“Good men mean well. We just don’t always end up doing well.”
– Isaac Clarke (Dead Space 3)
The opening lines were heard by everyone in the room, and throughout the audience, they attracted everyone’s attention.
Whether it was the upper-class people who came to participate in the auction or the police officers of the GCPD, at this moment, Phantom Thief was the eye-catching white figure.
Looking at the pure Phantom Thief under the spotlight, Jim Gordon’s face was full of disbelief.
Like Robin, Jim couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“Phantom Thief! How did he appear there?”
His confusion was similar to Robin’s earlier.
They had confirmed from the surveillance footage that Phantom Thief didn’t have the time to tamper with the hotel’s power supply, why did the power go out?
Also, when Jim requested a recheck of the bidders in the venue, they carefully inspected the area around the stage and the surrounding area.
Still, they didn’t find the Phantom Thief hiding nearby.
As mentioned earlier, the auction venue was divided into two areas: the entertainment area, which combined a restaurant, ballroom, and bar.
The other part was the auction area.
These two areas were separated by a huge curtain but were basically part of the same venue.
Except for the ventilation duct Robin used to enter, there was no other entrance or exit for the auction area, so everyone had to pass through the entertainment area.
The bidders were currently gathered in the large open space of the entertainment area, waiting for the police to count and verify their identities.
Phantom Thief’s most likely hiding place was among the bidders, but now all the bidders were under police supervision.
It seemed impossible for him to appear on the stage at this moment.
“Who is that white guy?”
A voice from the crowd expressed confusion.
Not everyone from the upper class was interested in daily crime news, let alone a mere thief like Phantom Thief.
It was normal not to know about him.
“He’s the Phantom Thief! Don’t you know? He’s become quite famous in Gotham lately. They say he’s a crazy thief who likes to steal and return stolen items!”
There were people who didn’t know, but there were also people who liked to follow the latest news.
“Long time no see, Commissioner Gordon, and the Wonder Boy from the Bat-family.”
The Phantom Thief smiled and turned to look at Jim and Robin.
“Hmm… I didn’t see the ‘Pink Fantasy’ here. It’s really a pity not to witness the brilliance of the world’s largest pink diamond myself.”
Phantom Thief spoke in a tone that seemed filled with regret.
“Commissioner, do you happen to know where this pink diamond is hidden?”
“Raise your hands, Phantom Thief! We have blocked off all the exits on this floor, so you have no way out!”
Jim didn’t answer his question, but he directly point his gun at Phantom Thief and warn him in a very seriously.
“You picked the wrong time to show up. Now that everyone has already left the auction area, you can’t use the crowd as a shield anymore. If you choose to resist, the police have the right to shoot you on the spot!”
“Phantom Thief, the crime you have committed is not yet too serious. I don’t want things to get worse to the point where they can’t be fixed, and I believe you don’t either. If you surrender now, with a sincere attitude, and confess voluntarily, I promise to do my best to help you reduced your sentence.”
Faced with Jim’s warning and plea for surrender, Phantom Thief’s face didn’t show any signs of hesitating.
He continued with a distressed tone, “Is that so? So, the police also don’t know where the item they are supposed to protect is hidden…”
At this moment, Robin, who was not far from the stage, suddenly furrowed his brows.
Since Phantom Thief appeared, he hadn’t made any physical movements, only his voice was heard.
Although his expressions couldn’t be clearly seen due to the weird reflection of the lenses, there was always something off about his expression.
Could it be…
Robin suddenly remembered a technique that Phantom Thief had used before.
“Sir, should we open fire?”
One of Jim’s GCPD subordinates asked, seeing Phantom Thief showed no signs of surrender.
“Wait! Don’t shoot!”
Robin suddenly shouted to stop them and then rushed to the stage as fast as possible.
When Robin rushed onto the stage, the Phantom Thief standing there didn’t react at all.
He remained motionless in his place.
Robin delivered a powerful punch to the face of “Phantom Thief,” and to everyone’s surprise, he made a faint sound and burst like a balloon.
Seeing this scene, the crowd was dumbfounded once again.
“It’s just an Inflatable Dummy.”
Robin squatted down and searched through the remains of the shattered figure, finding a loudspeaker inside.
“The voice earlier was transmitted through this loudspeaker. The real Phantom Thief isn’t here!”
So, the question is, where was the real Phantom Thief?
“Look over there, everyone! Phantom Thief is over there!”
At that moment, a sharp cry rang out from the crowd.
Following the direction pointed out by the caller, the crowd could faintly and vaguely see a white figure sitting in the last row of seats in the venue.
Unlike the spotlight on the dummy on the stage, this new white figure appeared blurry in the dark lighting of the venue.
If it weren’t for the fact that Phantom Thief’s white clothes stood out in the darker surroundings, no one would have noticed that there was someone hidden there.
“You two, go and check it out. It might be another dummy. Don’t shoot unless he makes any suspicious moves.”
Jim picked two officers from the group behind him and instructed them.
As the two officers left, there was another shout from behind.
“Behind us! Phantom Thief is behind us!”
This time, it was a police officer who shouted.
Everyone turned around and saw a white figure closely resembling Phantom Thief about twenty meters behind them.
This new white figure was different from the last two dummies—it was moving!
The new white figure was running at a rapid speed, faster than an average person running.
‘The moving figure shouldn’t be a dummy anymore. The joke of tonight is finally coming to an end.’
Jim thought to himself.
Just as he was about to give the order to capture Phantom Thief, a series of shouts erupted from the crowd.
“Look! It’s Phantom Thief on the right!”
“That one looks fake; it’s not even moving. The one at nine o’clock is the real Phantom Thief!”
“What a joke! Nobody walks in that awkward way. The one near the ballroom is definitely Phantom Thief!”
One by one, more and more ‘Phantom Thief’ were discovered in the venue, creating the illusion that they were surrounded by the real Phantom Thief.
“Reporting, sir. This is Patrol Team A. We have a serious situation to report!”
At that moment, Jim’s walkie-talkie suddenly rang. Thinking of the current situation, Jim’s heart skipped a beat.
“We have spotted a figure resembling Phantom Thief on the 18th-floor corridor. The target is moving very fast, and we are about to lose sight of him. Please send backup to block him!”
As soon as this report came in, another piece of information came in.
“Reporting, sir. This is Patrol Team C. We’ve found something at the fourth-floor staircase…”