“I was complaining that I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet.”
Ahem… cough cough!
As expected, Dick tries to shove so much food into his mouth that he chokes on it.
Alfred, next to him had expected this and quickly handed him a glass of water.
Dick gulped it down and felt much better.
“Thanks, Alfred, and I’m already full.”
Dick said as he reached for Phantom Thief Kid’s notice to continue his thoughts.
“Master Richard, I don’t remember the last time I saw you so involved in a case. Is this Phantom Thief really that difficult to deal with?”
“Difficult to deal with?”
Dick pondered for a moment, then shook his head.
“It’s hard to say. He doesn’t have Killer Croc’s immense strength, or Two-Face’s twisted mind, or the extreme madness of the Joker, nor the brutality of any murderer.”
“Even when it comes to intelligence, I don’t think he can surpass Riddler.”
Dick recalled the scene of his first encounter with Phantom Thief Kid and said with a serious tone, “But there’s something unusual about him. His attitude, his methods, it’s the opposite of any criminal I’ve encountered.”
“Instead of thinking about how to defeat him, I’d rather understand why he’s doing these things. I want to convince him to leave this path.”
“Like what Bruce tried to do with Selina Kyle?”
Dick pauses for a moment, then gestures with his hands, “There’s a difference. At least Selina is a total beauty. Bruce was really lucky. I just wish Phantom Thief was…”
“Are you sure you’re not underestimating Phantom Thief’s abilities, Master Richard?”
Alfred looked at Dick and reminded him.
“As you said, Phantom Thief lacks the strengths that other supervillains have, just like Catwoman. But when Batman chased Catwoman, it was a long and tug-of-war.”
“Perhaps getting some help would help you capture Phantom Thief faster and convince him to change his path.”
Alfred suggested a reasonable suggestion. But Dick rejected it without hesitation.
“I can handle this on my own, Alfred. When I had to leave Gotham and temporarily focus on the Teen Titans, Batman did just fine. If Bruce can do it, then so can I!”
“And right now, Bruce is dealing with Justice League matters. Who can help me? Barbara? It’s been less than half a year since Bruce agreed to let her be Batgirl. She doesn’t have much experience.”
At this point, Alfred pointed to himself and said, “Master Richard, I’m not so old that I can’t walk around.”
“The auction at Gotham International Hotel starts with entry at four in the afternoon, and the official bidding starts at nine in the evening, lasting until midnight. No one can guarantee when Phantom Thief will move.”
Alfred shares his thoughts, “Master Richard, after such a long time, you can’t possibly go into the hotel wearing Robin’s suit or just keep waiting outside the hotel, right?”
Dick had his first meeting with Phantom Thief Kid, and it didn’t go well because he waited outside instead of being inside at the scene.
“Alfred, are you saying that you and I will go to the auction directly in the name of the Wayne Family and wait for Phantom Thief Kid to appear?”
“You are still a minor, it’s only natural for you to be accompanied by me, your butler.”
Alfred said. “Besides, even without Phantom Thief Kid’s situation, I hope you can participate in more activities.”
“Thank you for your suggestion, Alfred. Let’s go together to the auction. But I’ll pass on the activities. The Teen Titans’ group activities are enough to give me a headache…”
Dick nodded seriously and agreed to Alfred’s plan.
In response to Phantom Thief, Robin, GCPD, and even Penguin each came up with their own strategies.
On the other hand, the mastermind behind all of this, Phantom Thief, wasn’t sitting idle either.
For more than a week before the start of the auction, Dean either focused on improving his skills or went out to gather information.
From time to time, Dean would question Dick for any hints to confirm if he needed to adjust his plans.
It’s a pity that Dick wasn’t Ginzo Nakamori, and the difficulty of his set of words is not ordinary, and Dean actually didn’t get much useful information.
However, Dean discovered that Dick would attend the auction as a representative of Wayne Group with Alfred.
This could be considered important information.
Time passed slowly, and soon it was the day of the auction.
On this day, before the operation, Dean took a nice nap and didn’t get up until after five o’clock in the afternoon to maintain the best mental state during the night operation.
Dean took all the gadgets he had prepared in advance and headed for the Gotham International Hotel.
By the time he arrived, it had already been an hour since the start of the auction, but Dean remained calm.
Based on his week-long investigation, the most critical moment was still an hour and a half away.
After some time, at Gotham International Hotel.
There was a lot going on in the kitchen on the ground floor, and everyone did their best and showed off how good they were at cooking.
Because the auction is too long, they won’t allow the bidders to go hungry, especially since they are members of Gotham’s upper class.
Therefore, the hotel is responsible for catering during this time, and all the pressure falls on the kitchen.
If a VIP didn’t enjoy their meal because of a mistake, there would be serious consequences.
Even before the auction started, there was a lot going on in the kitchen. The kitchen was busy making sure that fresh ingredients were brought to the restaurant every minute during the auction.
Even though no one would eat them, they couldn’t be lazy.
As a result, a large amount of food was going to be wasted.
“Tom, are you blind? The garbage bin is almost full again. Hurry up and take it out!”
In the kitchen, an older staff member in charge of making seafood sashimi pointed at the bin filled with different organs of an animal and shouted at a nearby intern.
“I’ve got it, I’ll take it out right now!”
The intern, Tom, who had only been there for two months, hurriedly ran over and picked up the garbage bin.
It was obvious he wasn’t used to the sudden increase in workload.
Tom carried the garbage can, filled with a reeked of blood, walked out of the back door, and emptied all the waste into the large trash bin while holding his nose.
He repeated this more than twenty times today, as he was responsible for disposing of almost all the kitchen garbage bins.
Whether it was seafood offal, poultry bones, or fruit peels, he was getting sick of dealing with all kinds of kitchen waste.
In fact, he had already thrown up once.
Of course, his job wasn’t just throwing out the trash, he also had to do odd jobs like cleaning the floor.
“I really need to take a break.”
Tom walked towards the side, leaning against the wall for a moment to rest.
He thought he could finally have a moment of peace away from the bad smell near the trash can and out of sight of the surveillance camera above the back door.
“You really do need to take a break.”
At this moment, a strange voice suddenly sounded from behind him.