Part 1: The Son of Farren

"This is Double-J Strike Radio; I'm the host James with my friend and co-worker Jake. Stay tuned after the break and we will have an announcement to share regarding the upcoming Thunder Festival."

The moment the radio broke silence was when Remiel began to stir, having just had a short nap to pass the time on this long trip. Not long after he regained himself did he hear a familiar voice.

"Sir, we're on the outskirts of Rai City, we'll be at the locale within ten minutes."

Cracking his neck and groaning a bit, Remiel sat up straight in his seat, rolling down the window in time to see the skyline of the city in the distance. From the back of his luxury car Remiel could make out the lightning as it struck the rods atop the buildings, built there eons ago to protect the citizens from harm.

The groggy young man covered his mouth when he yawned before rolling his window back up. "We got here faster than I had expected."

"The traffic is better controlled right now boss thanks to the commotion of the Festival in Ramuh," said the driver, a young woman in her twenties.

A spark lit Remiel's mind upon hearing about the Festival. "Oh yeah, forgot about the Festival. It's in how many days Soren?"

Soren was the man in the front passenger's seat, a tall man of muscular stature and with a rough exterior to match, though Remiel knew for a fact that Soren was more polite than people thought at first glance. "Four days and counting. Entering Ramuh has been hard thanks to all the preparations." He chuckled, "Good thing you decided to have your date in Rai City than there, eh Remiel?"

Remiel only got a small smirk in before a flash of lightning got his eyes to look out the window again.

The radio went from static to normal again, and the DJs began their routine. "Once again, this is Double-J Strike Radio I am your host James with my partner Jake. The Thunder Festival, which celebrates the independence and founding of our illustrious country of Fulguria, is set to take place all across the country."

DJ Jake spoke, "With every city from Rai City to the countryside towns and from the port towns of the south to the capital of Ramuh celebrating, the announcement that the airship known as the Sonic, which rests in the port in Ramuh will be host to the ceremony."

Then James reported, "The Sonic, which was the airship said to have been the witness to the God of Thunder's defeat of the Gearstein airship fleet over four centuries ago, is now a museum for the public and also a place where large parties are set by those who can afford it."

Jake reported with a laugh, "Wonder if we'll hear about the Farren family becoming part of the news again—"

The driver revved up the engine, drowning out the radio before it went all static again, and sped along the empty highway and right into Rai City. Everyone ignored what the radio had been playing before. The mafia families, especially the Farren family, liked to keep themselves out of the spot light.

Blanketed by the everyday black storm clouds this region of Fulguria was known for, Rai City was a spectacle to behold especially at night with the lights in all the buildings shining like lanterns beckoning those that saw them. There were at least six tall skyscrapers spread across the city, and they were all fully lit each and every night. It wasn't like the capital city of Ramuh at night (Ramuh was at least twice the size of Rai), but it was still magnificent for another reason. The storm clouds that covered the city shot out lightning seemingly every couple of minutes, creating flashes that gave the city a surreal beauty that was hard to match. These storm clouds never stopped, and nobody has ever figured out why. Nor would anyone want to find out, since that would take away the city's most fascinating and unique trait.

While Remiel liked to take a nap to pass the time, Soren had other ways to do that. Like asking personal questions. "So, may I ask who the lucky lady is this time? Or is it not a big deal like the last one?"

Sitting up again, Remiel placed his left hand on the black leather cushion, just in time to feel the wet nose of his dog touch his skin. Raiju was a black domesticated wolf with yellow eyes, and he had a habit of sharing his master's penchant for napping, as he had been doing beforehand. Remiel answered, "She's just a girl father suggested to me. Thought it'd be a sign of good will if I got out more and interacted with the community."

"Huh, don't understand Mr. Farren on how you dating rich girls all the time is a sign of good will," Soren replied.

This time the driver spoke up, "If it's not too much to ask sir, I hope this one you actually go for a second date. The last one seemed rather upset when you said no."

Remiel slumped back in his seat, losing interest in the conversation faster than a flash of lightning. "She wasn't a very interesting girl, thank you very much Amaya."

Amaya was slightly older than Remiel being around the age of twenty-five while the mob son was approaching twenty-three. She had short blonde hair that was cropped but normally wore a small fedora when outside that hid most of her hair. She was a pretty woman to look at but given her position as Remiel's personal driver she was also more than a pretty face. You didn't get a job working for a mafia family just based on your looks and Amaya was a perfect example of that. She was also the perfect example of a rookie speaking her mind way too often. "You dated her only once, and you say she wasn't interesting?"

Remiel would have answered had not Soren done it for him, "He does that all the time. The guy has a bad attention span."

Amaya looked surprised at Soren, "You're calling Mr. Farren 'the guy'? Is that what you call your boss?"

Soren chuckled a little, and Remiel had a quick smile that went unnoticed by his guards. She had a lot to learn.

The drive to the restaurant took much less than the ten minutes Soren had expected, and that could be attributed to the lack of traffic at this time of night. Being close to midnight the curfew was at ten at night. Of course, the Farren family had put the curfew in effect and as such they were not forced to listen to it. Remiel was glad, though he would normally be asleep at this time had it been any other night. However, this date of his took priority tonight. He wasn't going to disappoint his date or his father on this night.

It hadn't been raining when they had reached the city limits but once they got through the front gates light rain began to fall. Rai City got a large amount of rain on a daily basis but thanks to expert architecture and a superb sewer system the city was never in any danger of flooding. Still, one could argue that the rain added its own blend of charm to the city. The citizens grew used to the rain over generations, and Remiel had been one of them. He lived in this city, and it was his playground.

Amaya drove the car right up to the front and parked in a spot designated 'Executive Parking', right next to the sidewalk and was as close to the front door to the restaurant as one could get. "We have arrived."

In the back seat, Remiel grabbed his formal jacket and put it on. Dressed in a black suit with gold buttons, with a matching gold tie and white undershirt with black slacks, he looked about as professional as he would ever want to be. To be honest, he wasn't too fond of dressing like this as he felt constricted in his movement. Thankfully he only had to wear this outfit for a couple hours at least.

Amaya turned in her seat and saw her boss fixing his tie. "Looking good there sir."

Remiel got his wrist cuffs set before giving her a look, "Don't get used to it."

The car door opened, and Soren stood outside the car under a large black umbrella. Rubbing the fur on Raiju's head and telling him to stay, Remiel got out of the car just as the rain started to pick up. The air was colder than before, Remiel noticed. He closed the car door and stood with Soren outside the front door of the restaurant known as the Oasis.

"You have a good time, you hear?"

Remiel sighed, "Just keep watch and don't bother me unless it's real important. And don't let her get nosy."

"Don't worry; I'll keep Amaya in check. If bullets start to fly or blades clash, we'll get you out of there."

Remiel patted Soren on the shoulder before he walked into the brightly lit Oasis.

Soren watched as his friend entered the restaurant and after a brief look around he returned to the front passenger's seat of the car. "Well, now we wait."

Amaya leaned back in her seat, "I'll give him twenty minutes. Less than that if a fight breaks out."

The big man smiled, "You have a lot of faith in him. He can handle any girl."

"The date isn't what I was talking about. The last girl had ties with the Barak family. They have a small group of shooters living in secret somewhere in this city. All it would take is a bad word of mouth and they could shoot this place up at the drop of a hat. You ask me, he was lucky last time."

"If something happens we'll do our job. Regardless if it's the Barak family, the Terrell family or even the Lilin family."

Amaya turned off the radio, "Speaking of the Lilin family…they'll be at the Thunder festival ceremony in Ramuh in a few days right? Why?"

Soren sighed; he hated talking about business with Amaya. She had a tendency to ask a lot of questions. Too bad he more often than not had to answer her. "All I know is Mr. Farren was the one who came up with the idea to have the four families come together for a 'peaceful party', meant to remind them that there can be times of peace even in the most tense of times."

She let out a sarcastic laugh, "Sure. The Farren family hates the Lilin family with a passion. They would sooner rather shoot them on sight than have a drink with them."

Soren didn't reply to that statement. Not because it was true, but because it was a bit false.

Truth was, as long as he had served the Farren family, Soren knew that not everything that was said about them was true. Remiel was proof of that.