5 hours ago, I was gazing at an item in the cash shop, the Phantom Avatar.

It had similar properties to Bill's abilities, with an added benefit.

This item could not only speak, but it could also generate phantom illusions for unsuspecting foes.

The catch was, it would only work if the target was completely unguarded, with low power, aura, sanctity, and magic.

If they were even slightly on guard, by as little as 0.1%, creating a phantom illusion would be impossible.

Based on Bill's behavior in the previous round, he was clearly off guard.
His expression after he killed me was one only a psychopath would wear.

That alone was enough to tell he was completely off guard.
Furthermore, Bill specialized in assassination, not magic, implying his magical prowess wasn't too high.

In the previous round, he could only summon one person with his Phantom Avatar technique, which proved his magic was low, regardless of his exceptional assassination skills.

I then turned my attention to a cash shop item, a bug listening device, which was different from Bill's.
This one had a recording function, useful for gathering evidence against the cult.
My preparations were in place.
With trembling hands, I bought the two items.

[You have spent 500 points.]

My death reward of 500 points vanished before my eyes.
But where did they come from? As I pondered this, the items I had purchased materialized out of nowhere.

[The goddess of destiny, who sees your ability, widen her eyes.]

So that's how it worked.
I had expected someone to deliver them, but the items just appeared out of thin air.
Now, the deity on the constellation might take notice of me.
Given the current situation, they might think I created the items.
However, I had no choice.
What mattered was the present.

Without these items, dodging Bill's assassination attempt would have been nearly impossible given my circumstances.
To be precise, my reputation, or rather Cain's reputation, within the clan was of a fool.
If someone claimed to target me, most would dismiss it as absurd.

Even Liche, might believe me, but there was no guarantee she could triumph over Bill.
It was better for me to resolve this situation myself and gain some merit.
By doing so, I'd likely avoid being cast out of the family.
The family's assassins might not even consider killing me.

I should probably get Liche involved, just to be safe.
I need to take advantage of every chance I can get.
Even if I can rewind time through death, there's no guarantee that my points will also revert.
Frankly, I think it's more likely that they won't.

It's part of the same system ability, so it should remain unchanged.
As I pondered this, an unnerving message came from the constellation.

[The goddess of destiny looks at you with a twisted laugh.]

Please, don't look at me like that…

Three hours later, Liche was staring at my clone, her face filled with curiosity.
I caught her gaze momentarily; it was like a child finding a desired toy.

[The goddess of destiny takes a keen interest in you.]

Not just her, but the constellation too had a similar reaction.
Although, the constellation was more interested in me than my double.
Is this what I should be doing right now? I had a fleeting vision of being imprisoned and put on trial, but I dismissed it as overthinking.

I took out a note and started outlining our strategy.

“That object, identical to me, is an item called a phantom double.
I'll use it to make him let his guard down.
You've understood up to here, right?”

Liche nodded in response to my question, so I continued.

“When he thinks he has killed me and lets his guard down, you ambush and knock him out.
If you fail, kill him without hesitation.
I'll handle securing the evidence.”

I understand.”

After finishing our strategy session, we resumed the massage to trick Bill.

Dawn broke.
Liche watched my double leave, then carefully opened the window.
A cold wind brushed past, cooling her flushed face.
She fanned herself as she stepped outside.

Why are his massages so good?

I thought Liche's moans of pleasure were merely a ruse to trick Bill, but that wasn't the case.
She genuinely enjoyed the massage, which led to her making such sounds.

Were my shoulders really that tense?

She massaged her shoulders, feeling significantly lighter than before.

No need to be tense…

She looked down at her noticeably swollen chest.

Well, there was a reason…

Regardless, she needed to concentrate on eliminating the assassin.
With determination etched on her face, Liche trailed my double through the window.

It really does look exactly like him.

Liche had known me since we were kids, but the phantom double replicated my habits, my walk, and even my aura flawlessly.
She had the urge to take it to her room and tie it up so it couldn't escape, but she had to reluctantly sacrifice the precious double.

…Keeping the body wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Despite her slight sense of regret, she continued to observe as Bill appeared behind the double as if he had been waiting.

…It's clear.
That man is the assassin.

Suddenly, she remembered a question that Cain had asked earlier today in the mansion.

Cain had asked about Bill the moment he entered the mansion.

…Did the master know from the start that Bill was the culprit?

It made sense.
From the unexpected question about Bill's identity to the discovery of the eavesdropping device concealed in the pillow.

If Cain had known from the outset that Bill was the cult's assassin, all his actions today in the mansion fit together.

But how did he find out?

Even the assassins from the David family, herself included, couldn't pinpoint the cult's spy.

No, they didn't even believe one existed.
Yet Cain had access to information they didn't.

Then, it's plausible that he knows the David family is plotting to oust him.
This suspicion is further confirmed by the fact that just a few hours ago, Cain specifically requested her to knock him unconscious.

Certainly, he did tell me to kill him if I failed, but rendering him unconscious was the top priority.

He even claimed he would secure the evidence himself.

For a moment, Liche shivered at Cain's cunning strategy.

Just how far ahead has he foreseen? Even as far as my room?

As Liche brushed her goosebumped arm, her face filled with worry, the Cain clone began to move briskly.

The following Bill matched his pace.

…Why isn't he killing him?

Regretfully, Cain's abilities are slightly better than the average person's at best.

An assassin like Bill should have plenty of energy left after eliminating the clone.

I should wait for now.
After all, the master told me to ambush only after the clone was killed.

Suppressing her immediate desire to rip Bill to pieces, Liche observed the unfolding situation.

Shortly after, the clone stumbled upon another Bill.
Liche was taken aback.

Two Bills?

She was briefly perplexed by the situation but soon figured it out.

Is his power illusion cloning?

It's quite a renowned ability among assassins.

Given that, it makes sense why he didn't kill Cain right away.

An illusion clone is, at best, just an illusion.
It can't kill anyone.

Once again, I was astounded by Cain, who had anticipated this.

I need to report this to the Lord as well.

If I report the spy's identity and Cain's current actions to the Lord, he won't be expelled from the family.

Neither will he be murdered by the assassins.

As such, I can't afford to fail.
The moment I do, all of Cain's meticulous planning becomes worthless.

With these thoughts in mind, Bill struck down Cain's clone.
He began speaking, seemingly in great excitement.

The moment you believe everything is over is when you are most vulnerable.

Liche withdrew her dagger, coated with a sleep-inducing poison, from its sheath strapped to her slightly muscular thigh.
Without a second thought, she channelled magic into her hand and hurled it at Bill's arm.


Due to his carelessness, even a mere scratch would deal significant damage.

With this in mind, she prepared to charge.
But Bill dodged the dagger she had thrown by bending at the waist.

“What?! He dodged that?”

Her expression turned icy at this unforeseen development.

I have to do this.
I have to kill him.

Believing she had no other option, Liche raised her dagger to strike him down.


Bill collapsed onto the red carpet, face-down.

What's going on? Is he pretending to be dead to catch me off guard?

She kept her gaze fixed ahead, on her guard.


Unexpectedly, Bill's illusionary clone had already disappeared.

Did he really faint?

Baffled by the turn of events, she cocked her head in confusion.


Someone was approaching.
It wasn't long before Cain appeared, the corner of his mouth lifting into a smirk.

“Sure enough, he's passed out.”

“…How did that happen?”

“Huh? Oh, nothing much.
That clone had a device that projected an illusion when it dies.”

“I see.”

Upon hearing his explanation, Liche responded with a slightly disheartened tone.
Noticing this, Cain appeared to misunderstand and hastily clarified.

“Oh, it's not that I don't trust you, Liche.
I placed that device there just in case you might get hurt.
The safer the plan, the better, right?”

“Thank you for your consideration, sir.
What shall we do with this man now?”

For now, we need to bind him so he can't escape.
And it might be good to reveal all this to my father tomorrow.”

I understand.
I'll tie him up.”

Cain appeared surprised by Liche's assertiveness, awkwardly scratching the side of his head.

Liche flipped him over to tie him up, retrieving magical handcuffs and rope from her pocket dimension ring.

“Sir, he's smiling?”

“Maybe he's dreaming about a successful assassination.”

In this manner, the two of them used the magical handcuffs and rope to bind Bill, preventing any movement.

The next day.

No matter where I sleep, waking up is always a struggle, even on a comfy bed.”

Mumbling nonsensically, I raised my upper body and wandered down the corridor, still half-asleep.

I made my way to the mansion's nobles-only shower room.
After a brisk shower, I felt revitalized and returned to my room.

At the door, Liche was quietly standing there with her hands folded together.

“Liche, what's up?”

In response to my question, she turned her head towards me, wearing a serious expression.

“Sir, the lord has requested your presence in his chamber.”

“Got it.
Let's go now.”

I played with the recorder in my pocket and followed Liche's lead.

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