Phantom Kid in the World of American Comics - Chapter 42
”Obviously you said you were going to see Her Majesty, but instead, you didn’t even dare to go up and kept sitting all the time.
After the party was over, Mathison and Barbara walked home.
Because of work, Gordon will be staying inside the State Guest House for an extended period. Hence, only the two of them left.
”That’s Her Majesty, the Queen. Many people in the world would be out of reach to meet her, how dare I go and talk to her?”
Barbara said in a bad mood.
”It’s rare enough that we have looked at the Queen from such close distance.”
Mathison was silent and couldn’t comment on Barbara’s words.
”Then again, why are you still following me? Your house should be in that direction.”
As he walked on, Mathison suddenly turned back to Barbara.
Although the distance between Mathison’s house and Barbara’s was no more than a kilometre, that wasn’t enough reason for the two to walk along with each other.
The two had come to a split path, sandwiched between their homes.
”I don’t have my keys.”
”Isn’t James Jr. home? He can open the door for you.”
”… There’s a campout at the high school today and he won’t be home for a few days.”
”… Isn’t it a day off today?”
”It’s just because it’s a day off that the event is taking place, otherwise, such campouts don’t happen on school days?”
”Is that so?”
Mathison looked at Barbara with a suspicious look; as far as he could remember when he used to go to secondary school, things like camping events hardly ever took one day.
After all, teachers needed a break too, didn’t they…
But since Barbara had said so, it wasn’t entirely out of question.
”Well, you can ask someone to unlock the door for you.”
”Look at what time it is now. The lock repair workers have already finished by now… and don’t you think it’s dangerous to let me go back alone this late at night?”
Mathison was tempted to say, «It’s probably not even more than six hundred metres from here to your house, I can see straight into your house …»
”Why are your house lights … on?”
Barbara was startled at his observation and turned around to see that, indeed, the lights were on, as bright as day, at her own house.
Barbara silently grunted and decided to punish her brother after going back. She laughed dryly, “Uh-huh… I just remembered that I forgot to turn off the lights when I left.”
The corners of Mathison’s mouth twitched, «what the hell does this girl want?»
«Do you know that it’s dangerous for a girl to stay in a single male’s house!»
He wouldn’t have minded if it were a normal situation, but things are different now, and he wasn’t in the mood to mess around with Barbara.
After all, the party had taught him how powerful his opponents were, and that Queen Elizabeth might not have only these guards on the surface, but that there might be some mysterious figures protecting her from the shadows.
Although he already had a plan of action himself, he had to think about it extensively, especially with the presence of Agent Bean and Batman.
God knows how far his red magic, luck, and intelligence could lead him to.
«Gotta figure out how to deal with those two.»
No matter how difficult it is to deal with other people, Kid could still find weaknesses through his common sense. The main thing to do now was to stay away from all shopping malls and furniture stores to not run into Agent Bob.
«It is better to scoop Barbara out of the way now, so she wouldn’t disturb me.»
”So… aren’t you just going to book a hotel room for the night?”
Mathison wasn’t playing around.
Should have she just clearly asked him to stay with her for the night?
How can he say that to a girl?
Is Mathison really this stupid?
She couldn’t just give up.
Thinking about Daisy’s words, not so long ago, when she said that Mathison is too slow and that she needed to take more initiative, Barbara gave herself a mental pep talk.
«Barbara, go for it!»
”What I meant to say is… can’t you just…”
Barbara suddenly looked cold and stared at Mathison with dissatisfaction.
«Nah, I can’t, I can’t just punch him…»
In Suite 4406 of the Angora Hotel in Gotham’s Old Town, Barbara’s eyes stared blankly at the ceiling.
She finally couldn’t get the words out, “Can’t you just let me stay at your house for the night?”. Afterwards, Mathison looked at her with a puzzled look on his face as she stood there and said half a sentence before stopping abruptly.
Mathison very kindly walked her to the hotel and got her a deluxe single room.
”Something’s wrong, something must be wrong …”
Barbara sat up violently.
”Doesn’t he have any feelings for me at all? No, if this was true, then he wouldn’t usually let me stay at his place.”
”Is it because I’m not that charming?”
Barbara pulled out a small mirror and took a look at herself.
«Well… I am naturally beautiful!»
«I’m at least a high-spirited, intellectual goddess at Gotham University, how could I be less attractive? This guy must be blind!»
Looking down at her chest, Barbara frowned.
«These might not be very big, but it’s a normal female size!»
«Surely it isn’t considered small!»
Since the problem wasn’t herself, it must be Mathison.
Barbara thought with certainty.
”Maybe he’s Phantom Kid. He is plotting something and doesn’t want me to see it, that’s why he’s refusing my stay at his house. It is not that I’m not attractive enough…”
Tossing and turning, Barbara was never able to sleep, so she made a bold decision.
She slipped out of the door and left the hotel quietly.
Outside Mathison’s house, Barbara approached the windows.
”The lights are off inside, is he asleep already?”
Peeking from the window inside, there was no sign of anything suspicious.
Her imagined scene of Mathison sorting through various Phantom Kid props wasn’t there.
Undeterred, Barbara climbed up to the first floor and peeked in through the bedroom window.
Although Mathison had drawn the curtains, Barbara could still faintly see through the gap in the curtains that Mathison was lying asleep in bed.
”What the hell am I doing…”
Jumping down from the first floor, Barbara smiled to herself as her own suspicions came and went and the result looked like she was entertaining herself.
What she didn’t know, however, was that just a short distance away, on the roof of a building, Mathison was watching her with a pair of binoculars.
Yes, Mathison had guessed early on that Barbara would come back to spy… no, to investigate him, so he had put a dummy on his bedroom bed as a way to confuse Barbara.
The reason why he stayed here to confirm this is his fear that Barbara will just break in furiously. In case this has happened, at least, he will have had the ability to switch with the dummy.
Looking at Barbara back at the hotel, Mathison jumped off the building to spread his glider and flew to the stronghold of Phantom Kid…
The next day, just as the sun was rising, Mathison was awakened by a knock at the door.
When he opened the door, it was Barbara.
Barbara, with a dark circle under her face, stared at Mathison from the moment he opened the door without saying a word …
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