39 Ch39. Useless attempt

Tom was walking side by side with Sarael through the employees-only entrance of the Sitri Hospital while Natasha dutifully followed behind him, staying quiet and alert, playing a bodyguard.

Tom thought it was cute and let her do her own thing.

This was happening because he made another deal with Sarael, calling upon one of the favors the old devil still owed him.

In the deal, Tom wanted to pay a private visit to Misla and Sairaorg Bael.

Sarael instantly caught up with what Tom was going to attempt to accomplish, considering that a year ago, Misla Bael was admitted into one of his hospital's rooms with a sleeping disease.

If Tom failed, Sarael would get rid of one of the favors he owed Tom and if he succeeded... Now wouldn't that be a massive blast for their race as a whole?

Many old and powerful devils suffered from the sleeping disease. It was one of the things that brought their numbers so low. In fact, there were currently over two hundred devils with that affliction in his hospital alone.

Considering no commoner could afford hospital room fees, all of these were relatives of someone important or powerful.

Unfortunately, as much as Sarael would love to treat everyone, he also had his own expenses and the hospital was business first and foremost. It had to earn him profit at the end of the month. It was no charity.

The only thing that would make Sarael happier would have been if Tom didn't demand him to sign a contract about this. Really... who does that!? Weren't they friends already? Where was some show of trust?

Tom wanted not only a safe passage to Misla Bael's room, but he also wanted Sarael to ensure there would be nobody else present other than Sairaorg Bael who, according to Tom's conditions, had to be there. Also, Tom desired no surveillance or scanning magic or devices to be in the room, and Sarael to ensure nobody would try spying on this meeting. Sarael included. Now that hurt his ego a lot. But he had to admit, he would have definitely tried if not for that contract stipulation... And after all that, Tom didn't want any records of this meeting ever happening.

In exchange, one favor House Sitri owed to Tom would have been fulfilled.

Sarael had to admit, the kid drove quite a hard bargain there...

But he could understand. In case he failed, it was much safer to ensure nobody would know about his attempt. The Baels would not take kindly to this if they knew.

Tom also most likely didn't want anyone to see the process... well, anyone that wasn't a ten-year-old kid like Sairaorg Bael who quite frankly, wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed so he proved no risk of information leakage about Tom's methods. Sarael doubted the kid would understand the first thing about it anyway.

And in case Tom succeeded, everybody would know since Misla would be awake anyway.

Sarael was already planning how to make use of that eventuality to the best advantage of House Sitri. And just maybe he was also including a way to prank Tom for his ridiculously cautious demands too.

His fragile manly ego was that hurt.

As they walked through the empty hall of the hospital... and damn if it wasn't a lot of work to make such a thing possible for Sarael... the old devil decided to strike up a conversation.

"I heard about your troubles in the Magician Community. Do you need any help?" He offered to Tom offhandedly.

Tom only shook his head and lazily said, "Nah. It's fine. Don't bother."

Now that caused Sarael to look at Tom weirdly. The boy was considered the biggest outcast in his community currently.

"Are you sure? How are you dealing with the constant duel challenges?" Sarael asked. He was really a bit worried for Tom. It would have been easy to scare away those vultures and if Tom wanted, Sarael would help him for just a token price.

He did consider Tom a friend, after all.

Tom just shrugged Sarael's worries off, "Mhm, I am ignoring it." and dropped a bomb that almost made the old devil trip.

"Igno- What!?" Sarael exclaimed, stopping in his tracks and turning to Tom with a sense of urgency. "You do know that it will completely decimate your reputation in your own community, don't you?" He grabbed Tom's shoulders and hurriedly asked.

One simply could not put this kind of situation to the side until he wanted to deal with it!

But Tom just gave Sarael an utterly calm and lazy smile, "Yeah, so?" He tilted his head as if he was really confused about what was the big deal. "The magical community is no longer a profitable venture. Why should I care about their little temper tantrums? For all I care, they can use the entire Amazonian Forest for their challenge letters and I wouldn't care either way anyway."

Sarael's hands slid down Tom's shoulders as the old devil's mouth slightly opened in disbelief. It took him a few seconds for his brain to reboot, and Tom smugly noted he really stumped him. That was a definite win in his books.

"Ah." Sarael slowly nodded, "That... is an admirable way of looking at it." He carefully said with a small grimace, not knowing what to think about this approach. It was just so utilitarian...

From what Tom said, he was completely abandoning the English Magician Community.

Yes, the consequences of having his reputation shredded would be unpleasant but they only applied within the community. Outside of it, even if Tom stayed in England, with how the business contracts with the high-class magician families are worded, no magician could outright attack him unless they fancied themselves facing nineteen high-class families.

Tom was physically safe. It was his reputation and good name that was under attack. It was his ability to gain a future influence in the magician community that would suffer from this. It was his ability to make business deals within his magician community that would suffer from this.

He was ostracized by his own folks.

It wasn't as if somebody wanted or could kill him in the community.

That was it.

"Too many people are chained by the expectations of others, not chasing their own ambitions. Locked in their own little communities and striving to stay in them even if it is no longer worth it, not even trying to escape their confines and get a better life for themselves. Should I care about the English magician community just because I grew up there? What did they ever do for me that would earn them my respect?" Tom mirthfully asked, meaning every word. He then wistfully shook his head, "How ridiculous. If it is no longer useful to me, there is no need to cling to it." He casually shrugged.

Jokes on them. They thought by pestering him with duel challenges and shooting his reputation to hell in their little community, Tom would eventually crack and become submissive to them because he would not see any other way out.

They thought Tom would try to do his best to stay in the community and in their arrogance, they conveniently forgot that the English Magician Community was just a small part of the wide world.

The only thing they accomplished was that Tom would no longer do business with them in the future.

Getting away from all that harassment would have been as easy as moving to another country for him. The real influence of the English Magician Community reached only as far as the borders of England, after all.

Even Pendragons were not an exception to this rule.

But... why bother? As long as the high-class families wanted the profits from his enhanced fruits, they would protect him from real attacks coming from their community. And if not, well, he didn't pay Sarael for the best wards the devils could provide just for kicks and giggles.

At the very least, Tom would be able to flee. Unless they sent an Ultimate-rank magician, Tom was safe. Funny how the only Ultimate-rank magicians in England who could be sent after him were in the Pendragon Family who couldn't give a shit about the Magician Community anyway, huh?

As for the attacks on his character and reputation... he couldn't care less. Same as with their influence, their opinions only reached as far as the borders of England and the confines of their little community.

Literally, nobody outside of the English Magician Community couldn't give a shit about what they thought.

"Right... we are here." Sarael said as they finally arrived near the correct door, "One sleeping beauty and her son coming right up." He jokingly quipped in an imitation of a waiter and opened the door.

The same door that would start a new chapter in Tom's and Natasha's lives.

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