Chapter 10
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Adam stared at the earrings, transfixed. He extended a finger to touch them and then shook his head. No, a pair of shiny trinkets couldn't erase everything Constantine had done for him.

To the side, Constantine was smiling. Nathaniel, the SSS class adventurer, was just twenty years old and a prodigy. If Adam offered him a contract for the boss mob spot for the dungeon, then Nathaniel would live as long as Adam, if not more.

"I think they are rather pretty, Adam," chimed in Constantine, and Adam turned to glare at him.

"Meh, I have seen better," Nathaniel wilted and bowed his head. Constantine sent him a look and went to Nathaniel's side. He placed a hand on the warrior's shoulder and then looked at Adam sternly.

"Is this how I have taught you to treat those who give you presents? If Agatha ever finds out about your words, she will tug your ear until she tears it off. Now, apologize," demanded Constantine and Adam faltered.

"Sorry, Nathaniel. They are charming," Nathaniel perked up at that. But, something didn't sit right with the whole situation. Why was the necromancer talking to the dungeon core as if the Naga were a child.

"Say, Naga, how old are you?" Asked Nathaniel, dreading the answer.

"Fifteen, but," Nathaniel gave a groan. His love interest wasn't even legal!

"Sorry to bother you," said the adventurer, and he pulled out the dragon cluster and the pastries and placed them in Adam's hands. "These are for you. "

Adam took the two boxes and watched as Nathaniel turned around and walked out of the pool cavern. Constantine blinked. Yes, it was improper for a five thousand something to be with a fifteen-year-old, even if the teen was a Naga and thus an adult by that point. But the age difference between twenty and fifteen wasn't that big.

Constantine rushed after the axe warrior and caught up to him just as the man was stepping out of the cave.

"Are you going to give up on him?" Asked Constantine. Nathaniel turned to look at him.

"He is gorgeous, make no mistake. But I won't pursue him further for the same reason you don't give him a chance. He is too young. Not to mention he isn't even legal yet,"  Nathaniel put on his teleportation ring and left a perplexed Constantine at the entrance of the dungeon.

Ok, this hadn't worked out. Maybe, the next adventurer he lets in, would be closer to Adam's age? Perhaps no more than a year older? But, with the Dungeon of Herbs now being under the protection of an SSS class warrior, would someone even come by?

Dejected, Constantine went back inside. He saw Adam staring at the earrings. It looked like he wanted to put them on, but he didn't have any ear holes.  Constantine pulled out a needle from his satchel and approached the Naga.

"You need to have your ears pierced. Come here," Adam slithered over and leaned down so that his ear was next to Constantine's hand. "This is going to hurt. Sorry."

Constantine heated the needle with mana and pierced Adam's ear lightning fast. Adam yelped, but didn't move away. Then, Constantine repeated the action for the other ear, cleaned both holes, and placed the earrings in them.

The necromancer blinked, with the nice black and red robe and the earrings, Adam looked even more fetching. Then he shook his head like a wet dog. No, you dirty old man, he thought to himself, there won't be any games with the young thing's heart.

Adam went to the pond and peered inside. The earrings dangled merrily, and his eyes shone with mirth.

"It was nice of Nathaniel to give me this," Adam slithered next to Constantine and picked up the forgotten pastry box. "Do you want to share?"

Adam offered the open box to Constantine, who took out a muffin. They sat by the pool and finished the box in record time. When the box emptied, they both reached outside and their hands met.

Instead of twining their fingers together, Adam just took his hand away. Their eyes met and the Naga smiled.

"I know what you tried to do," Adam's dimples were showing, and it was all Constantine could do to remind himself that when he was Adam's age, Adam hadn't even been born yet.

"You deserved a bit of happiness," Constantine looked into the pond. That didn't help, seeing as he could still see Adam's reflection next to his own in there.

"Well, I still think it was tricky of you. You have to make it up to me. Teach me how to make potions," demanded Adam, and Constantine blinked. He had expected something pushy, like last time. But Adam was giving him his space.

"I can teach you how to make a calming potion," agreed Constantine. It was an easy one to make.

"Not just that. Others too. I want to learn how to make cures," now that Adam knew he was safe, he could focus on helping others. Sure, he would never be as mana rich as some other dungeons, him having to wait for his creations to die from natural causes and all, but he could be rich in other things. Like the love and appreciation of the people of Waldstadt.

Constantine, for his part, couldn't be prouder. Despite adventurers having come in here to destroy Adam, the Naga still had a big heart, and he wanted to help those around him, not to cause them pain.

"If you can make a successful sleeping potion, I can move you to wart removal one," there was always a big demand for it and Constantine was a bit agitated that he had to make such a simple potion all the time.

"Deal. I will have a successful sleeping potion by the end of the month," Constantine nodded, glad that Adam was being realistic with setting his goal. They stood in silence, one thinking of the lessons and the other congratulating himself on being so smooth and getting to spent more time with his crush.