A hero would sacrifice you to save the world, but a villain would sacrifice the world to save you.
– Lelouch vi Britannia
“Hello, everyone. I am the executive manager of this hotel, Joey Cicero. Welcome guests to our hotel and participate in this auction.”
On the stage of the auction, Manager Cicero held a microphone and smiled as he gave his opening speech to the upper-class audience below.
“Now in front of me is the first auction item of the day—a vintage pocket watch.”
In front of him was a table with a gavel and an old-looking pocket watch.
Behind Joey, a large screen was set up, which displayed the details of the pocket watch.
“This pocket watch comes from Gotham’s famous Elliott family, and over a century ago, Edward Elliott, the head of the Elliott family, spent a lot of money to invite world-class craftsmen to make it…”
Joey talked endlessly about the history of the antique pocket watch.
In the audience, Dick pretended to listen with great interest, but his mind was somewhere else.
‘Phantom Thief’s target should be the pink diamond, and the time for him to do it will definitely be the moment when zero arrives…’
Dick pondered secretly.
‘Why did he send out a message in advance and challenge me to find him when nobody noticed him sneaking in? He could have stayed hidden until the right moment.’
‘Is he so confident that I won’t reveal his disguise before the time arrives? Or is this just part of his plan?’
He held the two cards from Phantom Thief in his hands, one was the notice, and the other was the challenge.
Dick compared the contents of the two cards and pondered intensely.
‘Let me think, if I were Phantom Thief, what would be the last thing I would want to do right now…’
At the same time, on the rooftop of a building across from the hotel, several snipers aimed their weapons at the hotel, exactly at the 18th-floor auction venue.
Beside the snipers, one of Penguin’s henchmen, Ignatius took out his phone and made a call.
“What’s the matter, Ignatius?”
The call connected not long after, and a female voice came from the other phone.
“Lark, are you inside the auction? “
“I’m sitting in a corner, watching these rich people fight over a bunch of old junk of metal as if it’s worth anything. William Ethan is with me too.”
The woman named Lark replied impatiently.
“It’s still a long time before that fake gem comes out. Get to the point; what do you want?”
“Just be careful what you say inside the venue, don’t let anyone hear you.”
Ignatius warned with a frown.
“Hah! Are you doubting my abilities? Don’t forget, I’ve been working for the boss much longer than you. As long as I don’t want to, no one can hear me speak.”
“As you wish. Anyway, if anything goes wrong, you’re responsible… Have you seen any sign of the Phantom Thief?”
Ignatius asked and changed the subject.
“No, if I saw him, he’d be dead by now.”
Lark’s tone was full of arrogance as if she didn’t care about Phantom Thief at all.
“It’s good to be confident, Lark. I hope you can live up to that confidence.”
Ignatius’ eyes sparkled with a mysterious light as he chuckled.
“If everything goes as planned, Phantom Thief will reveal himself at midnight. I called to remind you not to forget what the boss orders. Don’t do anything to Phantom Thief right away, let GCPD deal with him first. We’ll stay out of it if we can.”
Lark coldly snorted and hung up the phone, not sure if she agreed or not.
“Lark, what did Mr. Ignatius say when he called? Did the boss have new orders?”
Beside her, a middle-aged man in a blue suit with a flattering smile asked.
This man was William Ethan, the head of Ethan International Shipping Company, who Dean had recently tied up and left unconscious in the bathroom.
So, how did William Ethan end up at the auction venue instead of being trapped in the restroom?
The answer was simple; the person pretending to be William Ethan was actually Dean in disguise.
It wasn’t an easy task for Dean to copy William Ethan, as there was a big size difference between them.
He had to squeeze his clothes with a lot of things to look convincing.
“No, he’s just making fun of me and wasting my time!”
Lark said unhappily.
“You seem to have a lot of grudges against Mr. Ignatius. Both of you are the boss’s most trusted confidant, so why do you seem to have such deep hatred?”
Dean, disguised as William, asked curiously.
Hearing this, Lark sneered and said, “The most trusted confidant? What makes him deserve that title? I’ve been by the boss’s side for ten years, and I’ve taken care of countless enemies for him. I also manage the biggest money-making Iceberg Casino in Penguin Gang’s Empire!”
The Iceberg Casino?
A gleam flashed in Dean’s eyes.
The place was said to be where the Penguin had built his empire.
He couldn’t believe it was being run by the woman in front of him, who didn’t seem particularly smart.
He couldn’t help but wonder if Penguin trusted Lark so much or if she had some great talents.
“What’s Ignatius worth? He only joined the gang three years ago and does nothing more than collect debts, horse betting, gambling, and being a thug. He’s not even qualified to meet the boss everyday, and he’s only been around for two years!”
“If it weren’t for some luck that brought him to boss’s attention during a gang war last year, he would still be a nobody. He came up with a few ideas that impressed the boss and suddenly became some sort of advisor.”
Lark’s face was filled with disdain.
“Just a year ago, he was just a nobody, so why did he become the boss’s most trusted confidant?”
Dean had something in mind but wasn’t sure if he should say it.
According to Lark, she had been in the gang for ten years, but she still acted brainlessly and acted everything with violence.
On the other hand, Ignatius had good ideas during the gang war that impressed the Penguin and turned him from a nobody into a useful advisor.
A position that took ten years for someone like Lark to do, Ignatius managed to climb up in just one year.
Dean couldn’t help but shake his head.
As the saying goes, a small-time gangster will always small-time gangster all his life if he doesn’t use his brains.
However, for Dean, it was actually a good thing that this person wasn’t smart.
From the moment he entered the auction venue until now, Dean had been slowly taking information from Lark.
Suddenly, Dean’s eyes flickered as he looked down at the front row below.
He noticed that the central seat, which belonged to Dick Grayson, had become empty without him realizing it.
Only Alfred remained sitting in his original position.