Chapter 18: A Crazy Electricity Bill
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The day of the 29th, both of his parents were at work and he was home alone. He’d locked his bedroom door and left for Hairefa through the portal in his bathroom.
In the huge crater, the camp had turned into a pretty large-scale one. There was a tent for storage, a temporary ammo storeroom, a batch of various robot parts, and 285 high efficiency batteries. Da Li and the other robots had collected some more high efficiency batteries from the battlefield recently.
The number of the research team had also grown from one to two teams now. The robots, too, had now increased from five to 10. As for the names of the new robots… Chen Jin got lazy and decided to just give them each a code – he called the captain “02”, and the team members 0201, 0202, 0203, 0204… If there were more robots, the same naming method would also apply to them.
And finally, the Blue Angel that was parked next to the charging pile…it had been charging for the past 2 days. It had been 48 hours. Chen Jin took a look at the energy bar on the dashboard – there was still 32% left before the car was fully charged!
“The charging cord could run up to 5000 watts; it has already used 240kWh, but still needs 100 more? What…”
These high efficiency batteries are just like bugs… Chen Jin sighed. What if I introduced the manufacturing technology for these batteries to the people on Earth? It would be pretty easy to make billions of dollars that way, wouldn’t it? And become the wealthiest man in the world.
Chen Jin shook his head.
The most valuable thing on Haierfa is actually the much more advanced technology that humans lack on Earth. Technology is the primary production. Having leading technology means owning a gold mine – it’s way better than owning a piece of gold, and brings you more profits, too. Technology is a kind of information carrier; it’s not something you can see. It won’t be easy to find. I will have to keep searching until I discover everything on Haierfa.
Chen Jin muttered to himself as he stared at Blue Angel. Therefore, he hoped to take advantage of the local transportation to speed up his research on the planet. Chen Jin had then decided to take Blue Angel – once the battery had been fully charged – to explore the City of Tereese himself and see if he could find anything good.
All of a sudden, the charging signal light on the dashboard went out – the charging had stopped. The charging device next to the charging pile started making a “WONG WONG” sound as it stopped working as well. The energy-saving light hanging on a tripod in the middle of the camp also went out without warning.
“What is going on? Why has the power gone out?” Chen Jin was very confused. Is the same thing happening on Earth too? He hurried back to the apartment and went to the hallway; having taken a careful look at the main power switch, Chen Jin realized that all the electricity meters in the building were working fine except the one for his apartment.
He could still turn on the lights in the hallway. Which meant the power outage didn’t happen in other areas! It was only in his apartment. Chen Jin checked the circuit again, making sure there was no short circuit. It was functioning normally! There was only one possibility left – he didn’t pay the bills.
Chen Jin took out his phone and logged onto Alipay; he clicked on Online Bills Payment on the homepage to check the amount so he could get the money ready.
Current amount of your arrears: $1373.00
“WHAT?!” The number shocked him enormously. “I’ve been using more than 9000 watts of electricity over the past month? How is that even possible?” Even if he was home alone with AC on all summer, he’d still only have to pay $60-$70 every month for electricity.
But 9000 watts? How did it get so crazy?
Come to think of it, Da Li and the robots were large consumers of electricity, and the high efficiency batteries by the charging pile had been charging for a long time… According to the tiered pricing for electricity in Shanghai City, if one exceeded 400 watts per month, he had to pay 15 cents for each exceeding watt. The monthly cycle ended on the 15th, and if the payment was delayed for more than 10 days, they would notify you via a phone call first before they cut off your electricity. Chen Jin didn’t receive any phone call; he had absolutely no idea that he owed this much money.
But it wasn’t too hard to have the power back – all he had to do was to pay the bills and the electricity would be back on in five minutes.
The problem was…
“1373 dollars? Where am I going to get that kind of money?”
Chen Jin had gone bankrupt; he was a total pauper and still owed his friend 740 bucks. With a mirthless smile, he had no choice but to call his Mom, hoping she’d lend him some money to take the heat off of him.
“Son, you said you needed to borrow $1500 and will pay me back next month?” He Li asked on the phone.
“Yes, Mom. It’s really urgent. But I will definitely pay you back next month.”
“Son, you must have spent all your savings on that pearl necklace, huh? Tell me, how much did it really cost you?”
He Li had done some research on Baidu, and found out that the market price for the necklace her son gave her was at least $7,400!
“It wasn’t too much. Mom, please send me $1,500. It’s an emergency. I will pay you back next month!”
“No problem. I’ll do it right now!”
Within seconds, Chen Jin received a notification from Alipay: You have received $7,400 from your Mother…..
“Mom, $7,400 is too much. I just need $1,500!” Chen Jin was a bit surprised.
“No problem. But I didn’t give you all that money for nothing. I have a little request.”
“What kind of request?”
“I’ve found you a nice lady. Spend some time with her this weekend, get to know her. Hopefully you will get the chemistry going…”
“A blind date? Mom, I don’t want to get married yet. I’m not going.”
“Come on, show me some respect. I’ve already talked her into it and she’s agreed to meet you, too. My good boy, don’t make me look bad, ok?” Ever since He Li received the pearl necklace from her son, she realized he’d grown up and understood the importance of being a good son. She’d decided to strike while the iron was hot and make him start a family as soon as possible, so that he would become more independent and mature – and she would have some grandchildren, too.
“Alright, Mom, you have my word.” Chen Jin nodded helplessly. Of course Mom was going to give me an additional condition with that $7,400.
“Ok. Thanks, son.” He Li smiled with her squinty eyes.
Meanwhile, a girl in her tax collector uniform walked into the office with a pile of documents in her arms. She was tall, easy on the eyes, and had a long ponytail at the back of her head; there was an elegant yet capable vibe about her. She put the documents on the desk, and said to He Li in her clear voice, “Director He, these are the papers you requested. I’ve sorted them out for you.” She gently moved them to He Li’s sight.
He Li sized her up as she put down her phone and nodded with great satisfaction. She smiled at this assistant and asked, “Little Su, you’re 25 this year, right? Seeing anyone?”
Su Yun blushed and lowered her head. “Director, I’ve never been in love before.” Her faced had turned so red that it started to burn a little. To others, she seemed to be a distant, stone-cold fox, but with her supervisor He Li, she was like an innocent little girl who had her guard down and let He Li see all her secrets. She didn’t mind it; in fact, she enjoyed spending time with a supervisor like her. She was always full of energy and ready to work whenever she came to the office.
Naturally, He Li liked this assistant a lot, too; everything about Su Yun just seemed right for her. Now that she’d learned this beauty was still single, He Li couldn’t help but ask, “NO WAY! Who would have thought? The most beautiful girl in our department is still single? Don’t worry, Little Su. I’ve got this. I’ll find you someone nice.”
“Director… I’m too young still.” Su Yun mumbled as she pinched her jade-like fingers.
“Hahahahaha!” He Li couldn’t help but laugh