Thank you to Charlie for the ko-fi~

Even a little dormouse had the courage and audacity to speak words of protection for everyone, and suddenly, Liu Po felt that his previous timidity was unnecessary.
Gu Langu, would you consider cooperation? While cultivation can provide us with means of survival, it might not be enough to truly endure the Era of Apocalypse.
If Cang Zhan Star is destroyed, no amount of food could help.”

Gu Langu was currently enjoying Shu Shuishui’s comforting head pats.
Upon hearing this, he shifted his gaze onto Liu Po, signaling him to continue.

Gu Langu, have you considered that the Era of Apocalypse might not only affect Cang Zhan Star, but perhaps the entire Cang Star System?” Liu Po dropped another bombshell.

This time, Shu Shuishui’s little paw that was patting stopped in mid-air.
Even though he hadn’t experienced the so-called Era of Apocalypse, he understood the concept of a star system.
If the entire star system was affected by the Era of Apocalypse, could he truly protect Gu Gu? Shu Shuishui instinctively perked up his tiny ears, listening attentively.

Cheng Que beside them showed a hint of surprise.
He hadn’t explicitly discussed this matter with Liu Po, but he had hinted at it and guided toward it.
He didn’t expect Liu Po to actually pick up on it.

“Numerous planets entering the final stage of the apocalypse is already an abnormal phenomenon itself.
I also doubt that Xian Ge Galaxy would simply halt its actions.
Wars tend to come unexpectedly.
Furthermore, up until now, the Galactic Alliance hasn’t deciphered the cause of the appearance of mutant creatures.
If this continues, mutant creatures will inevitably continue to spread.
After all, mutants aren’t restricted to just one planet like Cang Zhan Star…”

Liu Po methodically listed each known discovery, and each piece of information seemed to provide a hint, suggesting that the problem extended beyond just Cang Zhan Star and encompassed the entire Canghai Galaxy.

“This feeling is strange, but I do think that these pieces of information are hinting at something larger, beyond just Cang Zhan Star.” Liu Po’s expression showed a mix of confusion.

Everyone could understand.
As the leader of a base, Liu Po probably hadn’t relied on his intuition for a long time.

“If that’s the case, what options do we have? Escape from Cang Zhan Star, find a planet without the apocalypse, and settle there?” Yu Jin’s thoughts were evidently the subconscious first response for most people.

However, this idea was too difficult.
Firstly, their resources wouldn’t support an escape from Cang Zhan Star.
Secondly, the Galactic Alliance would likely be searching for such planets nearby, and most habitable planets were already registered.
In case of conflict, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Lastly, if it truly was the Era of Apocalypse for the entire star system, such rare planets would be overflowing with populations, and exiles like them wouldn’t have the qualifications to settle in.


“How about interstellar migration?” Xie Feng suggested.
Interstellar migration involved abandoning the Canghai Galaxy, boarding a spaceship, and flying into the unknown cosmos.
They might never find a safe landing point in their lifetimes, or they might, fortunately, discover a planet to settle on.

“But first, we’d need a spaceship, one that can elude pursuit by the Galactic Alliance, and at the very least, escape from the Canghai Galaxy,” Liu Du pointed out, underscoring how challenging this condition was.
Let alone a spaceship, they couldn’t even fly off Cang Zhan Star at the moment.

Liu Po had clearly pondered these possibilities countless times.
“I’ve thought of many approaches, and almost all of them rely on technology.
The reason Cang Zhan Star is classified as a desolate planet is that the existing resources on the planet absolutely can’t support the construction of extraterrestrial objects.
If we can’t fly out of Cang Zhan Star, everything is just talk.
And currently, we have only one means to acquire extraterrestrial resources, which is through the simulator.”

“I know that several of you haven’t been on Cang Zhan Star for even a year, so you might still be unfamiliar with the simulator’s world.
You possess strength, while we have experience and various sources of information, allowing us to access the latest information.
How about cooperating, exchanging resources that might be useful, and then conducting our own analysis and disassembly? Perhaps we can refine useful materials from them.”

In this valley, Liu Po managed to grasp the one significant weakness of individuals like Gu Langu and the others.
They had only recently established themselves on Cang Zhan Star, and hadn’t seriously expanded their sphere of influence.
Their sources of information and grasp of intelligence were far removed from those of Zone B.
Many forces that managed to thrive on Cang Zhan Star did so not solely due to their strength.

“You can take your time to consider.
We’ll be leaving in two days.
The freezing season this year seems to have arrived earlier,” Liu Po didn’t demand an immediate answer, but everyone understood deep down that if it truly was an era of apocalypse, cooperation was inevitable.
After all, individual power was still too minuscule.

The fish was cooked, and the heavy conversation from earlier was left behind as the group focused on the delicious meal, especially the ones handled by Shu Shuishui.
The aroma made their mouths water.

Having lived on Cang Zhan Star for a while, they had learned to adjust their mindset at any time and anywhere, cherishing every moment of hard-earned happiness.


Shu Shuishui sat upright in the dish, napkin tied around his neck, cutlery in hand, striking an elegant and noble dormouse posture.

As the atmosphere by the lake grew warmer, Nan Fang, who had finally finished his tasks, followed the scent to the scene.
He was about to bemoan his lack of food when he found his portion of fish was already roasted.
Although it wasn’t cooked by Shu Shuishui, his elder brother’s culinary skills were also commendable.

The group enjoyed the meal wholeheartedly.
Shu Shuishui carefully picked out fish bones, and as for cutlery, it had been discarded long ago.
His two paws were his utensils, embracing the roasted fish and gnawing on it with delight.

Liu Du noticed this and chuckled, “Shui Shui, why do you need cutlery if you’re not using them?”

Raising his head from the fish, Shu Shuishui replied, “Using cutlery during meals adds a sense of ceremony and respect to the fish.”

Liu Du burst into laughter, finding Shu Shuishui quite interesting.
Even though he might not be able to win over Shu Shuishui, it wouldn’t be bad if he could enter the simulated space with him in the future.

Clearly, Yu Jin had no idea what Liu Du was thinking.
After all, the former Yu Jin also harbored the same wish, which remained unfulfilled until now.
Who would have thought that Gu Langu, with Shu Shuishui in tow, would stubbornly remain at the login interface, never truly entering the simulated space.

After a satisfying meal, Shu Shuishui carried his plate to the lake to wash it, also digging a hole and burying the leftover fish bones from himself and Gu Langu.
Once done, he used his small paws to firmly pat down the soil over the hole.

As for the campfire, there were naturally people in charge of it.
Nan Ge led an eager Liu Po and Liu Du to visit the micro-farm, taking the opportunity to explain the situation with the mutated creatures.
When Liu Po realized that both of these matters were closely related to Shu Shuishui, he felt deeply moved.
He had never thought that his little brother would have such insight.
It was a pity he couldn’t bring Shu Shuishui back to Zone B.

“Why does the jungle over there seem devoid of people even though there should be plenty of resources?” Liu Du asked curiously.
The lush forest was populated with evergreen pines and cypresses throughout the year.
As the winter snow melted away, the forest was gradually regaining its vitality.
However, what was strange was that the people in the valley seemed to instinctively avoid the jungle.


“That place,” Nan Ge pondered for a moment before explaining, “is where Shui Shui’s friends live.”

“Shui Shui’s friends?!” Liu Du’s heart leaped with joy.
“Are they also rodents?”

Nan Ge nodded.
Although they were all mutated rats, they were indeed rodents.
“However, Shui Shui’s friends don’t like being disturbed, so they usually stay hidden.
We also avoid going near there.
It’s best if you don’t get too close either.”

Liu Du nodded absently, indicating he understood.
However, his restless mind couldn’t calm down.
If he couldn’t win over Shu Shuishui, could he perhaps steal Shu Shuishui’s friends?

Nan Ge didn’t pay much attention to it.
After all, not all rodents were like Shu Shuishui, and those giant mutated rats probably wouldn’t attract much interest.

Speaking of which, it was strange that these mutated rats didn’t show any signs of becoming feral.
Otherwise, even with Shu Shuishui mediating, they wouldn’t be living so harmoniously.

As dusk settled in, Shu Shuishui, armed with a small whip, had sunbathed enough.
He lazily tumbled down from a rock and then herded his domesticated livestock back to his mini pasture.
Gu Langu had disappeared in the afternoon once again.
Shu Shuishui had actually followed secretly, but every time, Gu Langu plucked him out of the grass.

The little dormouse could only allow Gu Langu to carry him, his paws encircling his own chest.
“Alright, alright, I won’t follow you, Gu Gu.”

Gu Langu extended his pinky finger.
“Deal, pinky promise.”

Shu Shuishui: “…”

He reluctantly extended his small paw and used his claw to hook onto Gu Langu’s pinky finger.

In this manner, being an honest dormouse, he didn’t secretly follow Gu Langu anymore.
Shu Shuishui had noticed something was off.
Gu Langu’s actions likely had something to do with the simulator.
Otherwise, the two of them would have entered hibernation a long time ago.

Although Shu Shuishui really wanted to hibernate, he was more worried about Gu Langu.
If it wasn’t due to an unsolvable problem, Gu Langu wouldn’t have avoided this issue for so long.
So, what exactly was the matter? The little dormouse’s mind was almost overwhelmed, yet he couldn’t make sense of it all.

When Shu Shuishui was herding the livestock back to his mini pasture, Gu Langu returned.
Although, as usual, he wore no expression, Shu Shuishui could clearly sense a sense of contentment emanating from him.

Gu Langu spotted Shu Shuishui amidst the lush grass and walked briskly over.
“Shui Shui, let’s hibernate.”


Shu Shuishui: ??? Happiness came too suddenly.
“Gu Gu, are you ready? Actually, I’m not in a hurry.
I know you’ve never hibernated before, so it’s normal to need some adjustment.”

Gu Langu gave Shu Shuishui’s fur a ruffle and playfully transformed the talking dormouse into a little dormouse pancake.
“I’ve adjusted already.
I can hibernate with Shui Shui.”

Shu Shuishui sprawled in Gu Langu’s palm.
“Sure, let’s hibernate together.”

Of course, the two of them, lost in the moment, couldn’t immediately hibernate.
After all, the people from Zone B hadn’t left yet.

When they saw the Zone B group the next morning, everyone’s puzzled gaze converged on Liu Du’s face.

Liu Du, are you okay?” Nan Ge inquired, sounding confused.

Liu Du’s face, which had been perfectly fine yesterday, was now marked by numerous wounds.
There were four or five sharp claw marks, along with bruises and swelling from various bumps and scrapes.

Liu Du responded gloomily, “It’s nothing, I tripped while going to the bathroom last night and got scratched by a tree branch.” He lifted his hand to cover the wound area.

Yu Jin took two steps back in silence.
“You didn’t fall into the toilet, did you?”

Liu Du… almost exploded with anger.
“Of course not!”

Seeing that Liu Du wasn’t keen on discussing it further, the others naturally refrained from probing.
As they were about to head for breakfast, a commotion erupted in the camp.

Turning toward the source of the noise, they saw several large gray-furred rats charging toward them.

Nan Ge was somewhat surprised – these rats usually didn’t appear when everything was fine.
What was happening today?

The people from Zone B were startled, thinking that the valley was under attack by mutated creatures.
But they soon realized the rats were simply charging straight through the camp and heading for Shu Shuishui.

The lead rat extended its paw and pointed at Liu Du, then squeaked excitedly in what appeared to be a rather emotional manner.

Listening for a moment, Shu Shuishui also seemed slightly taken aback.
He glanced at Liu Du, who seemed like he wanted to disappear into the ground.
Eventually, Shu Shuishui approached the rat, preparing to carry it away with an arm around its shoulder, but evidently, his height was an issue.

In the end, Shu Shuishui had to give up using human language and communicated with the rat through squeaks for a while.

Several curious onlookers had already gathered, though they kept a safe distance, eager to hear what was going on.

Once the leader gray rat was satisfied, and led its companions and a young rat away, the curiosity of those present reached its peak.

Shu Shuishui cleared his throat.
“It’s okay now.
Xiao Du accidentally damaged one of Rat Brother’s nests last night, so Rat Brother came for compensation.
We’ve already negotiated – ten sweet potatoes.”

Everyone: “…” Now even rats are so high-end?

People from Zone B: “…” Rats are quite cunning! They demand ten sweet potatoes for a nest!

Curiosity satisfied, the crowd slowly dispersed, though they couldn’t help but discuss the recent events with interest.

Liu Du cast a look of immense gratitude toward Shu Shuishui, as if he had a thousand words to express.

Liu Po keenly sensed that things weren’t as simple as Shu Shuishui had explained, but looking at his hapless1unfortunate or unlucky little brother’s appearance, he decided not to point it out right then and there.

1unfortunate or unlucky

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