Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
On the ferry, the private tour guide, Han Dewang, told Zhao Yu, “I’ve checked, but there aren’t any martial arts studios on the island.”
“No? Hmm…” Zhao Yu felt disappointed.
According to his understanding of Miao Ying, she would definitely be attracted by a local martial arts studio, especially one with distinguished characteristics. As such, it was a pity that there weren’t any on the island.
“I wonder if Mister Zhao did any research before you came here?” Han Dewang was really a responsible tourist guide, so he redirected the topic to his profession. “Do you know what the Landing use to be?”
“I know!” Su Jinmei raised her hand and said, “I did some research on it before we came. The Landing used to be the aboriginals’ colony. During the nineteenth century, there was even a war here! Later on, the island had an abundance of a rare kind of propolis. So, they built a cultivation farm here. As such, there are many bee farms on the island, and the bees are called…”
“Manuka!” Han Dewang smiled and finished her sentence for her. “In fact, the information that you most likely found on the internet was added by the local government after the fact! As such, there are many things that they left out!”
He then added, “Since the nineties, the local government has been trying to develop the island and make it into a tourist mecca. So, they made some amendments to the Landing’s history in order to give it a brand new image.”
Then, Han Dewang suddenly redirected the conversation and said creepily, “But, what you don’t know is, actually, the Landing wasn’t an aboriginals’ colony, nor was it a propolis harvesting ground. In fact, its history is full of darkness!”
As he spoke, his eyes grew wider. “The Maori performance on the island is actually fake, as it is also performed by professional groups from other places. Moreover, the bee farm is just a gimmick to sell tourists honey and propolis!”
He chuckled a little, as if he had a hidden secret that he couldn’t wait to share. “Hehe, let me tell you. A century ago, the Landing had the biggest prison in all of New Zealand! At least half of the criminals on the northern island were sent there, most of whom were serious felons!”
He was getting excited now. “Due to the unique location of the island, it was an ideal place to lock up these prisoners. It was even said that not a single prisoner has ever escaped from it!”
“Wow!” Su Jinmei was surprised by this news. “I can’t believe that it was actually used to lock up prisoners! That sounds so cool! But, I don’t quite understand. If the government was to market the place as the prisoners’ island, it’d be quite popular in its own right, just like “The Rock” in San Francisco. Wouldn’t that be even cooler and more attractive to tourists?”
“That’s true, but…” Han Dewang smiled and said, “The Landing wasn’t only a prison, but it was also a famous execution ground! All of the condemned criminals were killed here! In the past century, the locals called it the “island of the dead!” Think about it, the government couldn’t bet on such an unlucky selling point!”
He paused to take a breath, then added, “So, we went with the safer and more profitable Chinese tourism model. That’s why we have the cultural performances, sell local specialties, and such. It’s just way more positive and stable!”
“The island of the dead? My goodness!” Su Jinmei creased her eyebrows. “The name is very unlucky indeed! I don’t feel like going there now, either! So, I see what you mean!”
Zhao Yu shared the same feelings. As he associated it with the purpose of his visit to the Landing, he had to admit that it felt it a little strange.
“Hehe, don’t worry!” Han Dewang quickly explained, “It is different now! The prison and the execution ground from the past are nowhere to be seen now! The security on the island is also good, so it is very safe.”
He then added, “In fact, there are more than three thousand locals and twenty thousand tourists that travel, who will be on the island during this season. Besides watching performances and buying things, they will also be diving, driving speedboats, and participating in other entertaining activities. As such, no one will even be thinking of that dark history!”
As he was speaking of his own profession, Han Dewang couldn’t stop beaming. “Oh yeah! The island recently built a new shooting range, too. As New Zealand has a no gun policy, this is really the only place where you can satisfy your gun addiction!”
Zhao Yu and Su Jinmei didn’t pay much attention to what he said after that. This was because they were there to look for Miao Ying, after all! They just simply weren’t in the mood for fun and travel stories!
When the ferry arrived at the Landing port, it was already past nine at night. The Polanti Hotel that Zhao Yu had booked was the biggest and most luxurious hotel on the island. The hotel had even sent a designated bus to pick up the tourists who were staying there.
As theirs was the last ferry, there weren’t many tourists on it. In fact, besides them, it was mainly locals that disembarked alongside them.
When they got on the bus, there was barely anyone there either. Besides the three of them, the rest of the passengers were basically the hotel staff.
Just as they arrived at the hotel and prepared for check-in, there was a minor snafu. As Zhao Yu didn’t know that Su Jinmei would be coming along, he had only booked one hotel room. But, after they landed in Auckland, Zhao Yu told Han Dewang to contact the hotel to book another room for Su Jinmei.
Although the hotel had agreed to this over the phone, when they arrived at the hotel, the staff suddenly told them that they didn’t have any extra rooms! It turns out that there was a European tour group that had been delayed and had to stay on an extra night, which meant that they no longer had an extra room for Zhao Yu!
Zhao Yu couldn’t help but sigh. Fate had shaken things up yet again! Zhao Yu knew that this might be the power of the Kan hexagram that he had gotten earlier in the day!
Although not long before this moment he had been hoping that he would get to travel with a beauty, now that the hotel only had one room left, as he looked at Su Jinmei, he didn’t feel glad at all.
“We are doomed!” Su Jinmei told Zhao Yu anxiously, “Master, you said earlier that as long as I obey your instructions, you’ll take care of me! It is already so late! Surely you can’t just kick me out on the street!”
“Mmm…” Zhao Yu looked at Han Dewang and asked for his help. “Where are you staying tonight?”
“Oh. I, of course, couldn’t afford such a luxurious hotel! I am staying elsewhere and will come and pick you up tomorrow morning. As for your breakfast, you can head to the restaurant directly in the morning,” Han Dewang said.
“I’m asking you specifically, where are you staying?” Zhao Yu asked him yet again.
“Oh. In the tour guide fees that you paid, it includes my accommodation fees. However, the standards of my accomodations are naturally different from yours!” Han Dewang answered him honestly.
He then added, “Although I could get myself a room in the nearby hotel, I happen to have some friend here, so I’ll be staying at their place tonight. In this way, I am able to save that amount of money that is already allocated for my accommodations!”
Su Jinmei quickly spoke up when she saw Zhao Yu hesitating. “Master, you can’t be thinking for me to follow him, right? I am a girl, after all! You can’t be so heartless!”
Mmm… Cough, cough. Han Dewang coughed awkwardly, then said, “Don’t worry. The policies in New Zealand are not that strict. As such a marriage certificate isn’t required for a man and a woman to share a room in a hotel!”
“Motherf*cker! Mmm…” Zhao Yu wanted to curse more, but he knew that it would be inappropriate. However, he still couldn’t help but complain, “It isn’t required in China either!”
“Yes, yes, yes.” Han Dewang was worried that he had offended his biggest client, so he immediately nodded and said, “Then, I shall go and leave you to it! If you have any communication problems, they have a Chinese-speaking manager in this hotel. It’s late, so rest well you two!”
Then, he quickly left.
Su Jinmei spoke to Zhao Yu as though a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. “Master, don’t worry. I will not cause you any trouble tonight. You can take the bed and I will sleep on the floor! I swear, I won’t let you make any mistakes…”