Chapter 14
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Adam handed Constantine the photo and Constantine took it. The blonde berated himself, all the while on having let the barrier down for so long. After all, if Adam had gotten hurt, Constantine would have never forgiven himself for it.

Constantine looked at the photo and he coughed. He looked at Adam, who looked just as enchanting as he did last night, if not more. Constantine could see the white ribbon in the Naga's hair, and he wanted to take it out. To undo the bun and the braid and…

The necromancer shook his head. Adam had not been pushy. What if had outgrown his crush? Constantine couldn't develop one in such a case.

"Don't let strangers paint you anymore," said Constantine tiredly. Even though this was a photo, Constantine could clearly see that the painting had been done with magic. It didn't matter how ugly or beautiful one was. If your painting was done with magic, people would want to be close to the person who was painted.

"Ok. I am sorry, Tine," Constantine pocketed the photo. Much to his shame, he was going to be looking at it a lot during the lonely nights. He went to Adam and embraced him gently. Taking in the teen's scent, he really hoped that Adam wouldn't notice how desperate Constantine was for the touch.

Adam still smelt of the beauty potions he had bathed in. Constantine didn't want to know why the teen was suddenly so self-conscious. He had called Adam a grown up last night, but Adam was just fifteen.

"I am truly sorry, Tine," Adam's tail wrapped itself around Constantine's waist, and they held each other for a while. Then, with a deep breath, Constantine patted Adam's back and the Naga let him go.

Kilometers away, in an art gallery, Jasper hanged up his two new paintings and waited. He really liked the community art galleries. They offered artists like himself the chance to hang up almost anything and sell it.

A crowd gathered to admire the paintings of the Naga, and Jasper was glad that his talent shone just as brightly in the painting he had done without magic as the one with.

A man stepped forward, the fire of desire in his eyes.

"Does such a creature really exist?" He asked, pointing at the painting that was done with magic.

"Oh, yes. He is a forest spirit..." Began Jasper, but the man pulled out a pendant. It was a truth pendant. Jasper cursed.

"Where can I find him?" Jasper sighed. Well, the Naga had the necromancer to guard him. Surely, things would be just fine.

"In the forest of Waldstadt," the man turned around and an adventuring party followed him.

"Duke Neron, do you think that this is what the king has been searching for?" Asked the healer. An old, bent, man who used his staff like a walking stick.

"He said that the prince must have the most beautiful creature in the land as a bride. Have you seen something more alluring?" Asked the duke. All the adventurers nodded their agreements.

They made a stop to the front desk to forward the two painting to the king. It was an open secret that prince Samuel was picky when it came to who was going to marry him. But, surely, the prince wouldn't even think about saying no to such a creature.

The duke and the adventurers teleported with the paintings and found the prince in his study, pouring over a book.

"Oh, Neron. Please tell me you are not here to bother me with another painting?" Neron sighed. The prince was twenty. He needed to get married. If he got married to a man, thus making sure that he was not a threat to his older brother, then all the better.

"I have found a creature so rare; you wouldn't be able to take your eyes off him," Neron pulled the curtain from the mana painting and the prince raised an eyebrow.

"A pretty trinket, I agree. But probably empty-headed," the prince didn't look impressed by the painting, and the duke despaired.

"If we show this to your father, he would send you to the Naga in a heartbeat," the prince nodded. He knew as much. He had been sent to a toad once, so the beauty of the creature played a small role.

"This is the last one. If I can't give up my place in the line of succession any other way, I will become a priest," vowed the prince. The duke had no problem with that, either. Just as long as the prince never disturbed the peace.

They all teleported to Waldstadt and pulled up their hoods. It just wouldn't do to have the people of Velvetia know that their prince was among them. It will cause a fawning mob to appear out of thin air. The prince hated those with a passion.

The party hired horses and made their way to a cave in the forest with a cottage outside of it. Thinking that the Naga lived in the cottage and just used the pool of the cave, they went and knocked.

A blonde, golden eyed, man came out. His staff sending out blue sparks.

"You are not the Naga," said the prince in a bored drawl.

"You are not going to see Adam. As his guardian, I won't allow it," snapped Constantine.

"Do you hear? The Naga's father doesn't want us here," prince Samuel noticed the look of pure guilt that passed through the necromancer's face. But duke Neron was not so easily discouraged.

He took out a rolled-up parchment and showed it to Constantine.

"By order of the king, the prince is to pick the most beautiful man or woman in the land. Your son…"

"He is not my son!" Snapped Constantine. "Aurora!"

At the call, the dragon showed herself with an angry snarl.

"Uhm, duke, this is above our pay grade," spoke the archer of the party.

"You better all run," began Constantine, but then he heard a call from the cave.

"Tine, what are you doing? Are they violent? If not, invite them in. I made a pot of tea," Constantine's expression became pained when the prince turned to stare at the Naga that was in the entrance of the cave.

He had a melodic voice. Samuel could get used to this voice singing him to sleep every night. The prince supposed that, for lack of any other option bar priesthood, he could settle for the sweet voice of the Naga.