Constantine could feel the cave around him now. Every nook and cranny. He could feel where Adam was, all the time. Not just him, either, but Samuel and Nathaniel.
Nathaniel was currently playing with the menu in the tunnels. He was building traps in there. He had already gotten drop down traps all over the original caverns, where the herbs and fungi grew.
Constantine didn't understand why the warrior was doing that. Trip wires were just a hazard. Constantine had already tripped over one and had nearly fallen into a pit that had not been there before.
Since then, he had walked only on the pathways, but he could feel that there were mana traps beneath the soil. It was simply that all the occupants of the dungeon were keyed in into them.
A little part of Constantine lamented that he wouldn't be able to go to Waldstadt until the dungeon leveled. And for that to happen, the dungeon had to be challenged.
That wasn't much of a problem, seeing as he could just set up a connection with the postal office and have the herbs and potions delivered to his clients that way.
Suddenly, Constantine found himself in the alchemy laboratory. It looked very spartan. Just two fires with cauldrons next to them. A single table, ladened with vials and chopping supplies, and the blackboard.
Constantine pulled out the menu and looked at the schemas. He had the skills of potioneer and bone collector. There were a lot of grayed out skills. What he wanted was a glassmaker so that he could create his own glass vials.
Constantine checked the requirements of unlocking the skill. Fifty mana points and four glass objects, so he could get the schemas. The necromancer pulled out a glass vial and looked around for something else to use. There was a measuring cup, and he absorbed that, too. Then, a stirring spoon ended up absorbed and, finally, a simple glass.
Constantine just hoped that Adam wouldn't mind him spending fifty points from their shared pool. He clicked on the green button and acquired the skill.
There was no sand in the laboratory, or anywhere in the forest, actually. Constantine hadn't thought that one through. He had been hasty. Maybe Nathaniel could get him some? He did get Adam the iron ore.
Constantine checked where the warrior was and went to him. Nathaniel was putting all sorts of devices in the training room. Weights, mats for wrestling, even some strange device that Constantine couldn't recognize, but it had weights on the back and something like arm holders up front. There were more tools, but Constantine didn't pay them any attention.
"Hey, Nathaniel. Can I ask you for a favor?" Nathaniel turned around and tilted his head to the side.
"What is it?" Constantine pulled out the menu and showed his new skill.
"I need sand for this skill. Tons of it," Nathaniel's eyes twinkled mischievously, and he placed both his arms around Constantine.
"My delectable dungeon core. It just came to my attention that I am your master," Constantine tried to brush the warrior off him, but Nathaniel didn't let him go.
"What do you want?" Snapped Constantine.
"I have been thinking. We are lovers, no? We all have to wait for Adam, but, do I have to wait for you?" Constantine raised an eyebrow at that.
"If Adam is not between us, you are not getting to have sex with me," Nathaniel sighed. Yes, well, he had expected as much.
"You know, I don't even know what I waited for," Nathaniel let go of Constantine and sat down on the ground. "I mean, I give up my freedom. Commit myself fully to the three of you. And still, I get blue-balled."
"Adam would be hurt if he is not with us when we do it," Constantine sat down next to Nathaniel and wrapped an arm around the warrior's shoulder. "He would feel excluded and like he is not good enough for us. You have to remember, he is fifteen."
"I'd rather not remember. It makes me feel like a leech," Nathaniel buried his face in his hands and ran them over it.
"Why have you been building traps?" Constantine looked around the training room and noticed a discoloration on the ceiling.
"My status as dungeon master has bumped up the Herbal Dungeon to rank S. Your status as co-dungeon core has bumped it to rank SSS. We will have visitors soon," Constantine sucked in a breath. He had enemies, people who knew where he lived, but had never thought they could corner him before. But, now, they could.
"Why does my involvement bump it to SSS?" Constantine could barely breathe. SSS class dungeons were attacked by armies of adventurers. And they were just four people. He was not going to count the mushrooms or Aeliel. For obvious reasons.
"Your status as international peacekeeper has been revoked, now that you are a dungeon core. You no longer have immunity," Nathaniel informed him with a tired voice. "I just want to make love just once, before I die."
Constantine was surprised at the last words. It sounded like Nathaniel thought that they wouldn't be able to withstand the storm that was coming.
"We will be fine," Constantine needed to prepare. He would rise all the dragons of the graveyard. Make bone golems out of the bones of the ones that were too broken off. They were going to be fine.
"Let us tell Adam," Nathaniel stood up and extended his hand to Constantine. The blonde took it, and they went to the pond, where Adam was talking to Aeliel.
When they came to the sight of New Shroom, they saw the mushrooms gathered in a circle, cheering as the two Naga were twirling spears. Adam's efforts were not as smooth as Aeliel's, but it looked like he was giving his all.
"Adam, a minute," Constantine called, and Adam stopped moving altogether.
"Yes, Tine?" Constantine saw the faint smile on the Naga's face. How his open chest glistened with sweat. His slightly tousled hair. He walked to him and placed a hand behind his head. Bringing their foreheads together, he spoke the heavy words that were threatening to pull him in the depths of his unease.
"We are getting attacked soon. Come back inside," Adam blinked at that and looked at Aeliel, who had also stopped twirling his spear and was now looking at the surrounding forest.
"If it is a war they want, then a war they will get," green miasma expanded from the necromancer Naga and all the surrounding trees uprooted themselves from the soil. Constantine noticed how the Naga used his spear for support, but thought little of it.