TL: Moonlit

Dormouse, a small and shy mammal, spends 3/4 of its life in sleep and often starves to the brink of extinction due to forgetfulness in eating caused by excessive sleepiness.

Dormouse belongs to the order Rodentia, but they are not actual mice, just close relatives of mice.
They have a closer resemblance to squirrels with their long, fluffy tails.
When they sleep, they curl up into a ball on their backs and sleep soundly while hugging their own tails.

Hazel Dormouse, a cute member of the dormouse species, has brownish-yellow fur, a body length of no more than ten centimeters, and a tail almost as long as its body.

Compared to other dormice, hazel dormice are more selective in their diet.
Besides fruits, tender grass stems, and insects, they particularly love to eat hazelnuts, which is how they got their name.

For dormice, their lives consist of either sleeping or preparing to sleep.
Apart from the hottest summer season, they spend the other three seasons in a state of sleep.
The brief summer and early autumn periods are when they intensely eat to gather energy for hibernation.
Even if they haven’t eaten enough, it doesn’t stop their footsteps towards hibernation.
As a result, approximately 80% of dormice starve to death during hibernation due to insufficient food.
However, even when they starve, they do so in their dreamy slumber.

Despite being true sleep enthusiasts, dormice are rare little long-livers.
The lifespan of a typical mouse is measured in months, but dormice can live up to five years.
Therefore, the belief that dormice adhere to is probably that life is all about sleeping.

At least, that’s what Shu Shuishui firmly believes.
As a hazel dormouse, Shu Shuishui’s lifespan is actually unreasonably long.
It wasn’t until Shu Shuishui saw his own brother’s grandson’s son pass away that he suddenly realized that he might be different.
What’s different about him? He couldn’t quite put it into words.

It wasn’t until he left his hometown and wandered around the world that Shu Shuishui encountered another mouse named Shu Bao.
Shu Shuishui suddenly wanted to form a group, but Shu Bao was aloof and not very sociable.
Then Shu Bao asked a question, “Do you know what ‘Hushu Bao’1seeking-mouse treasure means?”

Shu Shuishui shook his head in confusion and felt somewhat disheartened, thinking that his ignorance might make him lose the chance to have a good mouse teammate.

But finally, Shu Bao hummed and reluctantly agreed to travel together.

Shu Bao said he was looking for his own brothers and also on a journey of cultivation.
Shu Bao claimed to be a treasure-seeking mouse, skilled in finding all sorts of rare treasures.
Shu Bao shared many stories about cultivation, but Shu Shuishui didn’t quite grasp it, often frustrating Shu Bao.

As winter approached, Shu Shuishui suggested taking a nap before continuing the journey.
Shu Bao agreed, so when Shu Shuishui woke up in the spring, he saw Shu Bao with a face as dark as the bottom of a pot.

Shu Bao was almost exasperated and said that Shu Shuishui was the laziest mouse he had ever encountered.

Shu Shuishui looked bewildered and aggrieved.
“But if a dormouse doesn’t sleep, what’s the meaning of its life?”

Shu Bao fell silent.
After a while, Shu Shuishui approached and saw Shu Bao searching for information through a strange thing called “Baidu.”

Shu Shuishui made a sound of understanding and obediently sat beside Shu Bao, fluffy and warm, and soon fell asleep again.

When Shu Bao finally learned about the dormouse species and felt a myriad of emotions, he finally accepted his companion who slept for three out of four seasons.

The world journey of the two mouse buddies proceeded joyfully, at least according to Shu Shuishui.
Shu Bao was amazing, the most formidable mouse he had ever encountered.
Shu Bao could even transform into a human form, and he looked good doing it.
Although Shu Shuishui had never been in close contact with humans, he believed that Shu Bao was the most handsome lad in the whole world.

Following Shu Bao, Shu Shuishui gradually underwent a transformation.
The most significant change was that Shu Shuishui felt his brain became much sharper, and he slowly began learning the arts of cultivation alongside Shu Bao.

Shu Bao had once jokingly said, “One day as a teacher, a lifetime as a father,” while standing coldly on a rock, waiting for Shu Shuishui’s response.

On that day, the moon was full and bright, and the jungle beneath the moonlight was filled with the dancing of fireflies, creating a scene with a black and white silhouette.

Shu Bao stared blankly at the mouse bundle on the rock, then raised his two front paws and clapped, a new skill he had learned to show his appreciation.
After clapping, he asked, “What does that mean?”

The mouse bundle on the rock almost rolled off, but since then, Shu Bao never mentioned it again.
It was only after that moment that Shu Shuishui truly had a name—Shu Shuishui, which meant comfortably sleeping.
Shu Bao gave him this name.

Shu Bao said that the world had scarce spiritual energy and few spirits, especially among mice.
At least, Shu Shuishui was the first mouse he encountered after leaving home, even though he had only recently gained sentience.
But his aptitude was good, blah blah blah…

Shu Shuishui sat on the rock, dozing off.

The two mice journeyed together, almost exploring the entire world.
Of course, this took a considerable amount of time.
Shu Shuishui didn’t keep track, but it must have been a hundred years or so.
During this time, whenever Shu Shuishui wanted to hibernate and sleep, Shu Bao would usually choose to meditate and cultivate, so it didn’t conflict.

One day, Shu Bao said he had found a clue about his brother and needed to traverse time and space.
It was too dangerous to bring Shu Shuishui along anymore.

For the first time, Shu Shuishui experienced feelings of reluctance and sadness.
He hugged his paws and tears fell, wetting his round and furry cheeks, leaving two traces.

Sighing heavily, Shu Bao said, “Though spirits are scarce, they still exist.
You love sleeping so much, but what if you’re eaten while you’re asleep?”

Shu Shuishui wiped away his tears with his paw and comforted Shu Bao in turn, “It’s alright, I’m used to it.
Before I started traveling, many dormice were eaten by wild boars during hibernation.”

Shu Bao “…”

Shu Bao knew that Shu Shuishui was speaking the truth.
Otherwise, dormice wouldn’t be an endangered species.
These creatures, once they fall asleep, won’t wake up even if the world crumbles.
They meet their demise in various bizarre ways, with starvation and being eaten accounting for the majority of cases.

In the end, Shu Bao left, but before he departed, he made sure that Shu Shuishui remembered everything he had taught, even if it meant memorizing it by rote.

Shu Bao felt a sense of emotion.
Shu Shuishui had great talent and good luck.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gained sentience on his own without any guidance and wouldn’t have encountered Shu Bao in this vast world.

However, in Shu Bao’s eyes, Shu Shuishui was too lazy.
What worried Shu Bao the most was that one day Shu Shuishui would be too lazy to eat and starve himself to death.
But as for this disciple, let’s just consider him as a disciple, Shu Bao liked him very much.
He was soft and silly.

Shu Bao secretly divined for Shu Shuishui and the results were not bad.
Though there would be setbacks, there wouldn’t be any life-threatening danger.
As for whether Shu Shuishui could ultimately achieve the path of ascension, it would depend on individual opportunities.

After Shu Bao left, Shu Shuishui traveled alone for a while and felt a bit bored.
So, he found a secluded mountain forest and settled down, establishing a base.

Dormice were skilled at tidying up their nests, which was closely related to their love for sleeping.
A comfortable and cozy den was the dream of all dormice.

Shu Shuishui lived alone in the mountains and forests for five years.
During this time, he comprehended the formations taught by Shu Bao, but when it came to alchemy, artifact refining, and treasure hunting, he still had only partial knowledge.
It wasn’t because he wasn’t intelligent, but rather because he spent too much time sleeping.
As for formations, he found them the most practical and learned them the fastest because formations could control temperature, change small worlds, and defend against external enemies.

As it is now, in the peak of summer, a mini farmhouse sits on a sunny hillside in the secluded rocks of the mountains.
The room was built by Shu Shuishui nibbling on branches, and inside the small house was a neatly arranged circular nest.
It was filled with bird feathers, soft grass, and a small pile of hazelnuts.

The hazel forest provided enough food for Shu Shuishui.
However, since he began cultivating, the picky hazel dormouse was no longer satisfied with just hazelnuts.
He also utilized the seeds he collected while traveling the world.

He even patiently spent time setting up formations suitable for the growth of various plants, simulating different ecological environments.

Although humans were not very friendly and often noisy creatures, the few close encounters Shu Shuishui had ended with humans screaming in delight and cuteness.
However, he couldn’t deny that humans were good at handling food, which Shu Shuishui couldn’t forget.

In front of Shu Shuishui’s courtyard, two small rice fields, each the size of a palm, were planted—one on the left and one on the right, each with four stalks.
Every stalk grew vigorously, and with the effect of the formations, they would mature and be ready for harvest in half a month.

In addition to the eight rice stalks, Shu Shuishui also planted five chili peppers, four wheat plants, three shiitake mushrooms, two rapeseeds, and one corn.

Next to the well-organized fields was a small pond where two tasteful ornamental fish, two crayfish, a crab, and a scallop were kept.
Not far from the pond was a makeshift fence made of branches, inside which three grasshoppers were kept.
No matter how they jumped, they couldn’t escape the low fence, indicating the presence of a formation.

Both plants and animals were thriving under Shu Shuishui’s care.
They were healthy and plump.

Shu Shuishui circled around his two small rice fields and then stood on his tiptoes, looking up with both paws covering his head to block the sun.
He gazed at the heavy rice ears and nodded in satisfaction—it was time to harvest the rice!

The little dormouse stepped into the rice field and bit off a rice stalk with a crackling sound.
The rice slowly fell down, and he moved on to the next one.
The eight rice stalks were quickly harvested, and Shu Shuishui bundled four of them together, dragging them to a flat and sunny stone to dry.
He planned to thresh them in a couple of days.

Under the sun, the two bundles of rice were left to dry.
Shu Shuishui returned to the rice field, all four paws ready, and quickly renovated the field.
He filled it with water to nurture the seedlings, intending to plant another crop.

After tending to the rice field, Shu Shuishui went to his small pond and took a bath.
During that time, he checked on the seafood he raised and felt that they were a few grams short in weight.
He decided to raise them a bit longer.
He then glanced at the livestock he raised and thought that he could eat one today.


Author’s note:

Shu Shuishui: “Hey, brother, want to form a team?”

Shu Bao, with a cool mouse face: “Do you know what ‘Hushu Bao’ means?”

Shu Shuishui felt sad and wondered what kind of artifact Hushu Bao was.
He was so ignorant, and it seemed he was about to lose his fellow mouse companion.
He held his paws, feeling heartbroken.

Shu Bao, with a cool mouse face: “Well, let’s form a team then.”

1seeking-mouse treasure

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