How To Make The Ice Prince Fall Book 1 Chapter 72

Volume 1 Chapter 72 A Fake

A finger on her lips, Katherine pondered. Yes, the compensation now didn't match the difficulty of the request anymore. Not if her life was on the line. However, living in the palace was also a chance. If she could influence the nobles, it was possible for the Icelands to attack the Dragsa-kingdom, hopefully killing Ethan while they were at it. Though she would prefer to do it with her own hands, she was realistic. She knew that she was way too weak. It may not be possible in the future and it certainly wasn't possible right now.

The problem with influencing the society behind the scenes was the fitting social status. If she was introduced as a simple noble or even a maid, her influence would be next to naught. The proud nobles in the palace would just ignore her. Also, she wasn't beautiful enough to get a big number of suitors without having a fitting status, so this option was also not the best. Her status as a noble of the Dragsa-kingdom would be even worse than no status at all, making her an enemy to many. Though they might show more interest in her like this, it was like offering her head on a chopping board.

So, either she would have to keep her head low and deepen her relationship with the earl in hopes that he would one day fall for her or... she had to get a higher social status that protected her even if her past were to be exposed. And it had to be something that could withstand a deeper inspection. But what were the possibilities of her gaining such status? The easiest way might be to marry someone. However, she didn't want to court anyone else anymore after she knew how tiring it was. She also didn't have the time for it if the earl wanted to bring her to the palace tonight already. However, there was no other way she could think of to rapidly get influence in the higher society.

He asked what compensation he can give me... he should have some means. After all, he's on a friendly basis with a prince. "I want a solid identity of someone of high class. Someone who can integrate into the high society seamlessly."

The earl raised a brow, looking up from the finger on her lips. For a second he had lost himself in her tapping of her lower lip. Again. "What do you need it for?"

Katherine shrugged lightly. "I need to gather information. Build up connections. Even if we have a working relationship, I don't plan to stay as a bird in a cage."

"I didn't expect you to." For a few seconds, Nathaniel pretended to ponder, before saying: "It isn't impossible. However, it wouldn't be a complete identity. Only an addition that would make it possible for you to integrate. A chance."

"A chance is all I need.", Katherine replied confidently. All this time she knew it would be hard work to reach her goal.

"Fine. But don't forget it is all fake.", Nathaniel stressed. He didn't want to raise her hopes.

Why should she forget this? Katherine furrowed her brows. Anything fake would obviously continue to be fake. "Of course not."

"Good. You may come in!"

Right after the call, Sam entered the room with excitement in his old eyes. He had impatiently waited outside the door, listening to every word while showing a straight and dignified front for the other servants to see. None of them would've expected him to be eavesdropping in secret.

Now he strode forward, fishing two blue silk boxes out of his suit jacket. Solemnly, he placed them on the glass table right in front of the two nobles.

"I already expected you to not be satisfied with the identity of a maid.", the earl explained. "So I prepared these."

"W-what is in it?" Katherine's voice trembled. If it was anyone else, she may take a guess, but with it being the earl... there was no chance it was what it looked like. She shouldn't even think in this direction!

Causally, Nathaniel picked up one of the boxes and flipped it open for her to see. "Accessories."

On a small cushion, there laid a ring. Katherine gasped and clutched her hands over her mouth. It really was a ring! It had a delicate design, like several minuscule flowers coated in silver. Each of the tiny flowers embraced an even smaller amethyst in the color of her eyes. So beautiful!

"Th-that...?" Her eyes alternated between the ring and his cold face. Her cheeks turned red but it was unknown if it was excitement or embarrassment.

Nathaniel snapped the box close. "Don't forget this is fake. You will be my betrothed only in the public eye. Does this satisfy your request?"

Fake. Though he had reminded her beforehand, Katherine felt somehow hurt by his words. For a second, only a fraction of a second, she wished he'd propose. Now she squeezed a smile, annoyed by her own dumbness as well as his viciousness. Couldn't he let her dream for just a second longer? "Sure."

"Wonderful." With a neutral gaze, he held out the hand with the box for her to take. Automatically, she stretched out her fingers, only to halt them again. A thought had popped into her mind, making her hesitate. She took her hand back.

"There is one thing I'm troubled with though." Seriously, she looked up into his red eyes. It was much easier compared to the first time she met him. Still, she couldn't hold his gaze for long. It was just too intense. Averting her eyes, her words turned more formal. "I don't know how good milord's acting skills are. The rings mean nothing if we can't convince the crowd that we are in fact... a... a couple."

Her cheeks burned. She was surprised by her own courage that she dared to question him out loud. Maybe it was because he seemed more amiable today. The earl was normally so cold and serious, how could he be a good actor? Especially enacting warmth and fondness? She might only get this one chance to integrate into the higher society! It had completely nothing to do with her wanting to see him act like he was fond of her...

The courage didn't last when suddenly pressure radiated from the person next to her. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw the earl lean towards her like a beast stalking it's prey. Her heart drummed fast in her chest. What have I done? Why did I question the devil?

Nathaniel's voice was low. "Do you think a young girl like you knows better how to act than me? I'm afraid you will be the one who can't pull it off."

Putting one of his gloved fingers under her chin, he guided her to look at him. The fire she'd seen burning in his eyes on their first date was back, colluding with his sinister aura. She trembled, goosebumps raising on her skin. It wasn't all fear.

A slow, knowing smile formed on his lips. "You better stop calling me 'milord' now... darling."

Darling... darling... darling...

The term rung in Katherine's ears, letting all blood rush to her face. Dizziness befell her, making her muddleheaded. She could only stare at him with wide eyes. Were her ears failing her? He couldn't have called her... darling?

With a chuckle, Nathaniel stood up and placed the box on the table. "Focus on your own acting from now on. They will suspect a fake if my betrothed for over a month on paper turns into a statue every time I call her."

Leaving this last advice, he walked out the door. Sam followed him slower, taking the second box back in passing. He wanted to say something to Katherine, but when he saw that she was still in a daze, he could only shake his head with amused pity.

When the door closed, Katherine's lips quivered. A whisper reverberated in the empty space. "Darling..."

Every time he called her... did that mean he planned to call her 'darling' again?

Suddenly, she shook her head as if shaking off the dizziness. Making her lose her footing with his acting had to be his punishment for questioning him. But he didn't know that it only fired her up. "We'll see who's got the last laugh. I will let the fake become real! Just you wait!"

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