It was pouring as a black sedan drove along the drenched streets of the Capital. Inside the car was Cedric Reyes, the fifteen year old heir to the Reyes Group. He had just left is home in a tearful goodbye with his younger sister Ayanna, his mother Priscilla, and his father Emilio as his poverty training was set to begin.
Every heir of the Reyes family knew that at the age of fifteen, they would have to give up every comfort they had known and move to a distant province with nothing more than the bare minimum that their family provide for them to survive the first few years.
The car came to a stop outside of a worn down apartment complex. Cedric took out the keys from his pocket, four years of apartment 5-E's rent had been paid for. Cedric placed his backpack on and sent the car and driver away, due to the rain the stairs up to the fifth floor were slippery, Cedric took extra care as he climbed up.
Apartment 5-E was a small room, it could only fit a small bed, an area for a stove, and a table. The room didn't even have it's own bathroom, there was just a shared on the same floor. Cedric sighed as he took a look at his new home. Aside from this room, his family also provided him with a bank card that had just enough money to get him through two years. After that Cedric would be all on his own.
The Reyes family began this tradition to ensure that the next generation would value the empire they had built, so that the next heir wouldn't so easily splurge the money that would someday be handed down to them.
Cedric's new identity would no longer be Cedric Reyes, eldest son and heir of the Reyes clan, rather now it would be Cedric Reyes, orphan that lived alone in apartment 5-E, public school student with an older sister that had to work abroad just to make ends meet. His family and friends were forbidden from helping him, they were not to extend any form of help until his poverty training was over.
He was alone against the world, for now.
Thirteen years later, Cedric Reyes was now married to Adrianna Hernandez and living in his in-laws' home.
"Cedric you idiot! I told you to prepare pancakes and bacon for breakfast!" Gracia Hernandez, Adrianna's mother scolded Cedric.
Adrianna's family never fully accepted Cedric, as a result Cedric cooked and cleaned for them in order to receive some form of approval.
Cedric's wife worked in the marketing department of Island's Inc, the Hernandez' family business. Island's Inc. was a big company, but the Hernandez family was even bigger. Adrianna's father had five other siblings and he was the third son. Although the company earned a lot, maintaining the lifestyle of such a big family was quite heavy and expansion was slow for Island's Inc. Adrianna's parents and the couple relied mainly on her salary to pay for their everyday expenses.
"I'm sorry mom, but we ran out of bacon so I cooked this instead." Cedric apologized.
Gracia Hernandez looked away and ate the food on the table clearly unhappy.
After having his breakfast Cedric headed up to their room to change and get ready for work. He worked as an assistant at Mor Co., a hidden subsidiary of the Reyes Group, his family's business. After five years of marriage, Adrianna still had no idea that he was the mysterious heir to the Reyes Group.
Compared to the Reyes Group, Island's Inc. was considered small fry. In the past years Reyes Group had been hinting that it's young heir would be returning soon, and many families have been trying to set up their daughters with this mysterious man. They didn't care if he was ugly, fat, or stupid, all that mattered to them was that he was rich, and marrying their daughters to him would immediately increase their family's wealth.
"Was mom difficult today?" Adrianna asked Cedric as he finished dressing up.
"It's fine." Cedric shrugged.
"I told you to stop doing the chores. We have maids to do the cooking." Adrianna said with a sigh.
Cedric smiled and looked at Adrianna. She was the greatest treasure of the Hernandez family, the prettiest among eight female cousins, and their marriage was not accepted by the Hernandez family. "Adrianna, I would do this to help your family accept me a little bit more." He gave her a light peck on the lips before heading out.
Adrianna could do nothing but shake her head.
Cedric drove Adrianna to work at Island's Inc. then walked to Mor Co., while on the way his phone began to ring. It was Marco, his father's personal assistant. Cedric grinned, he already knew what this call was about.
"Hey Marco." Cedric greeted in a cheerful tone.
"Sir Cedric, your father is asking if you would have lunch with him today. You're turning 28 in a week." Marco said in a more serious tone.
"Sure. Where should I go?" Cedric asked as he approached Mor Co.'s office.
"We'll send a car a block away from Mor Co." Cedric smiled at the instructions, his father knew he wanted to keep a low profile.
Cedric agreed and dropped the call.
The rest of the morning was uneventful, so at lunch Cedric waited for the car to pick him up. The driver took him to his father's favorite country club in the city. This place was so exclusive that only a hundred families at a time were allowed to be members.
Upon entering the restaurant his father immediately saw him and waved with a smile. In the past thirteen years he had only seen his father once a year, on Christmas day.
"Hello dad." Cedric greeted with a smile.
Emilio Reyes III, was in his late fifties, he was a man with an imposing aura and was one of the top businessmen in the country. Today however, he looked very different as he wore a cheery smile and was quite reddish from playing golf the whole morning with his friends.
"Cedric, it's finally time." Emilio greeted. "I can finally play golf everyday and travel with your mom!"
Cedric chuckled. "Dad, how is mom?"
"Hmmmm, she misses you, and your sister. She was very much against sending your sister away for additional studies abroad, but I told her it's for the best." the older Reyes said with a sad smile.
"Sir here are the files you asked for." Marco suddenly appeared handing Emilio Reyes a laptop.
"Ah yes." Emilio took the laptop from Marco and handed it over to Cedric. "In here are all of the relevant files and information on the Reyes Group. Of course we won't suddenly hand the whole business to you. We'll start small with Mor Co. first."
"Will you be introducing me to everyone?" Cedric asked.
"I think you would prefer that we didn't." Emilio grinned at his son. "Let's just hold a small welcome back party for you at home, family and close friends only. We can announce to the public the Mor Co. will officially be in your hands. On paper, Cedric Reyes will be moved as the assistant to Mor Co.'s president."
"I like the idea dad." Cedric said with a nod.
"Great. Marco, call Camilla and Ian over." Cedric's dad ordered.
Soon a young man and woman approached. Seeing Cedric came as a surprise to them, as fellow assistants at Mor Co. they knew each other, as a matter of fact Ian was Cedric's best friend at Mor Co.
"I'm sure you know each other. Assistant Camilla and Assistant Ian, this is my son, Cedric Reyes, heir to Reyes Group and your new boss." Emilio said.
"Camilla, Ian, I would like to keep my identity a secret. I will continue to just be Cedric to the public and to everyone in the company." Cedric said with much authority.
"I'll see you on your birthday then, son." Emilio said as he got up to leave followed by Marco.
Cedric was now left alone with Camilla and Ian.