My sleep was relatively restless. Between the craziness that had happened the previous day and being in a tent, sleep was difficult and sporadic. I woke up to one heck of a surprise, though. I was surrounded by wood instead of fabric.
I groggily stumbled outside to find that somehow, in the middle of the night, not only had the tent been torn down, but my house had been erected, somehow without waking me up. In fact, I was even covered in a blanket I had never seen before, with a pillow that hadn't been anywhere around when I had gone to sleep. Nook wasn't kidding about that construction crew. Those guys are like carpentry ninjas.
I resolved to talk to Nook about this later, but for now, I had to meet with Isabelle. Assuming she hadn't figured out the truth, I probably had a job to get started on. So, I headed to the town hall.
Isabelle was as bubbly as ever, and quickly tried to get me settled in. There were piles of paperwork that had built up in the absence of anyone to complete it, so getting through some of that was the first step. I couldn't understand half of what the papers meant, let along what I was supposed to be doing with them, but Isabelle was happy to help me through it. I guess even if I had been the proper mayor, I would have been new at the job. She didn't seem to think anything was amiss with my lack of knowledge. One of the papers seemed especially important to her--a town development permit application. Before I could enact laws or start establishing funds and contracts for new additions to the town, I had to get approval from the state.
The main point of the application was proof of citizen approval. Isabelle could supply the proof through surveys, once I had earned the favor of the citizens. Isabelle had a lot of suggestions of how to build their trust, none of which sounded easy. But it was work on that, or mindlessly grind through even more paperwork, so I decided it was time to hit the town.
The first place I decided to stop was Nook's office. He was amused at my reaction to the construction crew, and assured me that everyone in town had gone through the same thing. It had become something of a rite of passage in the area.
Next came the subject of the cost of the house. While I had made the down payment with little issue, there was still a bit to go on the full price of the house and land. Still, the price didn't seem too bad, especially after how easy it had seemed to come up with the initial 10,000 bells for the down payment. Even so, Nook assured me I was free to pay back the debt at my leisure. He believed that interest and deadlines simply made it less likely that people would be able to make their payments, so he was very flexible with such issues.
Now that personal matters were handled, it was time to really get to work. Unfortunately, I didn't grab any pictures of this, but there wasn't much worth seeing. I wrote some letters, tended a bunch of gardens, talked to people, did a few favors here and there. I was all over town all day, trying to help out. I even helped Blathers out by catching some of the local fish and insects. The residents really seemed to appreciate some life, however limited in scope it was for now, being breathed back into the museum. Some of them even took up rods and nets an effort to help flesh things out a little more!
I was actually working at things for so long that before I had even realized it, between the excess fish and bugs I had captured, and the thank you gifts I had received from helping some of my neighbors, that I had actually earned enough bells to pay off my debt right then and there.
Nook had set it up for me to wire the money to him through the ABD at the post office. The payment went through without issue, and when I went to talk to Nook, he was so happy he gave me a great deal on a new paint job for my house. He had never had anyone pay him back so quickly before. He gave a brief mention of the possibility of expanding in the future (my house was pretty small, but for the price, it was hard to complain), but said we could discuss that another day.
I was honestly getting pretty tired, but felt I should check in with Isabelle. I wasn't expecting much in the way of news, but to my surprise (life has been full of those recently), she told me I had just barely met the requirements for the permit application, and she had just mailed it off. It'd be a day or more before we heard anything back, but she didn't expect any problems. Energetic as she always was, even I could tell Isabelle was starting to get tired. Not even she could keep going forever. We bid our goodnights.
I trudged my way home, for a moment thinking I had gotten lost when I saw the house, instead of the tent from yesterday. Life here seemed to be moving so fast. Inside, I looked hungrily at my newest piece of furniture--a bed. A real, true bed. It had been days since I had slept in one at this point. I crawled into it and set to fixing that right away.