Chapter 6: Being the Mayor
“The reality, as you can see, is that Eternal Sun is very fertile. The scenery is very beautiful, and the location is excellent——with the famous Twin Lakes behind it. If this piece of territory was properly developed, say as a small town, it might become the next Queenstown.” Charlie said regretfully.
Wang Bo was even more regretful. If the Roberts Family had made the territory into a good small town, then he would be in a much better position. Inheriting a mature small town was far better than an uncultivated land.
On the road here, he had already understood. Because this is a Nobility Territory, not something as simple as a personal territory, he did not need to pay the government of New Zealand a single penny of inheritance tax or the such when he received it. In other words, he did not spend a single penny to get a thousand square kilometers of fertile soil and an aristocrat’s heritage.
Thinking about the legacy left behind by Sir Roberts, Wang Bo got excited again and asked expectantly: “Besides this territory and Castle, what else did he leave behind?”
Charlie shrugged and said: “It may just be hundreds of thousands of bad debt, nothing else. Sir’s economic situation was bad in his later years. In fact, the last two or three generations of the Roberts Family were all empty-handed, just holding onto the territory. They all didn’t have much money.”
The helicopter circled around in the sky of Eternal Sun a bit before flying away. Charlie needed to take Wang Bo to the court of Omarama to sign for the acceptance of his inheritance, otherwise, staying here was illegal. This piece of land currently does not belong to Wang Bo and New Zealand’s carefully selected private estates were sacred and inviolable. They cannot enter other people’s privately owned land.
Omarama was a small township with a small population of twenty to thirty thousand, In fact, calling it a large town was also fine. Indeed, in New Zealand, besides a few major cities, the population of the other areas were very small.
This small town was the town that is closest to Eternal Sun. Wang Bo asked if signing for the acceptance of his inheritance needed any formalities. Charlie replied that as long as the court investigated thoroughly, it’s fine. Because he does not need to pay inheritance tax, the Tax Bureau doesn’t need to get involved. Like this, the court only needs to verify his identity and he can get his inheritance.
“Even so, I am a Chinese person, not a New Zealand person. Can I still receive the inheritance?” Wang Bo asked in surprise.
Charlie nodded in a ‘as it should be by rights’ way and said: “Without a doubt, you can. What does receiving an inheritance got anything to do with you being a New Zealand person or not? What’s more, all you’re just receiving is an uncultivated land, nothing else. Foreigners can buy property in New Zealand as they wish, let alone an uncultivated piece of land.”
Eternal Sun and Omarama were adjacent areas, the latter being a city in the northwestern part of Canterbury.
Speaking from the map, the South Island of New Zealand is divided up into the Marlborough Region, Canterbury Region, Otago Region, West Coast and Southland Region. From the administrative seat, Eternal Sun belongs to the Otago Region, but in reality, it belongs to an unregulated zone with a domain spanning across the Otago Region, the western mountain area, and Canterbury Region.
The distance between the Castle and Omarama was approximately 100 kilometers, and the helicopter covered it in a jiffy.
Wang Bo gazed over this small town from the sky. Apart from the city having more United Kingdom style buildings within, there wasn’t much difference when compared to other small domestic countries. Only the people were fewer, and the buildings shorter.
The helicopter descended onto the court, but it was already late, the court was finished with work for the day. So Charlie just helped him look for a hotel and arrange a room for him, and then mysteriously said to talk to him if anything came up.
After closing the door, Charlie said: “Wang, I have to remind you, if you accept Sir Roberts’ inheritance, then you must accept the responsibility to develop Eternal Sun. For example, maintaining the Castle. You should know how much physical resources, manpower and financial resources are needed to maintain an ancient castle, right?”
Hearing this, Wang Bo was immediately filled with surprise in his heart. He recalled the news he had watched before about how some rather inexpensive medieval ancient castles in Europe were put up for sale, yet remained unsold. The reason was simply that the price of maintenance was too high, even the major rich and powerful people were powerless to take on this responsibility.
Seeing this, Charlie suddenly showed a passionate smile and walked over to Wang Bo, putting an arm over his shoulders and said, “Wang, my man, although the time we have known each other isn’t long, it’s like how the so-called “seeing white hair as if new, meeting in passing as before”. I think that we are love at first sight. Do you have this kind of feeling?”
“Love at first sight?” Wang Bo immediately felt his chrysanthemum tighten, and his whole face filled with alarm.
Charlie stared blankly for a bit, before jokingly saying, “Sorry mate, I used the wrong word. It should be familiarity at first sight?”
Wang Bo vigilantly looked at him, he didn’t believe this guy’s words for a second. Charlie even knew ‘seeing white hair as if new, meeting in passing as before’. Knowing this kind of old and obscure idiom, how could he be unclear about ‘love at first sight’ and ‘familiarity at first sight’?
“When all is said and done, what exactly do you want? Say it.” Old Wang firmly held onto his waistband with both hands. “I will tell you now, I have no interest in same-sex X. If you want to use the inheritance to lure me and obtain my body…”
He hesitated. That 1000 square kilometers of fertile soil and that majestic castle. Between them and his virginity, which was more important? Or else, should he let his chastity and integrity feel a bit of grievance?
Without hesitation, Charlie pushed Wang Bo away, unhappily saying: “What kind of joke are you making? Alright, I will be straight with you. I’m suggesting that you turn Eternal Sun into a national small town instead of a private property. The territory will still belong to you like before. All of the things above, and all of the things below will also belong to you, but you will belong to the country.”
Wang Bo looked at him with misgivings, his brain rapidly digesting this information, and slowly said: “Are you asking me to submit to New Zealand’s government, or perhaps have your government offer amnesty to me?”
Charlie nodded his head: “Right, you make a small town on your private territory, and you be the mayor of it. Like this, the government can allocate some funds to your town each year. And you can use these funds to maintain the castle and develop your territory.”
Wang Bo hesitantly asked: “If we do it the way you’re saying, then how much funding would the government allocate each year?”
Niu bi is the abbreviation of New Zealand’s currency. Because the English name of New Zealand (Xīnxīlán) is New-Zealand, a transliteration would be Niǔxīlán. Therefore the money in English is abbreviated to niu bi.
“So much?” Wang Bo found it a bit hard to believe at the moment, “10 million? Government funding? And I can be the mayor? I’m of Chinese nationality! All these things you are saying, why do I feel that they are very unreliable!?”
Charlie patted him on the shoulder and said: “Of course, if you choose to turn the territory into a small town and become the mayor, then you have to change your nationality. As for allocating the funds and your post, there is no need to doubt it. We will agree to and sign an agreement, an employment agreement!”
Listening to his words, Wang Bo thought for a moment, still finding it hard to believe.
Before he came to New Zealand, he took a look at this country’s information. He knows that New Zealand’s civil servants are managed through regulated employment and public election systems. Being the mayor(of a small town – zhenzhang), mayor (shizhang), or Prime Minister, they are all voted for by the citizens. Ordinary civil servants were either appointed by Parliament or recruited from the public.
New Zealand’s civil servants are worthless, but to appoint a mayor like this, it’s still somewhat tricky, right?
Charlie saw his doubts and simply said, “I’m speaking the truth. Mate, Eternal Sun is New Zealand’s last nobility territory; it’s nominally not under the government’s rule. Speaking from the perspective of those Parliament guys, it’s like a piece of vitiligo growing on their faces. A lot of people already wanted to take back this territory, but they can’t. You don’t know how obstinate and conservative that old man Sir Roberts was! His territory was like his underpants, he simply would not allow other people to lay their hands on it!”
“My underpants are also not permitted.” Wang Bo tightened his belt some more.
He always felt that Charlie was drooling over his good looks. Although it was reasonable to say that his looks were nothing special, but who could guarantee that the aesthetic of a white man and a yellow man were the same? Even if their tastes were the same, there were still people who likes to eat ugly rotten peaches and rotten apricots.
Charlie nodded: “Yes, but I want to tell you that this piece of territory is like your coat, not your underpants. So what I mean is for you to put a Company Logo on that coat, and you can get a bit of spokesperson fees. Is this not a good thing?”
This metaphor was actually very fitting. Wang Bo asked, “All I have to do is permit the territory to start a new town, and I can become the mayor of it? The government is also willing to allocate funds to me to maintain the castle? They aren’t going to kick me aside afterwards, right?”
Charlie laughed: “That’s definitely impossible, because all of the town’s land belongs to you. If you are not satisfied, you can take back those rights at any time. If that happens, the government can only declared that town bankrupted and closed.”
Finished listening to these words, Wang Bo slowly nodded, saying, “Alright, Charlie, my buddy. I trust you. I will follow your suggestions and transform the territory into a town.”
Charlie was astonished. Clearly he did not foresee that he would be able to so easily persuade Wang Bo. He asked: “Are you sure? You don’t have any other questions?”
Wang Bo relaxedly said, “Of course, I’m sure. Charlie, I trust you, because as you said, we hit it off at first sight. Meeting you for the first time, yet having this kind of feeling. I feel that it’s a shame I had not met you earlier!”
“Yes, it’s certainly a shame I had not met you earlier!”
Two people mutually smiling at each other, both felt as if the other was smiling like a fox.
The reason why Wang Bo accepted this suggestion wasn’t because he trusted Charlie, but because he suddenly remembered a comment within the introduction to the game back then. It was that he could take away the Territory’s Heart, and leave this territory to choose another location to start afresh!
Like this, what did he have to be afraid of? He might as well take Charlie’s recommendation and take this step. If he could really become the mayor of a small town, then he had truly struck it rich…
Idioms meaning that some people no matter how long you’ve known them will forever be strangers. Others, no matter how short you’ve known them are already close friends.
Things above and below means sky and underground.
The bi stands for money. Should be NZD. But this is apparently how Chinese call it.
I believe it goes along the saying “people past their expiration date”
Can also be translated as “Feels as if we known each other all along!”