Phantom Kid in the World of American Comics - Chapter 51
”Barbara, what’s with that look on your face?”
Mathison asked curiously as he ran across Barbara.
At this point, Barbara was still in unbelievable shock and couldn’t respond.
”What are you looking at?”
Mathison followed her gaze towards the watchtower.
”HEY, that’s Phantom Kid!”
In fact, the Phantom Kid that ran away wasn’t really Phantom Kid… or even a real entity, to be precise.
After he noticed that Barbara was starting to get suspicious of him, Mathison had been thinking of some sort of measure.
It wasn’t until he saw a spell of Red Magic that could briefly create an illusion that his problem was solved.
The effect of this spell was very simple and particularly weak; it created a phantom that clones his previous actions and last less than ten minutes.
The phantom could not speak, could not move freely, and did not even have a physical body. And so, Mathison could only control the direction towards which it could run, otherwise, it will cause problems if it directly phases through trees.
Now, you’re probably asking ‘why didn’t he just create a whole actual clone?’ Well, do you think Mathison doesn’t want to? There’s no such spell in Red Magic!
Not only that, even if there was such a spell, it is impossible for Mathison to cast that spell with his current magic powers.
That’s why Mathison had to lure Barbara into chasing him so that he could create a running phantom and choose a place to hide in the dense forest.
Because there are many trees that can obscure the view, he wasn’t afraid of being seen if he uses his magic at the corner of a random tree.
And when using magic while wearing black clothes, the white phantom will undoubtedly attract the attention of Barbara and Johnny, making Mathison’s true form even less likely to be spotted.
Now Mathison pretended to be surprised as he looked at Phantom Kid running away.
”Mathison, there you are, that Phantom Kid is really not you…”
Behind him, Johnny had by now caught up and laughed happily when he saw Mathison coming from the exact opposite direction.
His recent deduction had indeed been correct!
”What? Phantom Kid? Me?”
At that, Mathison opened his mouth widely, pointed at himself, looked at Johnny with an odd expression, then at Barbara who was torn beyond belief, and then it was as if something had occurred to him.
”I was questioning the way you have been so weird the last few days, clinging to me to see the Queen, coming over to my house to for a meal, and inexplicably pulling my hand… so you really thought I was Phantom Kid”, Mathison’s tone was full of sadness and disappointment.
“We’ve known each other for more than ten years… and, still, you suspect me so easily? Is there even any basic trust between the two of us?”
”Alright, alright, I was wrong. This is not the time to talk about it, Mr Johnny. Go after Phantom Kid, he’s getting away!”
Barbara glanced at Mathison awkwardly before pointing at Phantom Kid who was about to disappear at the end of her vision.
Without any other word, Johnny went chasing after him.
”By the way, why did you suddenly come here, alone?”
Barbara suddenly stared at Mathison, “I just remembered that you’re also obsessed with magic, right? That fits the profile of Phantom Kid. So, maybe what I have just seen was another magic trick like those transformations?”
”You aren’t still suspecting me of being Phantom Kid, are you?”
A drop of sweat dripped from Mathison’s forehead he didn’t have a good feeling about this situation.
”Who told you I came here alone, I just ran a little faster than the others.”
Mathison pulled out a card from his pocket, in which was written:
”Ladies and gentlemen, who love to be here, the unexpected situation that has just arisen has prevented you from seeing my performance.
I apologise for this, so I have decided to run a second show at the watchtower to the west of the central statue. I now kindly ask all those who have received an invitation to be there at midnight.
From Phantom Kid.”
Calculating the time, it was indeed almost midnight.
Barbara looked at the card suspiciously, “You didn’t write this now, did you?”
However, no sooner had the words left her lips, she heard noisy voices.
There was a large crowd on the road where Mathison had come running, not as imposing as the tens of thousands of people in the square before, but at least in the thousands.
Why did these people happen to be here?
In fact, there was a short period of time between his and Barbara’s dispersal at the Queen’s entrance and his appearance under the disguise of Prince Charles, and it was certainly impossible for Mathison to have done nothing in that time.
He took advantage of that time to quietly stuff the same cards in the pockets or bags of this group of people.
Since all of these men were standing on the outermost edge, they would naturally run outside when the tear gas came into play, easily out of range of the gas taking effect.
Of course, there was no complete guarantee, but at least many cards were put out by Mathison.
There were quite a few people who didn’t come here.
The time was marked to prevent them from arriving too early so that even if someone came here first it would not affect the situation, and even if the police saw them they would only be able to deploy their forces near the watchtower.
From the very beginning, Mathison had planned everything out.
All the signs pointed to the fact that Kid and Mathison were two people.
Inexplicably, Barbara sighed deeply in relief.
”It seems I really misjudged you, Mathison.”
Barbara said to Mathison with an apologetic manner.
”But I didn’t think that Phantom Kid could investigate me so thoroughly… No, I should say investigate my father so thoroughly, he knows everything that has anything to do with him, me, you, Uncle Cash, Daisy… even the stone pavilion!”
”The stone pavilion? What stone pavilion?”, Mathison asked dully, rubbing his head.
Barbara’s cheeks instantly rose in two red clouds. She almost forgot that Mathison didn’t know about that.
It was the place where Mathison and Barbara had first met…
More than ten years ago, a little girl followed her father, who had taken a rare holiday, to Robinson Park.
Then, as they were about to go to the watchtower, the old plot happened.
The little girl gets lost and got separated from her dad in the woods.
Fortunately, she did not encounter any danger, but rather stumbled upon a stone pavilion hidden in the dense forest.
Then she saw a little boy in the pavilion who was dressing the wound of a pigeon. She was afraid to go out because she was hiding in the bushes.
She also noticed that although the little boy was gently dressing a wounded pigeon, his face was filled with sadness.
The little boy was Mathison, but the pigeons were not the reason Barbara suspected Mathison.
After all, there are thousands of people who like to feed the pigeons in Robinson Park and Mathison is just one of them.
It was just that everyone didn’t know that Mathison was secretly training the pigeons.
At that time, Barbara was very curious about the little boy who was very caring and inexplicably sad.
Barbara did not appear before the little boy then. Waiting until he left, she followed him out of the woods from a distance.
From then on, Barbara had to visit the stone pavilion whenever she came to Robinson Park with Gordon.
Sometimes she could see the boy and sometimes she couldn’t, but each time Barbara hid from the boy’s sight.
Even after she grew older, Barbara would come here alone from time to time.
After several months had passed, Barbara found out that the little boy had moved to her class and that they lived on the same street.
Then the two became childhood friends as a matter of course…
Barbara always thought that Mathison didn’t know that she had spied on him at the stone pavilion and Mathison never mentioned it.
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