Thank you to Charlie for the ko-fi~

As Shu Shuishui worked, he provided commentary.
“We’ll start by marinating with salt to enhance the flavor.
Additionally, using scallions, ginger, and garlic can both enhance the freshness and remove any fishy smell.
Gu Gu, do you want something sweet? You can also add a bit of honey, and then sprinkle some cooking wine.
This will make the meat tender.
Using pine charcoal is just right…”

Everyone ceased their movements, watching Shu Shuishui work.
Even though the fish had yet to touch the fire, they seemed to already be able to smell the enticing aroma.

Liu Du’s frustration deepened.
Couldn’t he have taken Shu Shuishui with him when he left? If he had taken him, would he have been beaten to death by his older brother first, or by Gu Langu first?

Ultimately, under the gaze of everyone present, Shu Shuishui meticulously threaded the specially prepared fish onto skewers.
As he lifted one of the “huge” fish, Liu Po and the others couldn’t help but admire him.
He truly was a mutated mouse—strong and, while a bit short in stature, couldn’t even reach the grill.

Despite his short stature, Shu Shuishui wasn’t concerned about his height at all.
Just as Shu Shuishui was about to tiptoe, Gu Langu’s hand had already extended, and with perfect coordination, he took the prepared fish and placed it over the campfire.

Though Liu Po envied the situation, he didn’t want to bother a small mouse.
However, this concern didn’t hold back Yu Jin.
He vividly remembered the deliciousness of the small fish Shu Shuishui had caught earlier, the tiny piece that had ended up between his teeth.
The power and courage of a food lover were boundless.

Facing Gu Langu’s gaze, Yu Jin managed to inch over to Shu Shuishui’s side.
He suppressed the urge to tap his chef’s hat with his fingers and ingratiated himself with words.
“Shui Shui, lovely Shui Shui, could you help me with a fish too? I can do your laundry for you—no, I can wash your feet!”

The crowd gave him disapproving looks, and Xie Feng was even more puzzled.
When did Yu Jin become so cunning? What kind of exchange was foot washing for Shu Shuishui? There were plenty of people vying for such opportunities!

Almost instinctively, Shu Shuishui raised his tiny foot and examined it for a moment.
He didn’t think his paw needed cleaning, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a bit of polish.
So, he nodded.
“Sure, you can help me polish my claws, Mao Jin.”

Gu Langu lifted an eyebrow.
“I can do it; I can be accurate down to the hundredth of a millimeter.”

Upon hearing this, Shu Shuishui’s eyes indeed brightened.


Yu Jin: “…”

Just as Yu Jin was racking his brain to come up with a different offer, the little dormouse had already approached with a series of quick footsteps.
“Mao Jin, which one do you want?”

Yu Jin’s mood instantly soared, and he placed the fish he had already picked out in front of Shu Shuishui.
Donning his chef’s hat, the little dormouse embarked once again on the process of exquisite cooking.

“I want mine to be mildly spicy~” Yu Jin declared, oblivious to all else.

Xie Feng endured for a while but finally couldn’t hold back.
“Why is Shui Shui catering to this glutton? He’s absolutely insatiable.”

Lifting his head from his busy work, Shu Shuishui responded, “Xiao Feng Feng is pouting too.
I really can’t handle you guys.
Xiao Feng Feng, what flavor do you want?”

Xie Feng’s face turned crimson instantly.
He didn’t remember pouting, but how could he refuse now? He honestly replied, “I want mine to be garlic-flavored~” Then he hesitated slightly and placed the fish he had already chosen beside Shu Shuishui.

The B Zone trio watched in astonishment as the group interacted, and Liu Po’s feeling of discordance grew stronger.
Was this a base that raised a mouse, or a mouse that raised a base? This was too incredible! He had actually seen tolerance and composure in a mouse.


Although Shu Shuishui seemed easy to talk to, none of the B Zone trio felt like saying anything, except for Liu Du, who had been trying to abduct Shu Shuishui.

When Liu Du began coquettishly pinching his throat, everyone was left in disbelief.

Shu Shuishui gave Liu Du a puzzled look for quite a while before saying, “Okay, but it seems like your throat isn’t in the best condition.
You can’t handle spicy food, so I’ll make yours milder.”

Liu Du: “…” Well, milder was better than nothing.
Thus, he eagerly nodded in agreement and quietly defended himself, “It’s not my throat that’s the problem.”

Yu Jin jumped in from the side.
“Right, it’s your brain, that’s the issue.” He finished his comment with a playful rub of goosebumps on his arm.

Liu Du glanced at Yu Jin.
“For the sake of Shui Shui and the fish, I won’t argue with you.”

The two hot-headed individuals finally cooled down in front of Shu Shuishui and the fish, patiently waiting for the grilled fish to be ready.

As Shu Shuishui adeptly and diligently prepared each fish, he then went to select his own.
However, before he could pick a suitable fish, a tabby cat approached with a light step, leaped to Shu Shuishui’s side, and dropped the fish it had carried in its mouth.
Following its usual routine, it turned and fled.

The speed was so swift that no one reacted in time.
Liu Du was somewhat bewildered.
“Bro, was that a cat just now?”

Liu Po: “Yeah, it was a cat.”


Liu Du stared in the direction where the tabby cat had disappeared.
“The cat brought a fish for the mouse!”

Liu Po looked at the fish still being presented in front of them.
“Yeah, it seems like the cat did bring a fish.”

Cheng Que: “…” Why would a cat bring a fish to a mouse?

Scratching his head, Shu Shuishui opened up with a bit of hesitation.
“Gu Gu, could you tell that cat that it doesn’t need to bring me fish every day? I can’t finish them all.”

Nan Ge was relieved that his silly younger brother, who adored cats, wasn’t here.
Otherwise, he might have been consumed by jealousy.
Not to mention fish, Hua Li had never even brought a mouse to Nan Fang, but now it was bringing fish to Shu Shuishui.

Liu Po and his companions: “…” They didn’t want to talk.
It felt like they would be met with scorn if they asked.
After all, this mouse had transformed the entire valley.
What was strange about a cat giving gifts?

In the end, Shu Shuishui didn’t refuse the tabby cat’s intentions.
With the help of Yu Jin, he processed the fish and sprinkled his favorite spicy flavor on them, placing them on the grill.

Before the fish was fully cooked, the tantalizing aroma indeed began to waft through the air.
The people of Gu Langu Base were fine since they were accustomed to eating meat.
However, the others who had come from B Zone were not so lucky.

Grilled fish was one thing, but why did the whole valley now carry the scent of tempting meats—stewed, grilled, steamed, and in a variety of styles! Where did all this meat come from? Were there still many non-mutated creatures in the valley?

Although Gu Langu Base had sent some meat to B Zone, it was unrealistic to expect everyone from B Zone to be able to eat meat.
In this era of scarce and precious resources, it was already a rarity for others to send food.

The B Zone trio near the campfire also noticed this phenomenon.
Apparently, the meat in the valley wasn’t limited to fish; there were many other kinds of meat too.
“Are these all meats from non-mutated creatures? So many!”

Yu Jin, who was staring fixedly at his grilled fish, pondered whether it was time to flip it.
Upon hearing this, he responded without looking up.
“No, those are all meats from mutated creatures.
Most mutated creatures are oversized.
As Shu Shuishui would put it, they offer a cheap and hearty meal.”

Damn it, a hearty meal? You can’t even eat mutated creatures!

Liu Po’s expression couldn’t help but change this time.
However, his surprise only lasted for a brief moment.
As the leader of B Zone, Liu Po quickly recognized the situation and his eyes brightened.
“So, this is what Mr.
Nan Ge was referring to as another trade! It’s indeed very tempting.”

Food scarcity was a problem on Cang Zhan Star.
Because it wasn’t just humans eating; various creatures needed sustenance too.
The danger posed by mutated creatures made them inedible, which meant humans were reluctant to deal with them.


As a result, the number of mutated creatures continued to rise.
This vicious cycle further decreased available food.
But there was no choice; everyone lived day by day.
Who would suddenly risk their life to deal with mutated creatures?

Nan Ge nodded.
“Yes, but this is just one of them.
Liu Po wants an environment similar to the valley, which is hard to achieve.
However, we have mini-climate farms resembling valleys.
Their size may be small, but the plants within can grow several times faster.
For instance, if we plant sweet potatoes, we can harvest them in as little as three days.
The lifespan of a micro-farm varies depending on the surrounding environment, ranging from three to five months.
Of course, our technology is constantly evolving…”

As Nan Ge explained, Liu Po, Liu Du, and Cheng Que were all deeply amazed.
If what Nan Ge said was true, then even in the harsh winter, they might not need to die! On Cang Zhan Star, even in the so-called safe zones, no one dared to make such a promise!

“Could you take me to see it?” Liu Po felt like the only thing left in his ears was the pounding of his own heart.
How was this just a business deal? This was practically a lifesaver!

Nan Ge’s gaze subtly shifted.
“No rush, let’s eat first.”

Liu Po could only hold back his emotions upon hearing this.
“I’m sorry, I was impatient.
This micro-farm is just too shocking.
I assume you are all aware that Cang Zhan Star will enter the Era of Apocalypse next year, and our future sources of food will become scarcer.”

Nan Ge flipped the grilled fish in his hand.
“Yes, and I’m afraid the situation might not be that simple.” Liu Po’s excited reaction just now made Nan Ge have a vague suspicion.

Liu Po fell silent for a few seconds before speaking again.
“Indeed, we’ve received information.
It’s not only Cang Zhan Star that’s entering the Era of Apocalypse.
The entire Cang Star System seems to be sick.
Numerous desolate stars and ore stars are entering a fluctuating period, even their final stages.
Starting next year, even with the use of simulators, the exchange and acquisition of food will be severely restricted.
It’s not just Cang Zhan Star; many planets similar to Cang Zhan Star are facing the same situation.”

The scene turned somewhat somber, as if even the enticing aroma of the grilled fish had diminished.

“Brother, you’ve never told me about this!” Liu Du was also greatly shocked.

Liu Po seemed a bit helpless.
“Because this information can’t be confirmed yet.
It came from someone who sought refuge in B Zone, an experienced simulator player.
If not for this news, he could easily find a safe location, hide in a simulation chamber, and rely on clearing simulations for resources to survive the winter.”

According to Liu Po, this person wasn’t particularly strong in gaming skills, but they were exceptionally adept at managing relationships.
They recently participated in a collective mission organized by the Galactic Alliance, where they met people from two other desolate stars.
After exchanging information, they arrived at this conclusion.

The atmosphere grew heavy.
Shu Shuishui, sitting on a small rock, tilted his little head left and right before climbing onto Gu Langu’s shoulder.
He extended his paw and tapped Gu Langu’s head.
“Gu Gu, don’t be afraid.
You still have Shui Shui.
I’ll protect you, and everyone else too.”

Yu Jin and his companions immediately showed expressions of being touched.
This was their Shu Shuishui—so heartwarmingly affectionate.

Expressionless, Gu Langu opened his mouth.
“It’s enough for Shui Shui to protect me.
They are all stronger than me, so I don’t need protection.”

The emotionally moved group froze.
“…” Could a half-cyborg lie without blinking?

Liu Po and Liu Du couldn’t help but curl their lips, feeling the atmosphere had inexplicably improved.

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