In the box were booksor rather, neatly stacked magazines.
On the cover of each of these magazines was a bright yellow border with a laurel leaf pattern. All were well-kept, and arranged in the order of their published date.
Without looking, Li Du already knew the title of the publication: "National Geographic,"the most well-known and widely circulated magazine in the US and around the entire world.
The box that the little bug had flown into had magazines from 2000. There were titles like "Stunning Rare Footage Reveals Elusive Snow Leopards," and "Discover Europe's Far-Flung Island Paradise."
Beyond these magazines, there was also magazines from other years: 2001, 2002, 2003. A portion of them were from 2004.
Li Du's gaze lingered on these magazines. National Geographic was a series of quality magazines. It had rich content and impactful information. Li Du had been reading it lately as he had found that such magazines could broaden one's horizons.
The magazines that he had been reading were all from various years, as they had been retrieved from the storage units. They were worthless, and so he had kept them for his own reading.
These magazines were different from those that he had previously found; their value would be greater because they were arranged in order. There would be people who wanted to collect them.
Li Du retrieved the little bug; there was no sign of the young man who had stolen the basketball. He was going to have the little bug leave.
The little bug, however, hovered in the air. It then found many more cardboard boxes which had been wrapped up tightly.
Thinking of the magazines he had seen earlier, his heart fluttered. So he got the little bug to fly into the other boxes for a look.
They were still National Geographic magazines with covers depicting the same yellow border with the laurel leaf pattern and arranged in order of issue number. Those in the box were magazines from these five years: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Not one issue short!
The other boxes were also National Geographicall the boxes were. Counting from the recent years, there were more than 20 boxes, covering more than a century's worth of history!
As the little bug flew in and out of these boxes, Li Du felt as though he were watching a documentary on history. He had found magazines from the last century: 1980s, 1960s, 1950s, 1940s, 1930s . . .
Lastly, he found a small booklet which had been wrapped with cling film. It was different from those magazines with yellow borders on their covers. This book had a pink cover with a number on its top right corner: 1888.10.
Li Du, who was familiar with National Geographic, was shocked to see this thin booklet. If he recalled correctly, this was the serial number of the first National Geographic publication!
The little bug flew inside the cover. There was faint traces of autographs signed by fountain pens. A row of names were on it: John Wesley Powell, Adolphus W. Greely . . .
Li Du was not familiar with these namesmost people from modern times would not be familiar with these names. Only after searching for these names online with his phone did he realize how famous they had been during their time!
John Wesley Powell had taken the lead in the exploration of the Grand Canyon. He was, at that time, a famous explorer of wetlands and water sources. Adolphus W. Greely was the first person to perform polar exploration; he was also known as the "Ice and Snow Warrior."
These men had another identity: the founders of the National Geographic magazine and the earliest members of the Cosmos Club.
The first article in this pink booklet was titled "The Classification of Geographic Forms by Genesis" and was signed by W.J. McGee.
These magazines were much different; there was not a single photograph in them. They were filled mostly with words and figures, with the simple layout but serious analysis.
For more than a decade after it was first published, National Geographic did not have any pictures. Because of the academics within the articles, the inclusion of photographs was deemed as shallow.
This was up until 1905. Then, the publication's CEO Grosvenor had, at the risk of being fired from his job, inserted 11 photographs taken by a Russian explorer of Lhasa in Tibet.
In the same box as the inaugural issue, Li Du found this exact issuethe photograph of Lhasa in it was in black and white.
Scanning through these magazines, Li Du took in a deep breath.
He retrieved the little bug, and then as he stared at this storage unit, he felt exhilarated.
Honestly, he would like to have these magazines. They were simply too precious. That was, however, not why he wanted to have them. If he could get his hands on them, he wouldn't sell them away.
National Geographic might have been referred to as a magazine, but it could actually be thought of as an encyclopedia of sorts. The full set of the publication encompassed a whole century's worth of the best adventurers', scientists' and photographers' hearts, sweat and tears.
This set of magazines was more than just a showcase of sights and sounds. It also covered the ordinary folks, the planet's creatures from the depths of the sea to the tallest mountains, as well spoke about the vast universe. To people with a passion for nature and life, it was like the work of God!
This was especially true for the inaugural issue; only 200 copies had been printed in October 1888 and none had been put on sale. After all the key personnel had signed them, they were ceremoniously sent out to those who had supported them in their work.
More than 120 years later, this inaugural issue had become a rarity. When Li Du had searched about it on the Internet, only the Cosmos Club in Washington had retained its two copies.
One copy had once appeared on the Internet; it was put up for auction on eBay. It had sold for 400,000 US dollars.
Eventually, it was found to be a reproduction instead of an original.
Even so, it still sold for 50,000 dollars in the end. Reproductions of the inaugural issue were also rarely seen.
Li Du had no idea who these magazines belonged to but he could tell that the owner did not value them.
These boxes had been placed in the storage unit haphazardly. They were full of dust; some of the boxes had even been chewed on by vermins and bugs.Due to the humidity and weight impact, signs of damage had started to appear on some of the magazines.
He thought about it, and deduced that the owner probably did not know the value of the magazines. He could maybe find a way to buy them over.
Seeing that he stood still, Hans asked, "What's wrong with you? Getting sick?"
He flashed his middle finger at him."F*ck you, you're the sick one. Come, let's continue searching for that *sshole. He must be in one of these houses."
Ah Ow walked along the path. When she passed a garden, she sniffed and then howled excitedly.
Li Du released the little bug to let it fly into the house attached to the garden. It was empty but when the little bug flew out, he saw someone hiding in the kennel of the garden