Chapter XXXV – The Grothlins Party

“Mr. Burrows, it’s time for you to wake up,” said Carklein. “Your outfit for today is already hanged outside your door.”

Rem, still sleepy, stood and took his dress. It was a pair of an ordinary coat and tie along with a new pair of leather shoes, black socks, and a wristwatch. He then took a bath.

After putting clothes on, Rem went outside his room seeing Vincent along with the escorts and two fancy-dressed men.

“You must be Rem Burrows?” said one man with green hair asking for a handshake. Rem granted the favor. “Come, I’ll make you more handsome,” he added pulling Rem.

The man led Rem to the collapsible dresser and asked him to be seated. The men then worked together in grooming him. He hated the thick makeup being applied on his face. The hair cream, on the other hand, was too sticky. He also inhaled too much hairspray.

After, Rem was just asked to sit on the couch and avoid extra movements. He agreed. However, his patience went off after waiting for about an hour. He was too excited to see the looks of his girlfriend.

The creaking of the door of Marybeth’s room prompted Rem to stand. He looked like a groom seeing his bride walking down the aisle after he saw Marybeth wearing a black spaghetti-strapped gown with leg left slit. The backless gown shot his testosterone up. The curly hair added sophistication.

Vincent teased Rem by giving him a mild elbow on his back. He smiled at him.

“Alright, this is the big day,” said Vincent leading Marybeth’s hand to Rem’s biceps.

Marybeth clung on Rem’s arm. He supported her while walking out of the condominium unit, to the elevator, lobby and in the limousine. While traveling he can’t help but stare at her. She will sometimes catch him looking at her but he will never look away.

The car stopped in front of a private property inside an exclusive subdivision. The gate was made of thick metal that Rem estimated about 50-feet tall. Vincent alighted the vehicle, opened a small box, and swiped a card. The gate slowly opened. The car traveled for about a minute through a tunnel made of thick vines. The end of it revealed another long pathway leading to a mansion.

Rem realized that despite the mansion was big, it’s quite simple and he liked it. The big main entrance led to a simple wooden door with metal fixtures like those of the medieval periods.

Dricks opened the door and it revealed a huge room filled with people. Just like what Rem used to see in the building, each and every one was trying to outclass each other. Colorful coats, bulking pieces if jewelry, fancy headdresses were noticeably worn by women. Despite most men were only wearing suits, pieces of jewelry with huge stones were also present in their fingers.

The center showed people dancing while both sides had chairs and tables where the people were being served with expensive wine and other refreshments. Vincent led the group towards the center right where Rem immediately noticed Lowell Heitzberg along with his wife, Lolita.

As they come nearer, Rem was delighted seeing his mentors Jacklyn, Jonathan along with Macam and Buster. They were smiling at them.

Vincent first went to the table where Heitzberg and Lolita were seated. The two leaders of the Arkimans stood. Heitzberg nodded to Vincent and to the escorts, gave Rem a hug and Marybeth a kiss on her hand. Lolita kissed the two fighters on their cheeks.

“Nice to meet you my young fighters,” said Heitzberg. “Rem, are you feeling well now?”

“Yes,” said Rem assuming that Heitzberg was talking about the fatigue.

Heitzberg smiled and nodded to Vincent.

Vincent again led the group. Rem was glad when Vincent took a seat where his mentors were sitting. Jacklyn and Jonathan stood and gave the two some warm gestures. Buster also stood and gave Marybeth a kiss on her cheek and Rem a mild punch on his biceps. Macam gave them a group hug.

Waiters immediately appeared flipping the glasses on the table. One poured Olah-Olah wine on Rem’s glass. He looked at Vincent with a questioning look.

“It’s ok, just control yourself,” whispered Vincent.

Rem took the glass and sipped mildly… He missed it. It’s more than a week since he last tasted the flavorful wine. Since he doesn’t want to fail his team anymore, he asked for a non-alcoholic drink.

After a few minutes of having some chit chats, it was announced that it’s time for the people to eat. The emcee said people can just go near the food booths that were located at the sides of the room.

Already hungry, Rem looked at Marybeth; she nodded. He stood, took her hand and together, they walked towards the table.

Rem was impressed with the setup of the food. It was like an eat-all-you-can where you can just pick the food of your choice. He was staggered by the tremendous amount of food at the long table. So, he just picked those he already knew.

After picking their food, Rem took Marybeth’s plate and nodded prompting her to walk straight their table. Then, they minded their own businesses.

While eating, one of the receptionists walked towards the table of Rem’s group and whispered something at Vincent. He nodded. The woman immediately left the place. He continued eating. When everyone seemed to have finished their meal, a man suddenly appeared on stage.

“Everyone, lend me your ears,” said the man.

Rem thought he was in his 50s. He was a man with dark hair but some pieces were already turning white; his hairline was already high. He was about 5-foot-8 in height, fair complexion, has lean muscles which are bulging on his tight long sleeves. Just like Lowell Heitzberg, he was also soft-spoken.

Rem suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder… it was Vincent.

“He is Daryl Ocampo,” said Vincent. “He is the leader of The Grothlins. Just like Heitzberg, he’s on his 50s, but with the strength of a man in his 20s. Not a man to mess with.”

Rem looked at Ocampo as the man spoke. Thinking of what Vincent said, he thought he was already in a big trouble even if he and Marybeth win.

“As we prove our way to superiority… I am proud to announce the 28th Bloody Train,” said Ocampo that was followed by applause.

“Come let’s meet Heitzberg,” said Vincent mildly pulling Rem and Marybeth. “You will go up the stage with him.”