“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didnt exist.”
– Keyser Söze (The Usual Suspects)
As soon as they reached the eighteenth floor, Dick and Alfred noticed that the number of police officers was several times more than at the entrance.
As they walked out of the elevator, they encountered at least three guards at every corner and even five officers at some important areas.
There were also patrol teams passing by the hall from time to time.
A patrol team is made up of two people. There are a total of ten patrol teams, and they switch every five minutes.
The defense seemed quite tight, with sharp police officers armed with guns everywhere.
However, once Dick and Alfred entered the auction venue, the tense surroundings suddenly eased quite a bit.
The venue was divided into two parts. The first half is an entertainment area with a restaurant, ballroom, and bars, while the second half is the actual auction venue.
The large restaurant already seated hundreds of people who were enjoying foods made from rare ingredients on their tables.
Next to the restaurant area was a big ballroom where pairs of ladies and gentlemen danced together to beautiful music.
There were also many reporters in the venue, and they kept taking pictures of the group of celebrities and the upper class.
In the deeper parts of the ballroom and restaurant, there was another huge space.
The two areas are separated by a huge, bright red curtain.
From the gap between the curtains, one could see rows of tiered seats, showing that this was where the auction would happen.
All the auction items, including the world’s largest pink diamond, “Pink Fantasy,” were currently stored in a storage room behind the auction venue.
Although there were already many guests in the venue, Dick noticed that there didn’t seem to be any GCPD police officers present.
He wondered if Gordon didn’t arrange any personnel inside the venue or if undercover officers were hidden among the crowd.
For the most wealthy people in Gotham, the most important thing about an auction is not what good things they can find.
After all, most of the auction items were brought in by themselves, and it was just a game of exchange between families, with things going from one family to another and then back to the first family.
For them, this was more like a social gathering to strengthen connections with other families, there are also some dirty deals happening here.
Of course, there are people who have a lot of money, but they don’t have anywhere to spend it and don’t want to buy boring things.
They only participated in auctions to satisfy their pleasure desires.
The Phantom Thief’s notice letter has attracted a lot of attention from the outside world. But these people didn’t seem to know anything about it.
They ate, drank, and played without worrying about or mentioning the Phantom Thief.
It was as if they didn’t care about him at all.
As Dick looked at these upper-class people in front of him, who were so addicted to their wild lifestyles and behaviors, he couldn’t help but feel annoyed.
Alfred noticed Dick’s expression and calmly smiled, saying, “Don’t worry about other people’s thoughts or how they behave. You can’t change them, and they don’t want to change either. We just need to focus on what we’re here for.”
“I know you don’t like the group of people in front of us. I can tell you that Master Bruce disgusts them even more. But the majority of the city’s resources are in the hands of these upper class. That’s why Master Bruce wears a mask and hangs out with them every day. This is the only way he can use them and give this place a small chance of improving the city.”
“Master Dick, I noticed a few tables with Romanian meat rolls and Italian creamy mushroom sauce. It’s dinner time, so let’s fill our stomachs first.”
Dick nodded helplessly and followed Alfred to the restaurant area, finding a corner to sit down.
Shortly after they sat down, a young waiter holding a menu and an empty tray approached them with a smile and asked, “May I take your order?”
The menu only had the names of the foods and no prices. This was not to trick the guests, but because all of the food and drinks were free.
The hotel was not the organizer of the auction; it just rented this floor as a place for the auction and made a lot of money just for that, and there are even more hidden profits.
Naturally, they wouldn’t charge additional fees for these regular services.
The young waiter took out a pen and started writing down the food that the two people ordered while listening.
During this process, Dick didn’t say a word, it was all Alfred listing the food.
“One Cannes Seafood Caviar Platter, two Romanian Meat Rolls, one Norwegian Smoked Salmon, one Burgundy Herb-Baked Escargot, one Bluefin Tuna Sashimi, one Creamed Corn Soup… Is that all, right?”
After confirming the order, the waiter repeated it back and then left with the menu and an empty tray.
As he turned around, a beautiful woman with blond hair passed by, and the two accidentally collided.
The woman stumbled and was about to fall backward. Alfred, who was closest to her, quickly reached out and caught her.
The waiter was fine, but the empty tray in his hands was knocked off and fell upside down on the floor.
But at this moment, he didn’t care about the tray. Instead, he quickly helped the woman up and kept apologizing, his face full of panic.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, I didn’t mean to! I… I didn’t know you were behind me!”
The waiter wished he could slap himself dozens of times. Anyone attending the auction would be someone he couldn’t afford to offend.
Now, he nearly knocked someone down. If the other person got angry, he would have no place in Gotham.
“It’s okay, I’m fine.”
The blonde woman got back on her feet and straightened herself, then smiled at the waiter.
“I should be the one apologizing. I was in a hurry and didn’t notice you were about to turn around.”
“You don’t blame me?”
The waiter couldn’t believe his ears.
“It’s a little incident; there’s no need to blame anyone,” she said, waving her hand.
“The restaurant is crowded, and I’m sure you must be busy. I hope I didn’t disrupt your work.”
Upon hearing this, the waiter felt as if he had been given mercy and quickly left the scene.
“You… You’re Miss Vicki Vale, right?”
At this moment, Alfred looked at the blonde woman and asked.
Hearing her name, Vicki looked at the person who had helped her and realized why he looked familiar.
“It’s you, Alfred?”