Two weeks have passed since Tom cured Misla Bael and so far, he has been enjoying the quiet and peace of his home while training the control of his magic, getting back up to snuff after his recent increase in magic.
Despite only gaining a bit of increase in his magic reserves, his control was kinda shaky. Tom was already dreading the time when he finished curing the other devils. He will have a massive reservoir of magic but it was damn obvious he would have a mighty hard time controlling it.
But... it was better to have those reserves and spend years training control rather than not having them and spending decades, maybe centuries, trying to increase his reserves while simultaneously training control.
Really... everything had its upsides and downsides and Tom could only helplessly smile and decide which path was more convenient for him.
With his small increase in magic, two weeks were enough of training to regain his iron-clad control and since that was done, Tom was now reviewing some of his ideas in his office. He had another major project getting started and it made him very excited and motivated.
That didn't last long, however. Not even an hour after Tom started brainstorming and polishing his new idea, Sarael's magic circle appeared in front of his table, and the old devil teleported straight into Tom's office, making his lips set themselves in a frown.
"Hi, Tommy!" Sarael cheerfully exclaimed, but Tom was not having it.
Narrowing his eyes, he gruffly asked, "How did you breach the wards?"
An 'Oh, shit!' kind of expression appeared on Sarael's face and his hand started rubbing the back of his head as he started awkwardly laughing, "Eh? Err... Did you forget who set them up for you?"
Sarael tried to sound innocent but when Tom's eye twitched after his answer, he inwardly cringed, knowing his answer was not appreciated.
'Damn, another thing I missed.' Tom inwardly fumed.
The wards requested by Tom naturally had an anti-teleportation function but he forgot to explicitly forbid Sarael from installing a backdoor for himself.
Tom was smart but he was not perfect.
Fortunately, Natasha was training her newly gained powers in the basement, which had even stronger wards than the rest of the house so there was no energy leakage. The last thing Tom needed was Sarael or anybody, really, realizing that Natasha had the Power of Destruction.
Tom realized he would have to both warn Natasha of using the Power of Destruction in front of anybody until they both were sufficiently strong and invest some of his time into studying wards so he could set them up himself rather than rely on others.
Tom leveled his eyes at the still sheepish Sarael and firmly said in an unamused tone, "You will destroy any kind of backdoor you have into my house."
"Fine." Sarael whiningly accepted, not trying to dispute it. He only installed these backdoors to annoy Tom anyway and they served their purpose quite well if Tom's expression was anything to go by.
Tom sighed and looked back at the documents on his table, "Why are you here?"
Sarael's eyes widened as if he gained a sudden realization, "Oh! Yeah! I almost forgot, you bastard! You made me deal with all the political craziness that Misla's awakening caused!" He approached Tom's table and put his hands on it as he leaned closer to Tom, trying to appear menacing.
Tom couldn't help but chuckle when he saw the attempted impression of the Yakuza look on Sarael's face. Something about a thin and refined man dressed like an old noble trying to act like a thug was just... pfft, cute.
"You will get paid for your trouble. I don't see any problem." Tom said, his lips twitching upwards as he tried not to laugh.
No matter how angry Sarael seemed to be, Tom knew it was just another of his games. If the old devil was really angry, he would have tried to pressurize Tom with his demonic energy or something.
This? At best, Sarael was annoyed.
"Problem? Of course, there is a problem!" Sarael huffed and threw his arms up in the air as he staggered back and flopped directly onto a chair for the guests in front of Tom's desk, "Do you have any idea how many Pillar Families have people afflicted with the Sleeping Sickness?" He complained in exasperation.
"Mhm. Don't know, don't care." Tom hummed and nodded, not raising his eyes from the documents in front of him as he scribbled a diagram of life energy transformation into...
"Well, maybe you will quickly gain interest when I say that Sirzerchs Lucifer himself wants to meet with you." Sarael dropped a bomb, interrupting Tom's trail of thoughts and causing his pen to jerk to the side, ruining his diagram.
Tom didn't have the time to even get annoyed as his brain was processing what Sarael had just told him.
Lucifer himself wanted to meet?
Tom looked up from his documents, meeting Saraels gaze, and asked, "Why?"
This was not a part of his plans. Not by a long shot. Tom knew he would gain a lot of interest from many politically powerful parties in the Devil Society but that's what he had Sarael for. The Four Satans were not supposed to get involved. Not yet. Not until Tom was done with his plan.
Sarael wryly smiled. He liked to screw with people but... sigh, "His grandparents. He came personally to me and I couldn't just shrug him off. Not when my very own daughter supported him instead of me." He helplessly shrugged, his expression sour.
The fuck? The Gremory grandparents were still alive? That was not supposed to be a thing!
Tom's eye twitched as he wondered how many other sudden bombs will ruin his future plans like this. And since his frustration was starting to build up, he decided to unleash it on the closest possible target.
"Poor you. Your daughter decided to support her crush instead of her daddy." Tom snarked, but his mind was working overtime to try and come up with a good way to deal with this new eventuality.
"My little girl does not have a crush on that barbarian!" Sarael indignantly exclaimed.
"Whatever lets you sleep at night, buddy." Tom gave him an appeasing smile that was obviously fake, making Sarael's indignation even deeper.
"She really doesn't!" Sarael huffed and crossed his arms on his chest, adorning a sullen look.
Tom had no idea about Serafall's feelings regarding Sirzechs, and he certainly didn't care but seeing Sarael's aggravated face was worth it. Plus, this exchange gave Tom enough time to think about how to proceed with his plans.
"Nevermind that." Sarael eventually dropped his facade of butthurt father, and turned serious, "I really need you to meet with him, Tom. The Lords of other Houses are quite easy to shrug off. But Zekram Bael and the four Satans? I can't deal with that."
Tom understood. Sarael was willing to humor him and deal with a lot of trouble because of their cordial relationship and the profit it would bring his House. But there were limits that he wasn't willing to cross.
It was only natural. Sarael was looking out for his own good and Tom respected that. It was what enabled the fruitful relationship between them to happen in the first place.
"And I should expect political maneuvering, right?" Tom helplessly smiled, knowing the answer to that.
After all, Sirzechs was...
"Well, he is in the charge of internal affairs." Sarael sheepishly chuckled, rubbing his neck in embarrassment.
The only thing why Sarael was necessary for Tom's schemes was secrecy and avoiding the devil-kind's political scene. Sarael clearly knew that. He was too experienced to not notice his part in this little game Tom had going on. He might not have known what was in it for Tom, but he knew what was in it for him and his House and his role.
With this move from Lucifer, half of Sarael's usefulness became a moot point and it made him irritated and embarrassed. A devil he might be but everything his House owned was well-earned and he took great pride in that. This felt as if he failed the deal between himself and Tom, and that made him feel disgruntled.
Tom shook his head, ignoring Sarael's embarrassment.
Maybe, just maybe this meeting with Sirzechs could be beneficial to him.
No doubt the man wanted his grandparents to be cured and that might give Tom leeway in making a special deal with him.
Tom chuckled and muttered, "God help me."
Sarael winced at that and shot an unamused look at Tom, irritably thinking it was his petty revenge for bringing a problem like this to him.
"Oi! That's underhanded!" He admonished Tom.
"Huh?" Tom confusedly blinked, too busy plotting his next perfect robbery to pay attention to what was Sarael's problem.