Three types of lizards coexisted in sympatry in a certain desert. The sizes of their prey were staggered in accordance with the sizes of the three types so that there were no overlaps.
Somewhere inside a rainforest was the habitat of fourteen types of pigeons, which could be categorized into four groups based on their sizes. It just so happened that the four groups each fed on a different size of fruits.
Such were the examples of natural resource allocation—that was, the difference on the choice of resources formed naturally so as to ensure the species' survival while reducing the competitive consumption within the same species.
The allocation in nature was determined by natural competition, whereas that of the human society was the result of system and ideology.
Its single basic rule was: the dominating side would always take over the majority of the resources, leaving a less significant amount to the weaker ones.
The scientist had a beautiful vision in which the resources were to be shared among all. However, he had overlooked two issues, the first being the quantity of the resources. If they failed to produce enough rice and fish for the society as a whole, the amount allocated would be decreasing progressively as they moved down the social hierarchy.
The second was the thoughts of those upstairs. In other words, whether the authorities wanted to make the resources available to the public or not.
Gu Yu remained cautious on both issues.
Of course, those were not his priorities and he brushed over them before moving onto the real business. "About this stone, it might have been that muscovite granite, or building material, or whatever that you people deemed it was, but now, it holds significant value."
"What value?" Qiu Guan was more curious than ever.
"The spiritual essence inside is so active that I can absorb it directly."
Playing with the stone in his hands, Gu Yu explained, "Cultivators depend on the absorption of spiritual essence in their cultivation so as to temper their body. With this, the rate of absorption will be doubled and the recovery speed increased after their spiritual essence is exhausted."
Qiu Guan whistled as he instantly realized the significance. The quality alone had qualified the stone as a possible value-measuring unit.
It did not mean that the stone was becoming a new currency. Fiat currency had no intrinsic value, but was guaranteed by the credit of the state, which enabled the money's owner to reach an agreement with the market on exchange right, hence the creation of a currency.
The stone, on the other hand, had great value in itself and to exchange with it was closer to barter of primitive societies.
Qiu Guan's voice was shaking as he asked, "How, how reactive is it?"
"I would suggest you not to mix it up with the other stuff. We'd better have another set of data for it."
Gu Yu pondered for a few seconds and went on. "It's only been a few years since the spiritual essence recovered. As nice as this stone is, we will surely discover something better in the future. I say we use this as the benchmark and make it a 1, too."
"Well… it's plausible. We can improve it later."
After some consideration, Qiu Guan nodded to show his approval.
The two stayed in the room talking for hours and did not go to bed until the dawn was breaking.
Being an elderly man, Qiu Guan could not keep up with such long working hours after all and did not get up until noon time. After that, he set out to write up a long report all by himself, which emphasized on ore-mining and crop-planting.
Knowing little of the ways of the world himself, the old man was nevertheless extremely responsible. He had secretly took some precautionary measures in case certain fellow decided to disregard his moral principles for the profit and do some despicable things. In the report, Qiu Guan had specifically asked the superiors to send in reinforcements for security purposes.
As for Gu Yu, the man honestly did not give a damn.
The importance of the stone lay in its function, not its quality. He himself would rather consume the essence directly, which was faster than absorbing it through the stone. What was more, it was not likely that such stones could be easily found everywhere. There weren't any on Phoenix Mountain and Mount Emei, anyway.
As for the green jade stone in Tianshan Mountain, its reactivity was too low to be considered of the same kind.
Before they knew it, Gu Yu and the team of specialists had been working hard in the mountains for a whole week.
The range of their survey covered an area with a radius of dozens of kilometers centering around the cave. Samples were brought back in a near ceaseless flow every day, which were experimented on and tested before the data was recorded.
Over one thousand kinds of resources could be found on Tianzhu Mountain, which included animals, plants, and minerals. Only through original samples with such a size and abundance could a relatively crude database be gradually established.
Unlike Gu Yu, who used simple numbers for categorization, the scientists had to systemize and regularize the data so as to study it as a new subject.
For instance, the strange fished had been named "short-tailed sawfish".
The stones, on the other hand, were known as "spiritual stones" under tacit agreement.
Spending these past few days with these scientists had made Gu Yu grow more interested in their work. These people were building a new world for real—an unknown, brand new social formation independent of the modern society was burgeoning in their hands.
One evening, after the sun had just set.
Major construction sites on either bank remained busy. Both banks were brightly lit by artificial lightning and the rumbles and moans of machines would ring out every now and then. Gu Yu and Qiu Guan were standing by the river, studying a map.
A box stood by their feet and in it were stones of various sizes and unusual shapes.
"We are reasonably certain that ores of this area on the south are shallowly deposited, about 100-meter deep. Ore distribution is uneven in this area on the southwest, not valuable enough to be mined. The quantity in the northern section is relatively low, but the positive side is that it's rather concentrated…"
"What about other minerals? Things like iron ore?"
"We haven't found any so far. Tianzhu Mountain is not a mining region to begin with and the stones here are either granite or gneiss, maybe a little bit of feldspar porphyry and that's it. We've tested them all. There's no abnormalities," Qiu Guan explained briefly, apparently exhausted.
The exhaustion was felt from inside out!
Had it been a coal mine they were detecting, modern technology would be more than capable of figuring out the quantity, shape, occurrence, locus, and distribution of the ore body. However, it would not work on mining spiritual stones. They could find the stones all right, but could not tell if they were spiritual or not.
As a result, they had divided the mountain into innumerable areas and whenever they dug a stone out, it would be sent to Gu Yu for inspection. Only after the stone was deemed spiritual could the existence of a mineral vein deemed possible.
With such a tedious procedure, one could imagine the efficiency of their work.
While they were still talking, a gunshot rang out in the distance, startling a few birds. A commotion followed and they could hear someone shouting, "Get out of the way! Out of the way! It's a leopard!"
"There's a leopard!"
Gu Yu moved a bit closer and raised his head. There, in the middle of the crowd, a shadow was indeed going on a rampage. A starving clouded leopard had ventured near the camp for food.
A soldier on patrol spotted the big cat and took a shot, but missed the target. The enraged clouded leopard went into a frenzy and lanced itself into the camp, apparently determined to turn everything upside down.
Several gunmen hesitated on the side, afraid of accidentally injuring one of their own. Someone even brought out a net, planning to throw it onto the beast's head. Seeing that the leopard was extremely fast and almost reached the center of the camp, Gu Yu was ready to activate his magical instrument.
Before he could take the action, another semi-bestial roar came from somewhere.
Immediately after that, a dark, humanoid figure dropped down and landed with a thud. It blocked the way of the beast.
The clouded leopard pounced at it with its mouth open wide, ready to bite.
The thing stood motionless. Only when the leopard was almost at its face did it reach out with ramrod-straight arms and clutch the animal between its hands like an eagle snatching a chicken, or an adult holding a kid by the neck.
The leopard was subdued in the blink of an eye; the beast was petrified.
The next second, the enormous body of the clouded leopard was torn in half by sheer force, as if it was nothing but a piece of rotten meat. The entrails splashed all over the ground; it was a most gory scene.
Immediately, onlookers who could not stand the violence started vomiting. That thing, on the other hand, stood motionless again after killing the leopard. No one dared to go near it.
Right at that moment, a team of people emerged from a mountain trail, all capable- and vigorous-looking. The leader of the team called out, "The First Division of Operation Department, BIMAUP, is here as commanded!"
Gu Yu blinked and could not help but look at the newcomers. His eyes flitted past the team leader and fixed right upon the person behind him. It was a spare, pale young man with a forbidding, saturnine look… Gu Yu had recognized an old friend.