“If you don’t share someone’s pain, you can never understand them.”
– Nagato (Naruto)
Gotham City Public Library, dining area.
It’s hard to imagine why a library would have a dining area.
Who would be hungry while reading here?
It is very common for a library and a coffee shop to be together, as it’s more in line with the normal habit of reading and having coffee at the same time.
When Dean first entered the dining area, he found the surroundings surprisingly nice.
Although there weren’t many customers eating here, the whole place was very clean and tidy.
The decor was simple and looked like that of McDonald’s.
In fact, compared to a restaurant for new customers, Dean felt that this place was more like the cafeteria of the library.
There were obviously more people wearing librarian uniforms than those who came to read books, which may also be the reason why the meal time has passed.
At this moment, a waiter walked over with a tray of food and placed it on Dean’s table.
“Sir, this is your order for the cheese and beef roll combo. Enjoy your meal.”
The combo meal consisted of two beef rolls, a serving of french fries, and a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade.
The cheese beef rolls were much larger than McDonald’s chicken rolls, and the whole combo meal was quite good and affordable.
According to Barbara’s recommendation of the food being of good quality and a reasonable price, so far it seems she was right.
Dean thanked the waiter, but instead of immediately eating, he looked at the red-haired girl sitting across the table.
“So… why did you come along, Ms. Gordon?”
Dean asked with a strange expression on his face, “Aren’t you supposed to be organizing all those books on the book cart?”
“Actually, that wasn’t my job in the first place.”
Barbara shrugged with boredom, saying, “As you said, my position is one level higher than the other librarians, so my tasks are not about organizing books. Instead, I manage the librarians, even though there aren’t many people for me to manage here.”
“I pushed the cart to organize the books just now mainly because I had nothing else to do and wanted to help the other staff a bit.”
Barbara smirked and added, “But now that I see someone more interesting than organizing books, so I came over.”
“Wow, I’m flattered.”
Dean exaggeratedly replied.
“You probably won’t believe how famous you are. When I was still a student in school, almost every female classmate dreamed of having your autographed photo. Even though I was too busy preparing for my thesis for early graduation and didn’t have the time to pay attention to magic shows or anything like that, I still constantly hear your name from time to time.”
Barbara’s face was serious. The title of Gotham’s genius young magician was quite impressive.
Especially when Dean had a handsome and charming face, it attracted even more young female fans.
If this was the case at the Gotham University where Barbara was, it’s easy to imagine how terrible it would be at the high school Dean himself was in.
Dean couldn’t remember how many girls wanted to date him, but he had always rejected all of them.
Whenever on Valentine’s Day, Dean’s locker or drawers in school would be filled with piles of confession letters, flowers, and chocolates, which had always been a source of distress for him.
This situation also made the boys at school generally unfriendly towards Dean, so he usually only hung out with Dick.
It wasn’t until Dean basically stopped performing on stage in the past two years and his reputation slowly declined that his situation improved a lot.
“Genius young magician? That’s all in the past, just an empty reputation. There are plenty of magicians out there who are more better than me.”
Dean took a bite of his cheese beef roll and chewed it before swallowing. He said, “Like the Zatara family from Gotham City, both of them are top-notch magicians. The younger is even younger than me, and he is considered the number one prodigy magician in Gotham.”
Eating alone can be a bit boring, so Dean started chatting with Barbara.
“Now that you’ve tried the cheese beef roll, how does it taste? Is it amazing?”
Barbara suddenly looked expectantly at Dean and asked.
“Um… it’s pretty good,”
Dean was a bit unsure of how to respond to the question and pondered for a moment before giving an honest answer.
Overall, the taste was good. At least Dean didn’t find any issues with it. It might be slightly better than a regular cheese beef roll.
As for whether it was the “best cheese beef roll in Gotham,” it’s hard to say.
After all, Dean hadn’t tried rolls from other places.
In short, Dean gave his ratings.
“I told you the recipe was good!”
Surprisingly, when Barbara heard Dean’s response, she said excitedly.
“You don’t know, a few days ago, the head chef decided to change the recipe for the cheese beef roll. She thought changing the flavor would attract more customers to eat, but it was a disaster!”
Speaking up to this point, Barbara glanced at the counter discreetly, then leaned closer to Dean and whispered.
“You haven’t tried the other foods in the dining area, so you don’t understand, but believe me, the only thing worth eating here is this beef roll. If they really change the recipe, I’m afraid I’ll have to order takeout every day.”
“But if customers give feedback that the cheese beef roll is delicious, it could convince her not to change the current recipe. Unfortunately, very few people order this food. Luckily, you came today.”
Upon hearing this, Dean fell into deep thought.
‘I don’t know why, but suddenly I feel that the cheese beef roll on the plate tastes different…’
At the same time, the Diamond District of Gotham, an area filled with wealthy people, it is the safest part of the city.
It is also the Penguin’s stronghold, where the Iceberg Lounge is located.
Yes, you heard it right.
The place where Penguin lives is the safest part of Gotham City than the GCPD headquarters and the Old Gotham district where the city government lives.
Inside the Iceberg Lounge, a woman who appeared to be in her forties, perfectly dressed from head to toe, nervously walked into Penguin’s office.
She wore a diamond necklace around her neck, but the diamonds were not the focus of the necklace. Instead, they played a supporting role.
The real treasure was a huge oval-shaped ruby, the size of a palm, hanging from the necklace—a priceless gem.
In the office, Penguin sat alone at his desk, looking at her with a smile on his face.
“Welcome to the Iceberg Lounge, Mrs. Chandler.”
“What do you want from me, Oswald?”
Mrs. Chandler took a deep breath, mustered her courage, and coldly asked.
“Don’t be so rude. I never asked my men to capture you. I simply had them invite you over.”
Penguin still maintained his smile, his gaze fixed on Mrs. Chandler’s chest.
“I have to say, you’ve taken good care of yourself. I remember you’re over sixty now, yet you still look so young. It seems those legends about the Dragon’s Egg Ruby Necklace maintain your youth is true.”
Seeing Penguin’s gaze focused on her necklace, Mrs. Chandler’s expression immediately changed.
“Save it, Oswald. I will never let you take it away!”
“You misunderstand me too deeply. I’m a businessman, not a criminal. Why would I want to take away your most beloved necklace?”
Penguin shook his head slightly and looked like he was ashamed.
“Mrs. Chandler, your necklace is one of Gotham’s most famous treasures, yet it has never been publicly exhibited. So many people can only imagine what it looks like, don’t you think it’s a pity?”
“What are you trying to say?”
Mrs. Chandler said coldly.
“I just believe that the people of Gotham have the right to see this city’s treasure with their own eyes.”
Penguin smiled lightly and kindly said, “So I’ve decided to hold an exhibition soon, and I hope you can agree to exhibit this Dragon’s Egg Ruby Necklace.”