32 Plans

No matter how hard I thought of it, no matter the research I made to correct my errors, I still couldn't see how my lightning spell could have malfunctioned and caused such a disaster.

'It was only meant to be an intermediate spell. I calculated everything. The terrain, the energy consumption, the efficiency, and speed… even the level of power! It shouldn't have gone berserk like that!' My mind rang.

I went back to my drawing board several times to be certain, and I still ended up with the same conclusion. And that was because I had not failed in my Lightning spell, It had been flawless.

For a scholar like me to make such a fundamental error in something as little as an intermediate spell was absurd, to begin with.

Therefore, if I had not made a mistake, there was only one answer left. Sabotage!

"Someone interfered with the lightning spell and intentionally caused that havoc!" I concluded.

But why would someone do such a thing and risk my life? Well, the answer was something I was very familiar with. Whoever the culprit was, they intended to kill me.

"It looks like I was a little careless… I didn't think they would make their move yet." I smiled to myself.

After I was almost killed by an assassin at merely a few days old, I was barely saved by the little magic cast in my desperate state. Since then, I hadn't forgotten for a second, that there were some people out there who were after my life.

My parents took active stances, and conducted a thorough investigation, even to the extent of laying off staffs that they deemed 'suspects', and they were simply grateful for the 'miracle' that saved their child.

'How lax!' I thought to myself, wondering why they never bothered to investigate further.

Realizing that no one around me was competent enough to ensure my safety, I took matters into my own hands. Ever since I was a child, I analyzed the assassination attempt, the motives behind it, and tried reading into whoever the malefactor was.

About five years ago, my mother employed a new set of staff, since laying off so many people at once put a strain on the remaining members of our household. This was when the fun truly began!

My parents laying off our old servants must have also been part of the mastermind's plan, since they would ultimately need to find new workers.

With the matter of my assassination dying down, my parents guards were bound to be down. Of course, they only selected trustworthy individuals to work as maids, but it wasn't impossible for the enemy to blend into the new batch of servants.

I made sure to memorize the faces, names, and identities of every new member of our household. I also took deep cognizance of their positions within the house.

Of the several who were employed, my suspicion fell on three. One was a tutor of mine who taught me basic ethics and manners. He was way too nice and forgiving, so I assumed he had ulterior motives. Plus, he had such a sensitive role in my life.

The proximity was frightening!

The second was a cook. He was added to the chefs responsible for the meals to be eaten by my mother and me. That was also quite a sensitive role.

Finally, my last suspect was Liliana. She was merely a cleaning maid. Her role was not too conspicuous, and her proximity to me and my mother was fairly average. However, that was exactly what made her suspicious.

'She doesn't stand out, she never gets into any trouble… and everyone around her likes her.'

She was often flustered when I spoke to her, clumsy in duties as a result of her shy nature, and was the most subservient and sweetest servant in the house, with no flaws at all.

However, those charms couldn't fool me.

'She's merely acting flustered to cover up her inexperience in her maid duties. She acts nice and aims for perfection because she must be a pro at pretense. Her face and body are the very definition of beauty. It's questionable how someone like her became a maid, to begin with. Men would have taken her as their wife long ago, and it wouldn't be difficult finding a suitor with her personality.

'Even if he's a lowly noble, her life could have been far better than this…'

Of course, I showed no bias and investigated every one of my suspects to the utmost of my abilities.

Whenever I wasn't training with Alphonse or engaged in my personal activities, I made sure to analyze their movements and mannerisms.

Using the elimination game, I struck them out one at a time. My etiquette teacher left after I was done with my training, without making any move on me. This left Jez the cook, and Liliana, the cleaning maid.

What made Liliana the prime suspect of being an assassin was that she gave herself away during my last match with Alphonse.

The lightning strike incident, where almost all the servants gathered to watch… all the servants with the exception of the personal cooks who had been tasked with preparing our meals so we wouldn't be hungry after my fight with Alphonse was over.

Jez had been in the kitchen, and since I kept close tabs on him, I was certain that he hadn't witnessed my fight with Alphonse.

The only one among my prime suspects who did watch the match… was Liliana.

'She's the next assassin!' I smiled.

However, discovering that someone is a killer, and turning the tables on them are two different things entirely.

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