Chapter 16
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Nathaniel looked between Adam and Constantine, then at the adventurers that looked at him with stars in their eyes and, finally, to the duke and prince. Well, former prince.

"Constantine, why did you let these people rope Adam into taking a boss mob that is just rank B when it comes to fighting?" Samuel shrugged. It was the truth. But, then again, no one could read a book quite as fast as him.

"Well, Adam insisted on inviting them for tea," Constantine's explanation sounded weak to his own ears, and they colored red.

"If Adam tells you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?" Constantine bared his teeth at Nathaniel, not appreciating the condescending manner in which Nathaniel spoke to him.

"Nathaniel, there is not really a problem. Tine just called you to introduce the guest. If you don't want to, we won't summon you again," Nathaniel's eyes softened at that. He looked at Adam, who seemed to be even more refined for some damnable reason, and he gulped.

The boy is just fifteen, Nathaniel reminded himself sternly. And it doesn't matter that he is a Naga, darn it.

Unknown to Nathaniel, Constantine was thinking something much along the same lines. He spent his nights up gazing at the photo. During the days, it took a great effort to make his potions and check up on the plants that were being dried.

Constantine took a peek at Adam, who was staring at his manicured fingernails. Darn, that witch Beth and her making Adam beginning to care about his looks. Although, Constantine supposed, it had all started with Agatha. 

Even still, both necromancer and warrior came to the same conclusion. If they didn't step up, regardless of Adam's age, someone else was going to come and swoop the Naga off his tail and carry him to the pool cavern for a "shared bath".

Adam's two protectors sent each other glares. Nathaniel knew that Constantine had a leg over him already, by the virtue of Adam having a crush on him. But, Nathaniel had something that Constantine did not. Penchant for giving gifts.

Constantine smirked and placed an arm around Adam's shoulder, the challenge clear. Nathaniel's eyes narrowed. But, all was not lost for the warrior. He had his bottomless bag with him. He rummaged inside and got out a protective golden ring that was big enough to go around the lower half of Adam's tail.

"Here. This will repel everyone who tries to touch you," sure, it would also repel Nathaniel, but, only if he tried to instigate the contact. If Adam hugged him out of his free will, the ring won't act up.

"Do I really need it?" Adam looked at the ring and found that there was a hole in the middle. He bent the gold a bit and found that it could stretch.

"I can put it on for you," chimed in Constantine, and he took the ring from Adam's hands. Adam rose his tail so that Constantine would have an easier time putting on the ring.

As soon as Constantine was done, the ring shrunk to fit the tail. Adam touched the ring and sighed. It felt constricting, but, then again, so have the clothes in the beginning. He was sure that he would get used to it.

Samuel looked between the warrior and the necromancer and shrugged. If they wanted the dungeon core, they were welcome to him. He only needed books.

The clock chimed for six pm and Adam got off the chair with a start. He rushed to the kitchen and began rummaging around.

"Oh, I have never cooked for so many people before," Constantine rose, but Samuel beat him to it.

"I'll help. I can measure the portions better than most," boosted Samuel, and he received two glares.  To the two glowering men, he said. "Relax. I just want to be his friend. Seeing as he saved my life."

Samuel went to the kitchen and he and Adam made a meatloaf with potatoes for dinner. It was big enough for everyone and, at precisely nine pm, the dishes were cleared from the table.

"Adam, do you want to go for a swim?" Asked Constantine. Nathaniel cleared his throat.

"Adam, can I come too?" The axe warrior wanted to keep the necromancer off the Naga.

"How big is the pool? You said you had a pool, right?" Samuel asked with great amusement. Adam looked between the three men and pulled Samuel to the side.

"What is happening here?" Hissed Adam. He was not blind. All the comments the three were making during the dinner were unnerving him.

"Oh, you have two candidates for the title of the lover of the most beautiful creature in the country. I am just having fun," Samuel smirked as Adam blushed and looked back to the table, where Constantine and Nathaniel were in a staring match.

"I have nothing against Tine liking me," Adam blushed. Finally, he was getting what he wanted. "But Nathaniel is not what I want!"

"I am sure he will be hurt to hear that," said Samuel, and the former prince imagined the warrior getting rejected. It would surely put a damper on his mood. "Look, you don't want to outright reject him. He is an SSS rank warrior. I have no idea how powerful this necromancer is, but I know for a fact that he is not SSS ranked."

At least, Samuel had never heard of him. Adam looked confused at that.

"Yes he is. And Tine has had the rank for the past five thousand years," Samuel gulped. Suddenly, his game sounded too dangerous to be worth playing.

"If they end up fighting over you, things will get bloody. I ask you a question I often asked my father. Why settle for one, when you can have a harem?" Adam sputtered. What in the world did Samuel mean by that.

"You didn't want to be married because it would have meant just one spouse?" Stammered, Adam and Samuel nodded.

"I have this wild dream that, one day, I will have a harem of smart people and never be alone again," said Samuel, and then he looked over Adam. "What are your interests, by the way?"

Adam blinked. Ok, what was happening here? Tine, he wanted to be liked by, but what was with the other two?