“The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
– Walt Disney
A few days later,
“Phantom Thief’s notice reappears! Can he continue to write his own legendary tale after successfully completing two perfect crimes?”
“What’s the difference between a Thief and a Phantom Thief? Looking at the Phantom Thief’s two crimes, The first one was where the stolen ‘Tears of an Angel’ were successfully returned and are now displayed in the art museum. The second one was where he stole the fake-made ‘Pink Fantasy’, providing key evidence to expose the underground money laundering operation. This makes us wonder, Is Phantom Thief really guilty?”
“In these days, some citizens of Gotham have been influenced by Phantom Thief’s actions, with some even forming their own fan clubs. There are also people who dress up like the Phantom Thief and participate in street parades, only for the GCPD to catch them. This means that a trend of admiring the Phantom Thief is silently rising in Gotham. Whether this situation is good or bad, we do not know.”
“Why does Phantom Thief steal? According to psychological experts…”
“There are rumors that the exhibition of the Dragon’s Egg Ruby Necklace is organized by the infamous Oswald Cobblepot, also known as ‘Penguin,’ in order to exact revenge for the Phantom Thief disrupting his money laundering business in the ‘Pink Fantasy’ incident. Is the battle between Phantom Thief and Penguin real or fake? Let’s wait and see!”
GCPD Headquarters, Commissioner’s Office
Jim Gordon angrily slams a few newspapers on the desk, his face dark as if it could drip water.
“Calm down, Jim. Why are you getting so worked up over nothing?”
Beside him, Harvey Bullock calmly tries to console him.
“Phantom Thief is just going to return whatever he stole anyway, or the thing he stole was something worthless like a glass bead. It hasn’t caused any real economic damage to anyone. I think we don’t need to put so much energy into him. Just send a few new officers over to show that we’re paying attention.”
“Harvey! How can you say something like that?”
As soon as Jim hears Harvey’s careless words, his expression becomes even more unpleasant.
“Do you even know what I’m worried about? The Phantom Thief has only appeared for a short time, and already people are imitating him. Right now, they’re just imitating his clothes, but who knows if in the future someone will steal in order to further imitate Phantom Thief?”
As the Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department, Gordon actually has his own separate office and doesn’t need to be around the frontline detectives.
However, Jim himself started as a detective, and he wants Gotham City to change at least a little bit.
So even after becoming Commissioner, he remains in the GCPD building and always rushes to the frontlines whenever there’s a case.
This is also something that many people don’t understand, why would Commissioner Gordon personally handle a simple theft case and pay so much attention to the Phantom Thief?
“Yes, the Phantom Thief follows his own set of codes, but what about others? Could people be using the Phantom Thief’s name to extort and deceive others? Never underestimate the moral bottom line of Gotham people, that was something you told me before!”
Jim stared at Harvey with wide eyes.
“No matter if the Phantom Thief returns the stolen items or not, he is still a criminal, and when citizens start idolizing a criminal, that’s the beginning of the chaos. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten everything that happened over a decade ago! We can’t let a criminal have a huge public influence again!”
Faced with Jim’s emotionally charged outburst, Harvey gave an awkward grin and apologized quickly.
“Alright, alright, I admit you have a point. I have realized the problems with Phantom Thief’s growing influence. But should we discuss something else now?”
Harvey took out a piece of A4 paper with the contents of the Phantom Thief’s latest letter on it and placed it on the table with a serious expression.
“Tomorrow is the first day of the exhibition, if we can’t decipher the notice on this today, then we’ll have to guard the exhibition tightly for fifteen straight days. The GCPD doesn’t have the resources to waste this much money.”
Jim knew Harvey wasn’t making things up.
There were too many criminal activities in different districts of Gotham, and many police personnel were needed everywhere.
In all of Gotham, The total number of police officers of different types exceeded thirty thousand, but even after being evenly distributed across all precincts, there wasn’t enough manpower.
Currently, they are not too busy, but the entire Gotham had only about a thousand police officers who could be dispatched, and only a small number of those were elite detectives.
These one thousand officers had to be ready to assist in any serious cases that might happen somewhere.
It was impossible to call all of them to deal with the Phantom Thief.
It was particularly important to decipher the notice in advance, especially to get the time of the Phantom Thief’s crime, as it could save many police resources.
Jim calmed himself down, picked up the notice that Phantom Thief had faxed to the police station a few days ago, and furrowed his brow.
“If 20 multiplied by 3 equals 4,
Then I will visit at a nonexistent time,
When Mars has passed its tenth day and night,
Following the guidance of Caesar,
I shall come to claim the blood-stained egg.
Sincerely, Phantom Thief”
Just this first sentence had puzzled Jim for several days.
What does it mean for ’20 multiplied by 3 to equal 4′? Shouldn’t it be 60?
At what time does that not exist?
Doesn’t it always mean that there is still an hour between three o’clock and four o’clock?
And what about following the guidance of Caesar?
Does it mean that the Phantom Thief has traveled through time? Or has Julius Caesar traveled through time?
Could Julius Caesar appear out of nowhere to guide the Phantom Thief?
Except for the last sentence, which is about the Dragon’s Egg Ruby Necklace.
The rest of the lines seem like they have nine out of ten blocked with just one hole open!
At the GCPD, Jim was completely clueless about the notice.
On the other side is Wayne Manor, the Batcave.
Dick was also pondering how to decipher the Phantom Thief’s notice letter.
Somehow, he felt that Phantom Thief’s ability to write these notices was getting stronger, and each puzzle was more difficult to solve than the last.
He looked through a lot of math research reports and academic papers on the Batcomputer, trying to find an explanation for why 20 multiplied by 3 equals 4.
“If 20 multiplied by 3 equals 4… This sentence must be the key to unlocking the notice letter!”
Dick firmly believed.
But the question remained, under what circumstances would 20 multiplied by 3 equal 4?
He studied all mathematical theories and even found many arguments that 1 plus 1 does not equal 2, but he couldn’t find any logical explanation for why 20 multiplied by 3 equals 4.
There were only two possibilities.
First, Phantom Thief made a mistake.
But that was clearly impossible.
After ruling out all the possibilities, Dick arrived at the final truth.
It’s not a mathematical problem at all.
At the same time, at the Gotham City Public Library.
Barbara looked at the content of the notice, and a glimmer of excitement quietly appeared in her eyes.