“You need to accept the fact that you’re not the best and have all the will to strive to be better than anyone you face.”
– Roronoa Zoro
“Ah, if Master Bruce were here, he would definitely make the same choice as you.”
Alfred sighed, no longer trying to convince Dick but quickly switching from being Wayne’s butler to Bat-family assistant.
“Do you want to tell Commissioner Gordon that Phantom Thief has already entered the auction venue? We can have the police re-examine the people at the venue.”
“No, we can’t. We don’t have any evidence to prove it to the police. Phantom Thief pointed out my identity in the card, which means this game is meant for me alone.
Dick immediately rejected the advice to seek help from Gordon.
If he revealed to the cops that Phantom Thief had sneaked in without proof, they would be suspicious of him.
The only piece of evidence they had was the card from Phantom Kid, but it said “Robin” instead of “Dick.”
Unless someone else received similar cards, his secret identity could be exposed.
He couldn’t just change into Robin’s suit and ask around because he couldn’t explain the origin of the card.
Besides, Dick could already predict the scene where the police would request facial identification if they saw him.
“How are you going to find Phantom Kid without the assistance of the police? There are nearly a thousand people at the auction!”
Alfred asked in confusion.
“It’s alright. Batman and I have always been supportive of the police, but they’ve never been supportive of us. I can handle this on my own, and… I have some ideas about Phantom Thief’s plan.”
Dick replied and shifted his gaze to the crowd and narrowed his eyes to look at each person.
“I really want to see what surprise Phantom Thief is talking about.”
“What do we do now then?”
Alfred asked as Dick seemed quite confident.
“Of course, we should do what we originally came here to do – have dinner.”
After a while, in the public bathroom at the back of the venue.
Dean took off his last waiter disguise and put on a new one.
That’s right, the waiter who took Alfred and Dick’s orders earlier was actually Dean in disguise.
As for how he managed to get into the auction venue, it started with Dean knocking out the kitchen intern, Tom.
As a Tom, Dean continued to do all the hard work in the kitchen. He took on tasks others didn’t want to do and worked tirelessly and hard.
Seeing a new guy who had just started and wasn’t used to the hard work and putting in so much effort was quite obvious.
Dean quickly exhausted himself, collapsing on the ground unable to even move a finger.
The other chefs couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.
Especially the one who had been constantly ordering Tom to take out the trash.
He thought it was because he had been too irritated to pass it on to Tom and felt guilty for even asking him to take out the trash when the bin was full.
While it seemed strange that Tom suddenly became so hardworking, no one suspected that he was fake.
All of the people who worked in the kitchen had been checked by the cops before, so they believed that their coworkers were real.
Besides, there were surveillance cameras at the back door, and as long as nobody left the monitoring range, there wouldn’t be any trouble.
In addition, everyone was already busy with their own work and didn’t have extra time to think too much.
This was just a normal way of thinking, no one would doubt a person who had already been verified.
That was also the reason Dean chose to disguise himself as Tom.
After all, it was impossible to repeatedly check for every person who had left their sight.
Both the person doing the checking and the person being checked would get frustrated and stop being able to do their jobs because of repeating the checking.
In short, in the eyes of the kitchen staff, Tom’s body was already beyond its limits, and if he continued, there was a possibility that he would collapse.
If it were any other time, it would be fine.
But now, with so many important people in the hotel, they couldn’t afford any accidents at this moment.
So, the exhausted “Tom” was reassigned to a different position, working as a waiter in the restaurant venue, taking orders, and delivering food.
The hotel had kitchens not only on the first floor but on every floor.
The first-floor kitchen was the largest, while the kitchens on the other floors were somewhat smaller.
The main work of the first-floor kitchen was to process ingredients and do some pre-made cooking, and there are only a few dishes were finished.
Then, the processed ingredients and prepared dishes were transported to the kitchens on each floor using the staff elevator, where the final meals were made and served on the dining tables.
In this way, Dean was ordered to push a cart full of ingredients to the 18th-floor kitchen, where he would then begin his role as a waiter.
It didn’t take long for him to notice that Dick and Alfred had arrived.
Dean’s bumping with Vicki Vale and the dropped tray were all planned to deliver the card to Dick.
After delivering the card, Dean quickly left the venue and changed his disguise.
He knew that once Dick saw the card, Dick would suspect the waiter and Vicki Vale.
If Dean continues to maintain his original disguise, he will be exposed.
Although this means that a tray will go missing, there are many staff members in the restaurant who won’t notice for a while.
By the time they did notice, the auction had probably started a long time ago, which would no longer matter to Dean.
Unless Dick revealed the possibility of Phantom Thief disguising as a waiter, Dean was confident that Dick wouldn’t do that, and he couldn’t either because it would expose his secret identity.
Dean glanced at his watch with a sly smile.
“The auction is about to begin. I wonder what Robin will do. Will he run away because I revealed his identity—”
Dean murmured to himself and then turned to look at the big man unconscious and tied up on the toilet.
“Mr. William Ethan?”
Not long after, the auction officially started.
The large curtain separating the auction venue from the entertainment area finally opens, and nearly a thousand upper-class guests enter the auction area, finding seats in rows of tiered seating.
Although the seats do not have names, these guests seem to follow an unspoken rule, purposely choosing their seats rather than sitting randomly.
Which row should they sit in?
Left or right?
Who is sitting next to them?
It seems as if these decisions have already been planned. Perhaps for them, seating arrangements represent their social status.
Even if there are more empty seats in the front row than in the back, those who are not supposed to sit in the front row are obediently squeezed into the back.
However, no matter how important the guests were, the middle seats in the first row remained empty.
It’s not until Dick and Alfred arrive that they naturally sit in the center, and no one dares to object.
Because they represent the uncrowned king of Gotham – The Wayne.