Belial chats with Sakaki, who turns out to be an old ‘friend’. Drama with Humor, I-3

Character(s): Mad Hatter, Sakaki Tarou

Sakaki Tarou paused on his way across the grounds of Rikkai Dai to visit his
contemporaries on staff, and watched the junior high tennis team practicing.
This team was always worth watching, but this time something specific caught
his attention. Something about them had changed, since the last time he’d
observed these players. It was most notable in Yukimura-kun, and Tarou sighed
faintly as he contemplated the inherent disorder of what he was seeing.

"Taken," a light voice stated next to his ear.

"Belial," Tarou greeted his ex-associate. He didn’t move at all as
a very sharp edge scraped against his throat.

"There are, at this time, exactly two people permitted to call one by
one’s old name, and neither of them is you. You may call one Mad Hatter."
The sharp edge vanished, and Tarou turned his head far enough to see Belial…
Hatter, lounging against the fence, from the corner of his eye. "As
one was saying, Yukimura Seiichi is taken. Signed and sealed, though a significant
delay in delivery was part of the deal. And, as the rest of them belong to
him, you can just keep your hands to yourself where they’re concerned, too."

Tarou knew better than to cross a Demon Lord without better backup, and Hatter
was clearly serious despite the teasing tone. His silence gave his answer.

"Delightful." Hatter pushed off the fence. "After all, it wouldn’t
do to have your boys notice anything odd about their dear mentor’s associates
and pastimes, would it?"

Tarou didn’t even bother to glare at the implied threat of revelation. "They
don’t ask," he said, levelly, tucking his hands into his pockets. "I’m
simply their tennis coach. And music teacher."

Tarou waited, with scant patience, for Hatter to stop snickering and go back
to her humans.