b-daman club’s hangout? So cool!”
Sumi pipes in, “And you really got into it Riki! As much as someone like you can.”
I turn around, placing my hand at my waist. “What’s that mean?” I pout. I pick up a white b-daman, “Anyways, there’s a lot of mystery, right?”
“Sumi has been coming here for a while now. Unfortunately, b-daman is still not well known. I wish there was a way to getting more people to know about it.” Saiga sighs, but then he lifts his arms in the air, “Anyways! As thanks for helping me, I’ll give you a b-daman! You said you like new adventure, right? You can pick out anyone of them that you like!”
Excited, I respond, “Oh really!” I twirl around to face the shop’s display of b-daman, and I scan through tem in awe. That’s when something caught my eye—a certain b-daman inside the glass—it was like… it was staring at me! I lock on to it, and the blue b-daman just drew me to it, it was like it was calling for me.
“Huh? Is there a problem?” Saiga asks concerned.
I break out from my silence, “Well,” I raise my right hand to point at the b-daman. “It kind of felt like that one was staring at me.”
Sumi lets out a simmered, “Huh?” Both of them land their eyes on the blue b-daman I am pointing at.
“Gehh!” Saiga lets out a strangled groan. “Well that one is actually pretty rare…” Saiga rubs his thumb over his forehead like he was thinking. “Hmm… Okay! It’s all yours kid!” I grin anticipatingly as Saiga walks over to the cabinet and slides open the door to grab the b-daman. He gently grabs the toy and brings it to me. “If it really was looking at you, that means you and this b-daman will get along just fine!” He gives me the b-daman. “Here, take really good care of it now!”
Carefully, I take the blue toy from Saiga’s hands and bring it closer to me. “Thanks a lot!”
Sumi let’s out a small squeal, “Ohh! You’re so lucky! I’ve been wanting that blue dragon for a long time now!”
I turn to her blinking, “Dragon?”
“Yeah, that’s what this type of b-daman is called.” Saiga explains, “Its head looks a little bit like a dragon, see?”
I raise the b-daman to my face to give a better inspection of the toy. I notice the shape of its head was indeed like a dragon. “Oh! I see!”
Saiga continues with his explanation. “Its name is ‘Thunder Dracyan’. Riki, that’s going to be your partner from now on!”
I couldn’t help but feel amazed as I gaze at it more. “Oh! Dracyan, huh…”
A small silence passes as I happily gaze at my b-daman, giving Sumi enough time to propose an idea. “Hey Riki, how about you transfer to WBMA Academy?”
“WBMA? Why?” I inquire.
Sumi grins like a cat. “Well, now since you have a b-daman, you can know of the WBMA’s secret! The thing is, all students that attend WBMA Academy are b-shots! It’s a special program they integrate into the school and there are rules on using b-daman to solve all sorts of things! And since you have a b-daman… it would be really fun to join, right!”
“A b-daman academy, huh…” I let myself ponder on the thought. I mean, sure I was a beginner at this, but b-daman seemed interesting. Plus, I really miss Sumi a lot… I take another glance at Thunder Dracyan. Okay! I decided! “Sure! Why not? It seems like it would be an adventure!” I think back to the rumors I heard about the secret b-daman tournament and the boy I had ran into soon afterwards. “Mystery…”
Sumi jumps in joy, “Yay!” She then grabs my hand and drags me out of the shop. I meekly wave goodbye to Saiga who just smiles. Sumi pulls me along, a big smile across her face, which only makes me smile as well.
“Come on, Riki! Let’s go!”
It seems like an unforeseen mystery was on the brink of unfolding.