~Two nights later~
It was the night on which the ball was being held. At Louie Dubois’s large mansion, over a hundred guests were there, drinking wine and dancing. On a rooftop, across from the mansion, Sly was looking through his binoculars at the police officers that were keeping guard. The day before the ball, Dubois received a calling card from Lupin, announcing his plans to steal the ancient sword. Sly knew that he had to get the sword before Lupin could. After all, he didn’t want to be upstaged by the wolf again.
“Ok Bentley, I can see the police down there and I gotta say, there defiantly a lot of them” Sly said to the turtle through his ear speaker.
In an alleyway, not too far away from the mansion, the Cooper Van was parked with Bentley inside at the computer monitors with Murray at the driver’s seat. The turtle had managed to hack into nearby CCTV cameras to see how many officers were there for himself.
“I see what you mean Sly, you’re going to have to be extra cautious if you want to get that sword” Bentley spoke through his head set. “See if you can find Inspector Fox or that Japanese inspector”.
“Got it Bentley” Sly replied. The raccoon scanned around before noticing a bloodhound who seemed to be searching the area.
“Think I found him” Sly said.
“That’s the right man” Betley replied. “Inspector Koichi Zenigata, the one who has made it his life goal to catch and arrest Lupin the Third”.
“So that’s the guy” Sly said. Then from the corner of his eye, the raccoon noticed another figure approaching Zenigata. He turned his attention to whoever it was walking down from the entrance of the ball. His eyes widened when he saw who it was, and it was none other than Carmelita Fox herself. She was wearing a black ball gown with a split down the left side of the skirt, similar to the one she wore in India all those years ago and was carrying a dark blue hand bag. The raccoon thought about how beautiful she looked in her attire, her blue hair was the same as it always was and her lipstick was as red as a rose.
“Carmelita…” Sly whispered to himself.
“What was that Sly?” Bentley asked.
“N… Nothing Bentley” Sly replied. The raccoon sighed to himself before continuing to watch the two inspectors.
“Well Ms. Fox, any sign of Lupin or Cooper?” Zenigata asked. The vixen just shook her head.
“No Mr. Zenigata, not yet anyway” replied Carmelita.
“Oh they’ll show up alright, Lupin always does” Zenigata growled, clenching his fist. He then noticed the outfit that Carmelita was wearing and gave the vixen a puzzled look.
“Uh, Ms. Fox, are you sure it’s really necessary to wear that?” the bloodhound asked. “We are here to catch two thieves”.
“Mr. Zenigata, I’m going to be undercover at the ball so if I spot either Cooper or Lupin, I’ll arrest them on sight” replied Carmelita.
“Undercover, why didn’t I think of that?!” Zenigata said to himself. “Smart move Ms. Fox!”
“Well I’m going back inside, if I spot either of those criminals, I’ll alert you” Carmelita informed the older inspector.
“And I’ll keep an eye out for them out here too” Zenigata replied. Carmelita entered back into the mansion and Zenigata continued his patrol of the area.
“Bentley, I’ve spotted Carmelita” Sly said to the turtle through his ear speaker. “It seems that she’s gone undercover at the ball”.
“Alright Sly, so you’ll need to be extra cautious when inside” Bentley replied. “You don’t want her recognising you or the whole plan will go up in smoke!”
“I’ll be fine Bentley” Sly replied. “But what I’m more concerned about is Lupin”
“I haven’t spotted him on the CCTV, so either he hasn’t arrived yet or he’s inside already” said Bentley.
“I guess I’ll have to hurry and get the sword before he does”. Sly replied.
He climbed down the building before going into an alleyway and changing into a black suit with a bow tie. The raccoon then snuck behind nearby trees to avoid detection from Zenigata and any nearby police officers. He then snuck into the front door and entered the large hall where the ball was being held. The place was almost crowded. Almost every guest was wearing black suits and ball gowns, with some men wearing white suits. There was a large circular space in the middle where some guests were ballroom dancing to the music being played by the band. It reminded Sly of Rajan’s ball in India, and his dance with Carmelita. He thought back to that moment when he had that dance with Carmelita. Sure it was to get to one of the Clockwerk pieces, but that moment with her has remained stuck in his mind ever since.
Sly walked past several guests before out of the corner of his eye, he noticed an otter with chocolate brown fur who was talking with a group of guests. He immediately recognised the otter as Louie Dubois, the host of the ball and the one who discovered the ancient sword. Dubois was wearing a black suit over a white shirt and black tie. The raccoon also noticed that nearby there were dogs and wolves in black suits and dark sunglasses. He presumed that they were Dubois’s personal bodyguards. Sly’s attention was then brought to Bentley’s voice over his ear speaker.
“Sly, are you in?”
“Yeah, I’m in” Sly whispered. “I’ve spotted Dubois, and it seems that it’s not just the police he’s got protecting that sword”.
“You mean Dubois has his own security?” Bentley asked.
“Correct” the raccoon replied. “But something tells me that they’re more than just security guards”.
“Well, try and find a way to bypass them and get to the sword, if you can” Bentley said.
“Don’t worry Bentley” Sly replied. “I can get through this”.
~At that moment~
Not far away from Sly, Carmelita stood amongst the guests. She too noticed Dubois’s security guards around the ballroom and thought to herself that something seemed off about Dubois. She admitted that the otter seemed suspicious, but having security guards in the ballroom whilst her and Zenigata’s men were outside seemed a bit extreme. She could understand if the otter was a bit paranoid about Lupin stealing the sword, as well as Sly Cooper. But if Dubois had his own security, there was no need for the police to be there as well. However, the vixen then thought about how this could be her chance to finally catch Sly Cooper and get pay back for what he did to her. Carmelita just shook her head to get the painful memory out of her head and continued with her job. The vixen then decided to listen in to what Dubois was saying to the guests he was talking with. She walked up to Dubois and the guests and stopped to listen in, whilst looking the other way, acting like she wasn’t listening at all.
“It’s really amazing that sword of yours Mr. Dubois” said a cat with grey fur.
“Why thank you monsieur” replied Dubois.
“I say, do you plan on giving the sword to the museum?” asked a badger.
“Well, I might do so” replied Dubois.
“But Mr. Dubois, aren’t you worried at all about this Lupin the Third stealing the sword?” asked a lioness. When she asked this, Dubois gave a confident smirk before giving the lioness his answer.
“Well, I’ll admit I was a little concerned when I received Lupin’s calling card”
“I don’t blame you!” the badger stated.
“But thanks to my security, as well as the assistance of the police, I’m pretty confident that Lupin won’t be able steal the sword”. The otter seemed pretty sure of himself. Carmelita thought if he was being too sure that Lupin wouldn’t have a chance to get the sword.
“But I’ve heard that Sly Cooper is on the prowl as well” the cat spoke up. “Aren’t you concerned about him at all?”
“Like I said earlier monsieur, with my security and the police’s assistance, there is no chance that either Lupin or Sly Cooper will succeed in taking that sword” Dubois replied confidently.
Carmelita thought to herself that Louie Dubois was definitely full of himself. In some ways, the vixen kind of wanted to see the otter’s face if either Sly or Lupin stole his precious sword. But then out of the corner of her eye, Carmelita noticed what seemed to be a raccoon wearing a black suit amongst the other guests. From his facial features, the vixen swore she recognised him. Then it came to her, she thought it must be him, and she wasn’t going to hesitate to find out. She was about to walk straight up to the raccoon and see if her gut feeling was right.
“Excuse me madam?” said a male voice. She stopped in her tracks before turning her head to whoever was talking to her. The vixen was then face to face with a wolf with brown fur, brown hair and a small moustache.
“Don’t mind me asking, but would you care for a dance?”
Carmelita was caught off guard by the wolf’s question. She wasn’t sure whether or not to accept his offer. She took a good look at the wolf and thought that there was something about him that bugged her. It wasn’t his looks, although she had to admit he was rather handsome. It was more like the vixen suspected him of being the certain master thief who sent the calling card to Dubois. But on the other hand, she wasn’t sure if this wolf who was asking her for a dance was really Lupin the Third or not. He had the same fur colour as Lupin, not to mention that he was a wolf as well. But she then realised that there were other wolves at the ball as well, some with same fur colour as this certain one. She didn’t want to offend the wolf if it turned out that he wasn’t Lupin at all. But it then came to her that if the raccoon she saw earlier was who she thinks it is, she could try and get his attention by dancing with the wolf and it would confirm her suspicions. After all, if it was Ringtail, seeing her dance with another man would definitely catch his eye.
“Well, okay” she replied.
The wolf then took her hand and led her to the dance floor. They were surrounded by other couples dancing together gracefully. The two of them stopped before the wolf took both of her hands and they both started ballroom dancing to the music. Carmelita was surprised by the wolf’s dancing skills. His moves were nearly flawless, they perfectly synched with the music and never seemed to make a misstep. The vixen felt something within her that she wasn’t expecting to feel when dancing with the wolf. Was she enjoying herself? It seemed so.
Sly was keeping a close eye on Dubois to see if the otter would lead him to the sword’s whereabouts. The raccoon noticed Dubois leaving the group of guests he was chatting with to go off somewhere else. He guessed that the otter was heading to wherever the sword was located so Sly decided to tail Dubois and see for himself. But then, the raccoon was distracted by something he noticed out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head towards the dance floor to see Carmelita, dancing with some guy. The moment he saw this, the raccoon felt something inside that was triggered by seeing Carmelita dance with another man. He was aware that they were no longer together, but the sight of her with another man made bothered Sly much more than he imagined. The raccoon was too distracted by what he saw that Dubois was now out of his sight. Unbeknownst to him, Carmelita had noticed the raccoon watching her and the wolf, confirming her suspicions of who he was. The vixen and the wolf then finished their dance before the wolf said.
“Thanks for the dance darling”. Then the wolf took Carmelita’s hand and kissed it before disappearing into the crowd. The vixen was blushing now, still a little shocked by receiving a kiss on the hand. Sly on the other hand was almost fuming. Not only did this stranger dance with Carmelita, but he also kissed her on the hand. The raccoon was glaring at the wolf until he was brought back to reality by a feminine voice behind him. He turned around and found himself face to face with none other than Carmelita herself.
“Excuse me, but have I seen you somewhere” the vixen asked. Sly just gave her a smirk.
“You might have” Sly replied. “I’ve been in and out of the city”. For some reason, the raccoon had a feeling that she knew he was there the whole time.
“By the way” Sly spoke up. “Care for a dance?”
Whilst Sly was being confronted by Carmelita, Zenigata was still outside patrolling the area, hoping he’ll spot Lupin attempting to steal the sword. His search was then interrupted by a male voice from behind.
The bloodhound turned around to come face to face with Louie Dubois.
“Good evening Mr, Dubois” Zenigata greeted the otter.
“Don’t mind me asking, but have you spotted any thieving wolves or raccoons in your travels?” Dubois asked.
“No Mr, Dubois, not yet at least” replied Zenigata.
“Well I must thank you once again for the extra security monsieur, I very much appreciate it” Dubois thanked the Japanese inspector.
“Just doing my duty sir” Zenigata told the smaller otter. There was something about Dubois that the bloodhound didn’t like. He was aware of some of the allegations surrounding the otter, but he also aware of how he was never given a proper investigation due to the so-called lack of evidence. Yet still, he couldn’t shake the feeling that the otter was hiding something. Then an idea struck Zenigata which could assist him on finding Lupin, if he was at the ball.
“Uh Mr. Dubois” the bloodhound spoke up. “Wouldn’t you mind if I took a look at where you are holding the sword?”
The otter seemed puzzled by the inspector’s question. He wasn’t sure why Zenigata wanted to see where the sword was.
“It’s strictly police business” Zenigata informed Dubois.
“Well if you insist monsieur” Dubois replied.
The otter then led Zenigata inside his mansion, through the ballroom and down a cellar like hallway. They then reached a door, which had a doberman in a black suit standing outside. He turned his attention to the two approaching figures.
“How’s things here Rufus?” Dubois asked the doberman.
“Everything’s secure Mr. Dubois” the doberman called Rufus replied.
“You see Inspector” Dubois said, turning to Zenigata. Everything’s safe and sound”.
“Hold on a sec” Zenigata said. “Why don’t we take a look inside?”
“Well I don’t see why we should” Dubois replied. “You heard what Rufus said, it’s all secure”.
“It may seem like it, but we should take a look, just to be on the safe side” Zenigata insisted.
“Well okay Inspector” Dubois replied before Rufus unlocked the door.
“But I can assure you, there is no way that anyone can get to the sword without tripping the security”.
The two stopped when they stepped inside the room. Dubois was expecting to see the ancient sword in its display, safe and sound. Both the bloodhound and the otter were silent.
“You said that everything was secure, right?” Dubois asked the doberman.
“Yes sir” Rufus replied. The doberman looked down to the otter to see him clenching his fist before looking up at him.
“Then would you kindly tell me… WHERE THE HELL IS THE DAMN SWORD?!”
~Back at the ballroom~
After their encounter, both Sly and Carmelita were dancing together, slowly. They both eyed each other the whole time. Sly had a feeling that the vixen was aware of who she was dancing with. She probably danced with the other guy just to get the thief’s attention. His thoughts were interrupted by her voice.
“I knew I would find you here Ringtail”. Sly smirked when she called him by his nickname.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve heard that” the raccoon replied.
“Still the same as always” Carmelita said.
“Same with you Inspector” replied Sly. “Still as beautiful as ever”.
“Don’t think the flirty chit-chat will get make me forget about what you did to me” the vixen growled. Sly knew what she was talking about. He knew what he had done was wrong. Lying to her about having amnesia and choosing the thieving business over her. Yet he was determined to make peace with her.
“Carm, I’m sorry” Sly apologised.
“Sorry, is that all you can say?” Carmelita asked coldly. The raccoon gave her a sad look.
“I know what I did was wrong” Sly told her. “But Carm, it’s in my blood, I’m a thief and always will be”.
“I know” Carmelita replied. “Which gives me more of a reason to arrest you”.
“Listen Carmelita” Sly said. “Even if you’re still mad at me, it won’t change how I feel about you”.
“If you really did have feelings for me, you wouldn’t have lied” the vixen replied harshly.
“Please just listen to me” Sly said. He then held her by her arms before saying.
“Carmelita, I lov-”.
He was cut off mid-way before he noticed police officers and Dubois’ security guards swarming the ballroom. Sly was thinking if they were aware that he was at the ball and had come to arrest him. He looked at Carmelita, who also seemed bewildered by what was happening at that moment. Then two figures advanced into the dancing space. Sly noticed that they were Louie Dubois and Inspector Zenigata.
“Listen up!” Zenigata called out. “No one is to leave here until we say so, we’ve just found out that-”.
“MY SWORD HAS BEEN STOLEN!” Dubois yelled, cutting off Zenigata.
There were gasps among the guests and they all started muttering about what they had heard. Sly was lost for words. Once again, he had been beaten at stealing another prized property. The raccoon thought to himself that it must be Lupin. His thoughts were interrupted by Dubois’s enraged voice echoing around the ballroom.
“QUICKLY, FIND THE BASTARD WHO’S GOT THE BALLS TO STEAL FROM ME!”
“We will Mr. Dubois” Zenigata tried to reassure the otter.
Then, Dubois was approached by a wolf. Sly recognised him as the wolf who danced with Carmelita. He seemed to be speaking with Dubois.
“He’s right Mr. Dubois, the thief can’t have gone too far” the wolf said, seeming to try and calm down the angered otter.
“He better not have!” Dubois snapped back. “Or the son of a bitch who did this is gonna regret it!”
The wolf then turned around to walk off in the other direction. But he was then stopped by Zenigata, who had his hand on the wolf’s shoulder. The bloodhound was glaring at him.
“Again with that old trick Lupin?”
Everyone looked at the wolf after hearing what Zenigata had said, even Sly and Carmelita were watching. The wolf then gave a grin before turning to the inspector.
“You’ve definitely gotten better at this Pops” the wolf said. “I guess you’ve been after me for too long”.
The wolf removed his brown hair and moustache to reveal himself to be one other than Lupin the Third himself. Carmelita wanted to kick herself at that moment. The wolf she danced was Lupin after all, and she fell for his disguise. Sly on the other hand was both shocked and annoyed at what had happened. Not only did Lupin steal the sword before he did, but the punk actually had the nerve to dance with the woman he cared for the most. Dubois was bewildered at the situation. The one who had stolen the sword was standing right in front of him.
“Sacrebleu!” the otter cried out.
Then police officers and Dubois's men started to surround the thief, blocking his way of escape. Zenigata took out his handcuffs, preparing to bring the wolf to justice.
“Lupin, hand over the sword and surrender” the bloodhound commanded his nemesis. Lupin just chuckled before replying.
“Now where’s the fun in that?”
“You’re surrounded, there’s no way to escape” Zenigata growled.
“Oh come on now Pops” Lupin said. “You haven’t even seen my next trick yet”.
Just then, Lupin opened his black suit up to reveal around twenty or more fireworks hidden underneath. They were all lit up and ready to fire. Then they all flew up and burst, flashing numerous different colours. Everyone was confused and blinded by the display, even Dubois and his men. Amid all the chaos, Carmelita took out her shock pistol from her hand bag and aimed it at Lupin. But to her surprise, the thief was nowhere to be seen. She assumed he had escaped whilst the fireworks were ablaze. She then noticed that Sly was gone as well.
“Damn that raccoon” the vixen cursed.
Carmelita went over to Zenigata, who was recovering from the firework frenzy. Rufus was at Dubois’s side, trying to help him in any way he can. The otter just smacked his hand away, clearly still angered about Lupin stealing the sword.
“Ms. Fox, any sign of Lupin?” Zenigata asked the vixen.
“I’m afraid not, he got away” Carmelita replied.
“Dammit” Zenigata cursed.
“That’s not all, Sly Cooper was here too” Carmelita informed the bloodhound. “He was also after the sword”.
“Seriously?!” the older inspector exclaimed. “Well where is he now?”
“He got away too” the vixen replied.
“Well let’s not just stand here, we have to find them both!” Zenigata stated.
Both inspectors ran outside to the front of the mansion, in search for the two thieves. They searched the area before hearing the sounds of what seemed to be a motorcycle around the corner of the mansion. Suddenly, speeding out was Lupin on a motorcycle. He was back in his usual attire and had a large black duffel back wrapped around him, with the sword most likely inside it. He sped past the two inspectors and drove off into the distance. Zenigata clenched his fists and started growling.
“LUPIN!” the bloodhound yelled at the top of his lungs. “Crap, crap, crap!”
“Mr. Zenigata, if we hurry now, we might be able to catch him” Carmelita said to the angered inspector.
“You’re right Ms. Fox!” Zenigata cried out. “Quickly, let’s get to the cars and chase that rotten little bastard down!”
The two inspectors ran off to the police cars in an attempt to chase the wolf down. Unbeknownst to them, up on a nearby building, Sly was also watching Lupin ride off with the sword. The raccoon had gotten back into his usual clothing again. His eye was twitching in annoyance at once again being outwitted by the wolf. His thoughts were then interrupted by Bentley’s voice over his ear speaker.
“Sly, what’s happening?”
“We got beaten to it” Sly replied. “Lupin has the sword”.
“What?!” Bentley cried out. “But how?”
“Don’t ask” Sly replied.
“Well, I guess we should get back to the safe house before the cops find us” Bentley insisted. But Sly was not ready to give up yet.
“Hold on a sec Bentley” Sly said. “If Lupin stole the sword from Dubois, then I’m gonna have to take it from him”.
“But Sly, are you sure that’s a good idea?” Bentley asked worriedly. “Lupin might be dangerous”.
“Bentley, I’ve been up against an immortal owl and a crazed scientist, I’m pretty sure I can handle some scrawny wolf” Sly said angrily. The raccoon switched off his ear speaker before sprinting toward the direction of Lupin. Outside the entrance of the mansion, a vixen with snow white fur and blond hair, wearing a light blue ball gown was watching Sly run off after the wolf. She smiled to herself.
“Well Lupin, it seems you’ve made a new friend”.
~Ten minutes later~
Several blocks away from the mansion, Lupin was still riding his motorcycle with the duffel bag on his back. He had slowed down a bit after assuming he was in the clear. The streets were silent and there seemed to be no cars around. The wolf chuckled to himself, thinking about how Zenigata must be feeling at the moment.
“Oh boy, Pops just never gives up”. Lupin said to himself.
Just then in the distance, the wolf spotted a figure standing in the middle of the road. Lupin stopped the motorcycle just halfway from the stranger. He then recognised the figure as the raccoon from the night at the museum. Lupin also saw that he was carrying his unusual can in his hand and was staring the wolf down. Then Lupin just gave a cocky smile at the raccoon.
“Well, looks like we meet again” Lupin said. “Sly Cooper, wasn’t it?”
“That’s right, Lupin the Third” Sly replied. He was also giving Lupin a smile.
“Let me guess, you’re after the sword right?” the wolf asked. “Well sorry about that pal, I’ve got it first”.
“But is really safe in your hands?” Sly asked sarcastically. “Why don’t you let a real thief take care of it?”
When he heard what the raccoon said, Lupin raised his eyebrow before laughing at what Sly said.
“A real thief?!” the wolf laughed. “Excuse me, but how long have you been in the business?”
Sly just glared at him, cane in hand, seeming to be ready to fight.
“Well I’ve been doing this ever since you were a kid” Lupin said. “Hell I started when I was just a kid”.
“You may have been a thief long before me, but that doesn’t mean you’re better” Sly said, challenging the older thief. Upon hearing this, Lupin eyed the raccoon, seemingly ready to do something.
“You wanna try me?”
Sly got into a fighting stance, cane in hand and ready to make his move. Lupin started the motorcycle up again, seeming to prepare to drive at the raccoon. But before they could make a move, they were interrupted by a feminine voice shouting at them.
Both thieves turned to see none other than Carmelita Fox herself. She was wearing her trademark outfit and had her shock pistol raised and ready to fire.
“Well if it isn’t the lovely lady I had the pleasure of dancing with” Lupin said.
When he heard this, Sly glared at the wolf for flirting with the vixen. Carmelita ignored Lupin’s flirtatious comment and continued to aim her weapon at the two thieves.
“Arsène Lupin the Third, you are under arrest” Carmelita said harshly before turning to Sly.
“And you too Sly Cooper, you’ll both come with me now”. The inspector commanded.
“Come now, you can’t possibly arrest the two of us on your own” Lupin chuckled.
“Inspector Zenigata will be here soon” Carmelita replied.
“Ah, so you’re with Pops” Lupin exclaimed. “I’m surprised that such a beautiful woman like you would work with that old fart!”
Carmelita was starting to get irritated by Lupin’s flirtatious comments. She thought to herself that he was worse than Sly. She was not the only one, Sly was tired of Lupin trying to charm the vixen. It was almost as if the wolf was trying to steal her away from him, which was ironic as both the raccoon and the vixen were no longer together. Just then out of nowhere, a yellow Fiat 500 zoomed up to the trio. It stopped immediately, blocking Carmelita’s view of both Sly and Lupin. In the driver’s seat was Jigen and in the back was Goemon, sitting calmly. Jigen opened the front-left door and Lupin hopped of the motorcycle and sprinted towards the car. The wolf jumped in, shut the door and the car started up again. Before they left however, Lupin poked his head out the window, waving to both Sly and Carmelita.
“Bye, catch you later!” Lupin said before the car sped off into the night.
Carmelita clenched her fist in anger until she turned her attention to Sly, who was still standing there. The raccoon noticed her and quickly climbed up the nearest building and disappearing.
“COOPER!” she yelled, her voice echoing into the night sky.