TL: Moonlit

Gu Langu peeled the roasted sweet potato, leaving only a little bit of skin to make it easier for Shu Shuishui to hold.
Carefully, he placed the roasted sweet potato on Shu Shuishui’s raised paw.

Shu Shuishui held the sweet potato, which was even taller than himself, and didn’t insist on starting from the top to eat.
Instead, he bit it midway and wherever he bit was considered a bite.
While eating, the little dormouse even made an effort to tilt his whiskers backward to avoid getting them dirty with sweet potato residue.

Nan Ge naturally observed Shu Shuishui’s series of actions and, inexplicably, felt a slight sense of happiness.
Although he knew he shouldn’t, looking at Shu Shuishui protecting his food, Nan Ge had to admit that he was won over by his roasted sweet potato.

In fact, it wasn’t just Nan Ge; Nan Fang and Yu Jin had also secretly searched for information to learn about Shu Shuishui’s identity.
However, they found that the field mouse they researched was completely different from Shu Shuishui – the color and size didn’t match.
Among all the rodents they searched for, they couldn’t find anything exactly like Shu Shuishui.
If there were any similarities, it might be with squirrels or hamsters.

They all had cheek pouches and liked to store food.
One thing was clear: just like any other rodent, Shu Shuishui cared a lot about food.
So when he generously shared his food, everyone was touched.

Xie Feng, our base is indeed short of people, but if you come, I’m afraid you won’t be able to taste the roasted sweet potato,” Nan Ge said with a smile.

Xie Feng looked a little surprised.
His appearance indicated that he was doing well in Fei Luo’s base, which meant he had abilities.
Nan Ge had already pointed this out before.
“Is the Gu Langu Base so stingy? I’m a genius in information technology, and if conditions allow, I can even modify simulators…”

Xie Feng tried to sell himself, and just the ability to modify simulators was already impressive.
Of course, with Cang Zhan Star’s current conditions, modifying simulators was only a possibility, but who couldn’t have dreams?

After several thousand words of self-introduction, Xie Feng looked at Nan Ge with expectation and a bit of self-confidence.

In Nan Ge’s peripheral vision, as Xie Feng continued his self-introduction, the little mouse had already moved step by step behind Gu Langu, completely out of Xie Feng’s sight.

Nan Ge: “…”

“Sorry, what I said earlier won’t change.
If you want to join our base, you’re welcome anytime, but the roasted sweet potato is out of my control.” Nan Ge ruthlessly rejected the top talent, Xie Feng.

Xie Feng was a bit dumbfounded.
He didn’t expect to be rejected, considering even a mouse could eat such a big roasted sweet potato.
How could someone like him, who potentially could modify simulators, not even get a bite of roasted sweet potato? Can the Gu Langu Base be so stingy? Speaking of which, where did that mouse go?

“Can I know the reason?” Xie Feng tried to maintain a smile.

Nan Ge had an expression of ‘of course, you can.’ “Because it seems our mice don’t quite like you.”

Xie Feng’s face showed some annoyance.
“Can you give me a more legitimate excuse?”

Nan Ge felt helpless.
He was telling the truth.
Before Nan Ge could respond, the little mouse had already peeked out from behind Gu Langu.
“Am I not legitimate? I’m a legitimate field mouse.”

Xie Feng: !!!

Xie Feng, who was used to focusing solely on research and turning a deaf ear to the outside world, had a bit of trouble reacting.
After a while, he managed to recall some bits of gossip he had heard: the Gu Langu Base kept two pets, a cat, and a mouse.
The cat was like a little princess, and the mouse was a mascot.
Everything else seemed to be selectively ignored.

Xie Feng looked at the half-exposed Shu Shuishui.
“Do mice come in legitimate and illegitimate forms?”

Shu Shuishui earnestly corrected him.
“I’m a field mouse, thank you.”

“Is a field mouse more legitimate than a regular mouse?” Xie Feng couldn’t grasp the difference between a field mouse and a regular mouse.

Everyone: “…” Is this person deliberately looking for trouble? Or are we going to continue with this conversation?

Unexpectedly, Shu Shuishui was stumped by this question.
Was a field mouse more legitimate than a regular mouse? He couldn’t find a compelling argument, so he changed the topic.
“Field mice are better at farming than regular mice, and they are fuzzier.
I grew the sweet potatoes myself.
Although your hands are also pretty, but…,” Shu Shuishui glanced at the people around the bonfire, “I already have a big family to take care of.
I can’t afford to keep you, especially since you seem like you eat a lot.”

The situation suddenly reversed, and Xie Feng felt like he had been stabbed several times.
Shu Shuishui’s words contained too much information.
What did he mean by having a big family to take care of? And what did he mean by him looking like he could eat a lot? Wait, sweet potatoes are grown by mice!

Xie Feng skeptically looked up and down at Shu Shuishui, who was not even as big as a sweet potato.
He felt that this was just an excuse and a plot for the Gu Langu Base to refuse to provide him with sweet potatoes, thus trying to send him away with a mechanical mouse.

Amidst the peculiar atmosphere, Fei Luo arrived, slightly hurried in his steps.
Fei Luo was the leader of the Fei Luo Base, which, theoretically, had the largest number of people among the migrating teams.
But when facing Gu Langu, his aura inexplicably diminished by two points.

Fei Luo greeted everyone one by one and learned about Xie Feng’s purpose for coming.
“Xiao Feng, don’t make a fuss.
If you want to eat roasted sweet potatoes, go back, and I’ll have someone roast some for you.”

Xie Feng furrowed his brows.
“Brother Luo, things have come to this point.
I’ve made my intentions clear.
Over the years, I have repaid the kindness of the base enough.
I want to leave.”

The brief exchange and change in expressions between the two had given Nan Ge a general idea of the situation.
Seeing how anxious Fei Luo had rushed over, Xie Feng indeed had some abilities.
Fei Luo had helped Xie Feng before, which was why Xie Feng stayed in the Fei Luo Base.
However, it seemed that some unpleasant things had happened, and now Xie Feng wanted to use this opportunity to leave the Fei Luo Base.

In the current situation, among the three major bases, the Fei Luo Base had the largest number of people and a considerable strength.
The second-largest base, led by Hu Sichen, didn’t dare to confront Fei Luo head-on.
On the other hand, the smallest Gu Langu Base, thanks to Gu Langu’s presence, Fei Luo didn’t dare to obstruct Xie Feng.
Xie Feng didn’t really want to eat sweet potatoes; he was obviously using it as a pretext to switch bases.

As expected, Xie Feng turned to the people from the Gu Langu Base and spoke straightforwardly, with a powerful momentum, “One condition: one sweet potato in exchange for me, do you agree or not!” He seemed to have made a significant decision.

“Agree!” Not just Nan Ge, even Nan Fang and Yu Jin understood that this was a risk-free deal.
Especially since they had obtained a large number of simulators this year, if Xie Feng truly had the ability to modify them, it would be a huge win.
But before they could speak up, another voice chimed in.

“No deal!” Shu Shuishui also had a powerful momentum.
“Why should we agree? Today, one sweet potato in exchange for you, then we’ll have to feed you with even more sweet potatoes in the future.
It’s a losing deal.”

The most feared moment – when the air suddenly turned quiet.

The springboard had collapsed just like that, and Xie Feng felt it took him a long time to recover.
He was actually rejected!

Nan Ge opened his mouth, and he actually wanted to agree to the deal.
After all, the base had some sweet potatoes in storage, but they were reserved for next year’s planting.
However, Shu Shuishui had already refused, and if he spoke up now, wouldn’t he undermine his face? Looking at the fluffy little furball, Nan Ge felt conflicted for a moment.

Fei Luo was also momentarily stunned.
He had already planned to negotiate with Nan Ge and not let Xie Feng leave at any cost.
But he never expected that Gu Langu’s pet mouse would actually refuse! This… was simply too surprising.

Suppressing a smile, Fei Luo comforted, “Xiao Feng, it’s alright.
Come back, and your treatment in the base will remain the same.
I’ll also ask An’an to be mindful of his boundaries.”

Xie Feng’s eyes instantly turned red, and he gritted his teeth hard.
“Mindful of his boundaries? After so many years, Brother Luo, do you really not understand or pretend not to understand? You can see the whole base clearly and grasp people’s hearts, but can’t you see why Shi An’an and I have always been at odds?”

“Xiao Feng, I think we need to go back and sit down to have a good talk.” Fei Luo’s voice was full of understanding and patience, as if dealing with a sulking child.

By the bonfire, Yu Jin’s eyes instantly lit up, taking on a gossipy posture.
Nan Fang and Nan Ge, on the other hand, felt somewhat embarrassed, not expecting such twists and turns.

Gu Langu didn’t react much.
He took the opportunity to pat Shu Shuishui’s little head, then took out a handkerchief and gently wiped away the sweet potato residue on Shu Shuishui’s cheeks.
Shu Shuishui usually ate very delicately and didn’t get food on his cheeks, but today, due to hurried eating and an improper angle, some sweet potato residue got stuck.

Shu Shuishui: “…” You’re embarrassing me like this.

Of course, Shu Shuishui didn’t understand the back and forth between Fei Luo and Xie Feng, but as he watched Xie Feng’s eyes turn red and teary from the argument, his small body softened, wondering if he had been too harsh.

In the darkness not far away, there was a faint, sneering laughter.
The person didn’t come closer but had been observing from afar.

Xie Feng pushed away Fei Luo’s arm that tried to embrace him and turned away desolately.
“It doesn’t matter if no one gives a sweet potato.
I’ll leave tomorrow.”

“Leave? In this icy and snowy world, where can you go? Don’t be stubborn, okay?”

“Anywhere, as long as it’s not in your base.” Xie Feng seemed indifferent and sat directly by the bonfire.

Fei Luo couldn’t directly drag him away in front of Gu Langu.

From the darkness came a call, “Brother Luo, I’m heading back first.
You come back soon.”

Fei Luo responded with a simple “Mm.”

The situation was awkward and deadlocked.
Fei Luo clearly didn’t want to let Xie Feng leave so easily, but with outsiders present, he couldn’t persuade him in detail, nor could he forcibly take him away.

Xie Feng had a blank expression as he sat by the bonfire to keep warm.
Occasionally, he would add a piece of firewood.
After a while, it seemed he remembered something, and he took out a mini gourd from his clothes and threw it into the bonfire.

Fei Luo’s body trembled, seemingly in disbelief, but he didn’t say anything.

Even the slow-witted Shu Shuishui realized that something was amiss.
Why did it suddenly feel like watching a TV drama? Unable to figure it out, Shu Shuishui simply stopped thinking about it and turned back to embrace Gu Langu’s hand, seeking comfort.

Gu Langu cradled the little dormouse in his palm and moved closer to the bonfire for warmth.
Shu Shuishui cooperated, extending his little paw toward the fire.

The night fell, and the temperature dropped rapidly.
The wind persisted but fortunately, there was no snowstorm.
The camp gradually quieted down, and people, except those on watch, retreated to their tents.

Gu Langu and his group also went to rest, leaving Xie Feng still sitting motionless by the bonfire.

In the end, Fei Luo also stood up.
“Xiao Feng, it’s late.
If you figure things out, come back early.
It’s easy to catch a cold outside.”

Xie Feng didn’t lift his head.
“Brother Luo, goodbye.”

“Goodbye,” Fei Luo replied but then realized that Xie Feng used to say goodnight in the past.
It seemed that he was still upset, and he didn’t know how to console him.
So he simply left and returned to his own tent.

Late at night, as agreed, Shu Shuishui lay in Gu Langu’s palm, with Gu Langu cupping him and his little pillow in both hands.
Shu Shuishui turned over in Gu Langu’s palm, his tiny ears twitching, catching the suppressed sobbing sound from outside.

Shu Shuishui: “…”

In the end, the little dormouse lifted Gu Langu’s finger and stealthily slipped out, poking his head out of the tent’s curtain.
The people on night watch nearby were nowhere to be seen, leaving only the person who had wanted to sell himself for a sweet potato, sitting there.

Quietly approaching the bonfire, Shu Shuishui walked behind the person.
After some thought, he took out a sweet potato from his spiritual storage and gently placed it there.
He was about to silently return to the tent, but his steps hesitated.
He ended up taking out a few more things from his spiritual storage: a garlic-flavored peanut, an apple, two pieces of sugarcane, and even a small cake he had treasured for a long time.
These were probably some of the few store-bought foods left in Shu Shuishui’s possession.

After Shu Shuishui brought over a clean little stone and quietly placed the cake, Xie Feng happened to turn his head and then froze.

Shu Shuishui’s small body stiffened.
“It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, don’t overthink.
I’ll take a walk and then go back to sleep.” After saying that, he quickly ran back to the tent, then swiftly nestled into Gu Langu’s palm and patted his little pillow before hugging Gu Langu’s index finger and falling asleep in an instant.

Gu Langu, who was actually awake: “…”

After a moment, laughter mixed with tears came from outside the tent.

The next morning, what awaited Nan Ge was a lifelong contract.
Although contracts like this didn’t hold much value on the Cang Zhan Star, Xie Feng insisted on it firmly.
He displayed all of his gains one by one, as if the gloom from yesterday had been completely swept away.
He happily sold himself for a lifetime in exchange for a pile of food.

Nan Ge: “…”

Yu Jin: “…”

Nan Fang quietly approached Yu Jin.
“Yu Jin, did Shuishui give him all this? He was complaining about making a loss on the deal just yesterday.”

Thinking about their previous experience, Yu Jin cryptically said, “No, Shuishui has great business acumen.
This deal is incredibly profitable.”

Nan Fang gave Yu Jin a curious look.
“Of course, it’s profitable! But how did Shuishui manage to do it?”

Yu Jin was momentarily speechless, unable to come up with an answer.
Perhaps what Shu Shuishui excelled at the most was catching you off guard, using his little paws to touch the softest spot in your heart without any ulterior motives.
It was purely because he wanted things to get better.
Thus, you couldn’t defend against it, and you couldn’t refuse.

Equally worried, Fei Luo, who arrived early in the morning, gritted his teeth in secret.
This little mouse was too cunning.
First, he dealt a blow to Xie Feng, making him lose all hope.
Then, like a sudden blessing, he appeared and made Xie Feng feel like a drowning person who had been sold yet was helping the buyer count the money, feeling grateful and indebted.
This little mouse was not simple at all!

Innocently unaware of how to comfort a crying child, Shu Shuishui stretched lazily in Gu Langu’s palm, and his little feet pushed against Gu Langu’s fingertip, successfully waking Gu Langu up.

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