"Everyone wants to be the sun to brighten up someone's life, but why not be the moon to shine on someone's darkest hour?"
- David Copeland
As soon as Robin saw the flag, he realized that he had been tricked by the Phantom Thief.
At first, Robin thought that Phantom Thief planned to replace the auction item with something of his own, like the wooden box in front of him.
He suspected that the box probably had some remote-controlled mechanism or timed device.
That would release a large amount of hypnotic smoke, tear gas, or even deadly poison when activated, either by pressing a remote control or reaching a specific time.
Of course, based on Phantom Thief's previous crimes, Robin believed that he probably wouldn't choose to kill.
But it's always better to be safe than sorry. No one could be sure if Phantom Thief was an insane killer who enjoyed hiding his true nature.
Robin guessed that Phantom Thief had timed it perfectly so that this wooden box would be brought up for bidding just before midnight.
When the host introduced the item, the switch would be activated, creating chaos and allowing Phantom Thief to steal the "Pink Fantasy" in the middle of it.
It sounded like something out of an action movie, but there was actually a chance for it to happen.
Phantom Thief had already infiltrated the venue where the auction items were being kept, which means he knew the number and order of the auction items in advance.
With this knowledge, he could intentionally bid high to scare off other bidders and quickly move on to the next item or slowly increase the bid to extend the bidding time.
So that he could manipulate the amount of time for the auction.
As for whether Phantom Thief had enough money to bid, it doesn't matter at all.
After all, he wouldn't participate in the bidding using his real identity, but he would definitely disguise himself as someone else.
What's more, Phantom Thief could even pretend to be the host and personally control the speed of the entire auction.
In short, these things weren't too hard for Phantom Thief to do.
Until a few minutes ago, Robin had been thinking this way.
He plans to deal with Phantom Thief's surprise here, while Gordon and the others would start investigating everyone at the auction venue and finally expose Phantom Thief's true identity, and everything would end happily.
However, this time was different from the last one at the museum.
During the museum stealing, no one knew where Phantom Thief would appear or escape from.
So the police had to be spread out all over the place.
Now, most of the police force was concentrated on the eighteenth floor, and the entire auction venue was heavily guarded by the GCPD.
In this situation, it was nearly impossible for Phantom to escape.
But the result was that Phantom Thief had not left any trap or mechanism here, which meant Robin's analysis was wrong.
Well, to be precise, there was a trap, It's just that the purpose of this surprise was more like a joke played on Robin.
In the surveillance footage, Phantom Thief purposely glanced at the ventilation duct in the hidden corner three times.
This small detail tricked Robin, making him believe that it was the key to solving Phantom Thief's plan.
However, it turned out to be a trap set by Phantom Thief.
"The trap has been triggered,"
At the same time, Dean smirked happily while watching the show on his phone from his hidden location.
"Heh, Dick, I knew someone as smart as you would be deceived. This is what they call being outsmarted by your own intelligence."
"The countdown begins."
Suddenly, Robin realized he had almost missed an important issue.
"Phantom Thief tricked me into coming here, but what is his real plan... Oh no! It's already 23:58!"
Robin checked his watch, and his pupils shrank in panic.
He immediately rushed out of the room, passing through the curtains and entering the auction scene.
To his surprise, the upper-class people bidders who were eagerly bidding just minutes ago were now suddenly forming a line to leave.
The auction wasn't over yet, so why was everyone leaving?
Looking at the rows of GCPD officers nearby, Robin immediately understood what was happening.
Gordon had brought in a large force to check everyone at the auction, and now all the people were under police control.
'Now Phantom Thief probably won't dare to make a move easily, unless he's not among these people...'
Robin silently pondered as he observed the crowd in front of him.
'He probably can't play the power blackout trick this time. Based on the surveillance footage from these hours, apart from the trap that misled me, Phantom Thief shouldn't have had time to set up any other traps.'
However...why did everything feel a little off?
Just as he was thinking about this, a loud noises sounded without any warning.
Next, the lights in the entire auction hall suddenly went out, leaving only the screen on the stage brightened.
"What! How is this possible?"
Robin couldn't believe his eyes as he looked at the suddenly darkened venue.
"I checked all the surveillance records for the past few days, and there's no way anyone could tamper with the power supply... Wait, could it be—"
At that moment, Robin finally understood why Phantom Thief had misled him to find that "surprise."
Everything was for the sake of creating a time difference.
By sending out that card from the restaurant, Robin was aware that Phantom Thief was probably disguised as a waiter, and all the preparations Phantom Thief made were to create a time difference.
Knowing that Phantom Thief had already infiltrated, Robin had to catch him before Phantom Thief made a move.
Since there were no clues to be found, Robin would naturally try to follow any trace Phantom Thief might leave behind.
That brought him to the waiter named 'Tom.'
By tracking 'Tom,' who was supposed to be Phantom Thief in disguise, there was a chance to find Phantom Thief's flaws.
In this way, Robin would naturally investigate all the surveillance records of 'Tom.'
As Tom had appeared in almost all areas of the 18th floor at different times, which meant that all surveillance footage would be adjusted backward in time.
When watching the surveillance footage, the "current" footage would be hidden from the view of the surveillance room, because they would be watching "past" footage.
Even if Phantom Thief had made some moves during this period and been recorded by the surveillance cameras, the surveillance room personnel wouldn't see it.
As long as his actions were fast enough, he could create a perfect time difference.
Thinking about this, Robin couldn't help but be shocked by Phantom Thief's courage.
If Robin had discovered the ventilation duct before Phantom tampered with the power supply, causing the surveillance records to return to the normal time...
Then all of Phantom Thief's plans would have failed.
Just at this moment, a spotlight suddenly turned on, lighting the center of the stage.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!"
A pure and majestic figure appeared in this spotlight.
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