Phantom Kid in the World of American Comics - Chapter 41
”Well, it’s pretty much the same as what we have just discussed earlier.”
Starling nodded, affirming Barbara’s words.
The target was the Queen of the UK, and to associate her with the Twelve Knights of the Round Table couldn’t be more accurate.
”Let’s start with what you think these particular letters represent.”
It was now that Barbara was really getting the attention of the agents.
”Following the guidance of fate
Q will finally set foot on the land to reproduce the prophecy
When L commits an unforgivable sin, he is replaced by the most gracious G
B can only make the final decision
Because the cunning M is ready to pierce K’s heart!”
What exactly do Q, L, G, B, M and K stand for?
”There is no knight beginning with Q in the Knights of the Round Table, so Q would represent ‘Queen,’ which is Her Majesty.”
”The phrase means that Phantom Kid will only appear when the Queen arrives somewhere.”
”I don’t have a clue as to where this prophetic land is.”
Barbara looked to Mathison as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she couldn’t be the only one having a hard time.
Everyone looked at Mathison and he had no choice but to continue adding:
”L and G should, obviously, stand for the two knights Lancelot and Gawain.”
”The reason is simple: the only one of the twelve Knights of the Round Table who committed a felony and was banned by King Arthur was Lancelot.”
”And poise happens to be the quality for which Gawain is best known.”
”B is for Bedevere, I think.”
”Why not Bowser?”
As Mathison spoke, Bean suddenly spoke up and interrupted him.
He was from the UK and had grown up listening to the legends of King Arthur, and was undoubtedly the most familiar with the Knights of the Round Table of those present.
Although Tucker was also a UK native, the younger generation was rarely interested in those old legends anymore, and video games were their favourite activity.
In this respect, Tucker didn’t really know as much as Bean.
”I was hesitant at first as to which knight B would be, but the ‘final decision’ made my mind up.”
Mathison uttered his “reasoning” without hesitation.
”The final decision refers to the fact that when King Arthur was defeated, he ordered Bedevere to throw the holy sword into the lake, but Bedevere hesitated three times before making his decision.”
Having said that, Mathison also looked at Barbara, signalling with his eyes that the rest was up to her.
Barbara bristled, «what a petty man, couldn’t he see that he was talking so much to the point that he stole all the spotlights?»
The two younglings’ small gestures caught Gordon’s eye. When he thought of the other thing Barbara had just said to herself, he couldn’t help but sigh.
”The last ones, M and K…”
”Let me do the rest.”
Starling smiled intellectually.
”The M refers to the rebellious knight Mordred and the K no doubt stands in for King Arthur who is King.”
”The metaphor for piercing the heart is the Battle of Camlann, where Mordred pierced King Arthur’s heart with a sword.”
”There is another layer of meaning to this: King Arthur is rumored to possess the heart of a red dragon, which alludes to the Queen’s beloved object, the Tamil Ruby. Hence, Mordred would be a reference to Phantom Kid himself.”
At the end of the speech, Agent Bob jumped in as well.
”So the interpretation of the last sentence is that Phantom Kid could have long ago disguised as someone who, at any moment, would suddenly steal the jewel, just like Mordred.”
”The timing, well, it’s the land of prophecy as stated in the first sentence.”
In this way, the contents of the foretelling letter were sort of dismantled, but not yet fully unravelled.
”Apart from not knowing where the land of prophecy is, what was the point of his mentioning the three knights Lancelot, Gawain, and Bedevere?”, Gordon asked.
Barbara blushed with embarrassment, glanced quickly at Mathison and said, “That… we hadn’t thought of either…”
”It’s okay, this was just good enough.”, Starling smiled gently.
”Sir, you should have solved all this already.”, Agent Bean’s little fanboy Tucker suddenly asked Bean quietly.
”The reason you didn’t open your mouth was actually because you didn’t want to steal the spotlights, right?”
”You should have already solved the parts of the letter that they couldn’t solve. Now, it’s time for you to speak, let them see how powerful MI7 is!”
The whole time, Bean has been sitting upright, listening to the interpretations of the crowd, but by all rights, Bean, as the most familiar of these men with the legend of King Arthur, should theoretically have been the first to unravel this information.
However, as Tucker whispered these words in his ear with an adoring look on his face, all that went through Agent Bean’s mind were three big question marks.
«How was the teaser letter cracked?»
«How come I still don’t have a clue?»
However, in front of his little fanboy, Agent Bean must maintain a good image. Although he knows nothing, he mustn’t lose his charm.
Bean smiled and quietly said, “Tucker, we have to trust our allies a little more, they are all very smart, sooner or later they will solve the rest by themselves.”
”But won’t that delay things? In case they couldn’t solve it until Phantom Kid strikes…”
”Oh… Tucker, you’re still too young.”, Bean said with a fake sneer.
Tucker looked at him with a confused look on his face.
”Do you think that’s really all the information they’ve solved?”
Hearing that, Tucker was shocked and looked at Bean in surprise.
”My guess is that… Phantom Kid has long since disguised himself as someone, maybe even among us!”
Bean pretended to tell the truth, and in Tucker’s eyes, his own Bean old-timer was so serious, so wise, so… ugh…
In short, admiration for Agent Bean filled Tucker’s heart.
”I understand, sir, if Phantom Kid, who is hiding among us, hears that his teaser letter has been deciphered, he will probably change his plan temporarily, and then our time-consuming and laborious deciphering will be wasted!”
After hearing Bean’s words, Tucker dared not speak up, but only looked at the others a little more cautiously.
Time passed quickly, Mathison and the others had eaten and drunk enough.
The banquet was coming to an end.
The discussion about the Land of Prophecy and the Three Knights never came to a result that everyone agreed on, and as to whether anyone was hiding their thoughts, Mathison’s opinion was similar to Bean’s.
He didn’t think he was some being with some superintelligence, and the riddles were not so complicated that they could be easily solved.
Both Starling and Bob were shrewd agents with a fine mind, and whether the teaser letter had been solved in its entirety by now, Mathison was not sure.
But as a thief, it didn’t matter if they had solved the teaser letter.
Because even if they do, the letter in itself is meaningless.
It was just a dummy, a distraction, for Kid to steal the treasure in front of them and then escape openly, without them knowing anything.
That was Phantom Kid’s style!
That’s how arrogant he is!
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