I still didn’t know why he was telling such a lie.
“It seems I’ve made you talk about something unnecessary.”
With slight surprise written on his face, he covered his mouth with his hand and let the corner of his eyes droop down.
His eyelashes fluttered like a butterfly about to take flight, then he seemed to remember something and opened his mouth.
“No, that’s alright. You are the Saintess and I trust you.”
However…I just woke up and all I have on is my shawl and nightwear…and I haven’t even washed my face. Plus, I even almost fell, and I dropped both my book and the slippers I was wearing.
My appearance was so shabby to be meeting someone that I met for the first time yesterday. Even Reneben had never seen me look so messy.
“That said…did none of our servants come to assist Your Highness?”
“No, they did. But as I was looking around the temple, I ended up separated from the attendants.”
Once the suspicion was planted, it was hard to remove. When I heard him say that they separated, I just closed my eyes and went ‘Is that so?’ to go along with it.
Who knew whether he really got separated from the servants naturally.
The breeze tickled my bare feet. I wiggled my toes and casually covered my face with my sleeve and tried to give it a quick wipe.
Seeing Prince Alois smile as if there couldn’t be a better time, I stopped trying to act pretty. Just like Reneben, the men here somehow looked far more outstanding than most people.
At that moment, I locked eyes with the prince and a sense of shame that wasn’t there before washed over me.
I might not know exactly how I looked right now, but I knew very well that at night, I was buried in the blankets.
Eventually, I lowered the hand that was covering half of my face and glanced around, trying to locate my shoes. I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed in my disheveled state, standing next to Prince Alois who was immaculately dressed.
“Oh…please wait a moment.”
Prince Alois followed my line of sight and seemed to notice something then he nodded. And without skipping a beat, he went down the stairs.
I watched his back as he descended to the bottom of the stairs, then I quickly rubbed my eyes. And just in case, I wiped my entire face with my sleeve.
After vigorously combing out my hair with my fingers, I straightened my pajamas and cleared my throat a few times. Finally, my subdued voice seemed to return to normal somewhat.
Before I knew it, Prince Alois had transversed the long stairs and retrieved the black leather-covered book and my lost slippers.
If it were any other noble, they would have ordered a servant.
I looked at him oddly and thanked him for going through so much trouble.
When he suddenly got down on one knee, I was startled and reflexively took a step back. When he looked up at me from his knees, I tried to act like nothing happened, but my eyes were wide.
He lifted my bare feet and slowly put on my slippers.
The sight of him putting on my slippers like they were Cinderella’s shoes was almost reverent. I was speechless and only recovered my senses after both slippers were on.
And once I came back to my senses, I looked away.
He looked at my face, which soon relaxed, and held out his hand.
“I’m not sure where you’re going, but please allow me to escort you.”
“…Then I’ll leave you to it.”
There was no point in rejecting his outstretched hand.
I asked him to escort me just close enough to the bedroom, then I glanced at the book that was still in his hand. He didn’t return it to me, as if I had to ask first.
“…By the way, may I ask what brings you here?”
Feeling awkward, I started talking to initiate conversation. Frankly, I was also curious about it too.
“I wished to talk with Your Holiness, God’s Blessing, so I had to pay a visit.”
“I didn’t think I’d be able to see the busy Saintess during my stay in the empire, but with the happenings of yesterday, I got a chance.”
He even answered parts that I didn’t necessarily ask.
I kept observing the prince subtly, without making it noticeable. He gave off an atmosphere that was difficult to describe.
He was telling me a healthy mix of lies and truth, in an even more skillful manner than the Princess.
Maybe I’ve got inner ki now because of this Prince and Princess. 
* * *
I rushed into the bedroom and got ready as quickly as possible.
Now that I’d sent Prince Alois to the drawing room and told him that I’d return, I couldn’t help but rush.
After I was done getting ready, I put on proper shoes, not slippers, and went to the drawing room.
The prince seemed to have become friendly with the maid who was pouring him tea, and the atmosphere was peaceful and harmonious.
“Did you wait long?”
“Of course not. Even such time is precious when Your Holiness is concerned.”
With an innocent and clean-cut appearance, his words seemed to inspire trust naturally. People would normally feel inclined to open their hearts when they hear something like that from someone with such a head-turning appearance.
He rose from his seat, pulled out a chair for me, and his eyes crinkled as he smiled softly.
I couldn’t help but feel even more certain that this prince was far from being innocent.
On the contrary, his mind must be working tirelessly. He was probably assigning meaning to every one of my gestures and planning accordingly.
And so, I sipped the tea that the maid freshly poured, and smiled warmly so that nothing would be revealed.
His brief glances, gestures, movement, and his behavior. His soft yet subtly sweet tone, along with mundane topics of conversation.
Unlike when we were coming down the hallway, our conversation was flowing seamlessly.
And then I had this feeling…like his intention was to seduce me…or perhaps I was mistaken?
I swirled the cooled tea in my mouth thoughtfully.
With a slight tilt of my head, my hair fluttered before my eyes. My hair, which had been frizzy earlier due to sleep, had a nice scent and gloss since I had just washed and perfumed it.
I ran my fingers over my cheek, and I can assure you that this fair, smooth skin was not because I was born with it but rather the product of extremely good care.
Then seeing Prince Alois smiling gently at me, I gracefully lowered my hand onto the table. And upon meeting his red eyes, I felt awkward and subconsciously avoided his gaze.
To anyone, it looked like I was conscious of the other party.
In the end, to avoid the awkwardness, I brought up the main topic.
“Come to think of it, may I ask what Your Highness wished to discuss with me?”
I carefully chose my words before asking.
When I made my curiosity known, his expression turned stiff, as if he was dreading the question but knew it was coming.
Such a well-crafted and elaborate face would easily fool you the moment you relaxed your guard.
‘…Compared to the Nestro Ducal siblings, he’s more—.’
Proficient and skilled.
The Nestro Prince and Princess looked down on the people around them.
Because of that, I didn’t think they would be able to recognize my acting and let my guard down sometimes, but the prince was nearly flawless. Every eye movement, every hand gesture, every delicate movement and tone of voice; not even the slightest mistake was made.
“Again…I would like to first apologize for coming alone.”
As he spoke, he seemed to remember something and added an explanation.
“Moreover, I came empty-handed…but even then, I wanted to cherish this exclusive time with the Saintess.”
He seemed to understand me to some extent. It felt like he was aware of exactly where I might get angry and what parts I might let things slide.
So, while saying things like that, he was able to watch my reaction and proceed calmly.
“…You’re saying such embarrassing words.”
As I spoke, I gently twirled a strand of hair with my finger, as if I was truly embarrassed.
“Then would it be okay to ask why you’ve come to see me?”
The prince’s eyelashes fluttered as he slowly lowered his head. Then he clenched his fists with such force that veins started to appear, and his gaze met mine.
His casual acting would have likely gone unnoticed if I wasn’t here.
He slowly lifted his head and the moment our eyes met, I was sure of it.
‘Honey trap.’ 
He was seducing me.
“…I came to the Empire by myself because I need to tell you something separately.”
“I see. I am curious as to what it is.”
I was showing interest and responding appropriately.
I might not look like it, but I was once an actor. And a famous one at that.
At my innocent response, the prince’s lips moved as if he was going to reveal his plans to me. As if he now expected me to listen when he spoke.
“I feel sorry for saying this to Your Holiness when we just met yesterday.”
“Please, feel free to speak.”
He looked down and smiled bitterly, the corners of his mouth curved sadly.
It was just a few hours and a few minutes. He seems to believe that I have fallen for him in that time span.
The prince was more calculating and thorough than any aristocrat I had ever come across.
To the point where it made me wonder if the unsavory incident with the Marquis yesterday was ignited by him.
Right. With this kind of personality, the incident with the Marquis would have been intentional rather than a coincidence or misfortune.
As I reached for the snack in front of me, my hand brushed against his as if by mistake.
If looks were a weapon, he had the kind of weapon that could crush the crown prince, the duke, and ducal prince Nestro all at once.
I had never thought too deeply about other people’s appearances, but if I had to evaluate him, then it was rated just that high.
Given that, I felt obliged to give a response deserving of such looks.
 LOL. She’s talking about developing internal energy (neigong(내공), also known as inner ki) because of the lies. There might be some pop-culture reference here that I am not getting.
 I just realized I’ve been translating 미인계 as ‘beauty trap’ when there is a perfectly fine English term for it. So for those who’ve read my previous translations, beauty trap = honey trap