“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
– Winnie the Pooh
In the surveillance footage, every once in a while, Phantom Thief, disguised as ‘Tom,’ would leave the restaurant and appear in the halls.
He kept changing his position, sometimes on the left side and then running to the right side.
Also, he was always with another person or even a group of people, making it difficult to spot him alone.
As a result, the police in the surveillance room spent a long time watching the footage but couldn’t see anything suspicious because there were so many people dressed like Tom in the hallway.
Tom was wearing the clothes that waiters wear.
In addition, Phantom Thief always stuck with others, never making any obvious suspicious movements.
If they hadn’t known in advance that something was off about ‘Tom,’ it would have been difficult for anyone to find out what was wrong.
The surveillance only covered a small area, with only fifteen cameras installed on the entire 18th floor to monitor the main halls and important areas.
There was only one camera installed in the public entertainment area, and there were no cameras in the auction area.
The reason was simple.
Gotham’s arrogant upper-class elites highly valued their privacy.
They didn’t like being watched, and they didn’t like seeing a group of cops in police uniforms standing in sight.
Therefore, if Gordon wanted to know what was happening inside, he could only rely on the dozens of undercover cops he had placed inside.
Moreover, only important areas in the halls were under surveillance.
After all, this was a hotel, not a prison, so it is impossible to consider installing 360-degree surveillance.
“Here, here, and here, rewind the footage seven minutes, twenty-two minutes, and seventeen minutes,”
Robin suddenly pointed to three of the surveillance screens.
“Do as he says,”
Gordon immediately instructed.
The officers quickly adjusted the screens to the mentioned time points. In all three footage, they could see ‘Tom.’
“Pay attention to this. Although these are footage from three different camera angles, they were actually taken from the same location,”
Robin pointed it out.
“Yes, it’s a corner, and the three cameras are located in the middle of two halls and at the top of the corner,”
The police officers agreed.
“Look at Phantom Thief in these scenes. He appeared in different positions, but in the three camera footage, he discreetly looked in the same direction at this corner. He passed through this corner three times, and his gaze was always focused in one direction. Isn’t that strange?”
Robin’s eyes deepened. “What does he need to repeatedly confirm there?”
“Notify the nearby patrol team to go there immediately,”
Gordon quickly responded, preparing to give orders to his subordinates to check the corner.
“No, Commissioner Gordon, I can handle it alone,”
Robin stopped Gordon’s action and solemnly said, “We can’t be sure if Phantom Thief has set up a trap there and it’s too dangerous to send GCPD officers to investigate,”
“You’re still a minor, and sending you alone is more dangerous!”
Gordon frowned and retorted.
“Don’t underestimate me. I’ve faced monsters that you couldn’t even dream of.”
Robin replied with a slight smile and patted his chest.
“Besides, you have more important things to do. The situation at the auction venue is unclear, and I suspect that Phantom Thief might have already infiltrated there. If you conduct a thorough search of the people at the venue, you might have a chance to force him out,”
After saying that, Robin quickly left the surveillance room without looking back.
Gordon hurriedly followed.
However, when he rushed out of the surveillance room, there was no sign of Robin.
The whole process took only two or three seconds, and Robin disappeared from Gordon’s line of sight in the blink of an eye.
“Shit! Not again…”
Gordon couldn’t help but curse.
How did the Bat-family learn these disappearing skills?
He had even privately asked Batman if he had the ability to teleport instantly, but Batman didn’t say anything, and Gordon didn’t ask anymore.
Because the dumbfounded look in Batman’s eyes had already given Gordon the answer…
“The time now is 23:35, and there are still twenty-five minutes left until Phantom Thief’s notice time. If he’s a on time person, then I still have time.”
Leaving the 20th-floor surveillance room, Robin ran as fast as he could, quickly arriving at the corner shown in the surveillance footage.
He carefully observed the corner, recalling where Phantom Thief appeared in the surveillance and the direction he was looking at.
Putting it all together, Robin found that there was a blind spot in the surveillance about five steps away from his current position at nine o’clock.
Then, Robin looked up at the ceiling of the blind spot and saw a ventilation duct with obvious signs of removal.
On this floor, there were many similar ventilation ducts, but most of them were within the surveillance range, except for this one in the blind spot.
“I see now. He was looking for this.”
Robin pondered, “Following the usual ventilation design, from here, he can quickly reach… Could it be?”
Suddenly, a flash of understanding struck Robin, and he revealed a smile of victory, “I see.”
At this moment, he checked the time again: 23:40.
There was still enough time.
Robin took out a Grapple Gun and shot it towards the ventilation duct. The loosened iron wire mesh was easily pulled down by the hook.
Then Robin put away his Grapple Gun, jumped up, and clung to the ventilation duct, effortlessly climbing up.
A few minutes later, Robin used his elbow to push open the wire mesh of another ventilation duct and jumped down.
He entered a closed room with no lights and no doors or windows, and the only source of light was coming from behind a curtain.
He could also hear some kind of ticking sound.
‘It seems I’ve reached the temporary storage for auction items,’
Robin thought, looking towards the back of the room, where rows of tables displayed various items stored in glass cabinets, all of which were up for bidding today.
However, Phantom Thief’s target, the “Pink Fantasy,” was not there.
The most valuable treasures were kept in another secret vault until the final moment of the auction.
“A grand and luxurious banquet of nobles, where no one remembers the tragedy of Troy… So that’s what it means,” Robin pondered.
He walked over to a corner and looked at an odd wooden box, which appeared to be the second-to-last item on display according to the item numbers.
The box wasn’t very large, and it didn’t have a lock. It looked quite new and not like a valuable antique at all.
“This is probably something Phantom Thief dropped. What could be inside?”
Robin wondered, hesitating about whether to open it.
After a moment’s thinking, Robin decisively took out a gas mask and put it on before opening the wooden box.
There was a sudden explosion-like sound, and a white flag popped out from the bottom of the box.
On the flag, there was a cartoon portrait of Phantom Thief and a striking slogan are painted on the flag.
“Surprised or not? Unexpected, isn’t it?”
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