After Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu left, the group discussed the timing of their next actions.
Once the freezing season arrives, all external transportation will be blocked, and no one can stay outside for extended periods.
Therefore, the simulator becomes the only means of communication for them.

Liu Po mentioned that he would arrange for someone to keep an eye on the dynamics of the simulation space.
If any new suitable instances appear, they will contact Nan Ge through the simulator.

Once both sides had discussed their next steps, they began logging out one by one.
After all, they had just finished an instance and had attracted some attention, so it was best to keep a low profile for a while.

While the instance’s duration in the real world was only two days, the time they experienced within the instance felt like several years or even a lifetime.
Although their physical energy wasn’t greatly depleted, they still needed to adjust mentally.
Otherwise, they could easily encounter psychological issues and perceptual errors.

After Nan Ge and the others logged out of the game, they discovered that Gu Langu and Shu Shuishui, who had left earlier, hadn’t actually logged out of the game but had exited the room.
At this moment, they were still in the simulator.
However, based on previous experiences, the two should be in the login space.

Nan Fang hesitated a bit and asked, “Brother, don’t we need to call the boss and Shui Shui? After all, not long ago, you were earnestly educating me about not relying too much on the simulator.”

Nan Ge naturally understood what Nan Fang was thinking.
“They’re fine to do so, you’re not.
Moreover, Shui Shui is hibernating inside, not strategizing an instance, so there’s no need to worry.”

Nan Fang nodded in a somewhat understanding manner, feeling a bit puzzled.
In his big brother’s eyes, he seemed to be less reliable than a mouse.

The simulator’s world was indeed fraught with danger, but for those who didn’t need to strategize instances, being in the simulator allowed them to obtain food that could be converted into mental energy, reducing the consumption of food in the real world.
Besides, the temperature in the simulator was comfortable, and as long as they had the ability, they could secure a place in the simulation space, such as hotels, taverns, and restaurants—everything that resembled a holographic online game.
Therefore, there were always some people who wanted to escape reality and become immersed in the simulation space.

However, this wasn’t an issue for Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu.
As for Gu Langu, it goes without saying that there were few things that could arouse his desires.
The reason he stayed in the simulation space was because Shu Shuishui was hibernating there.

For Shu Shuishui, this place was a hibernation den.
Although the den was unique—a huge snowman den styled like a two-story small building—when summer arrived, the dormouse remained a diligent dormouse.
It needed to wake up regularly, pass through a ritualistic summer, a busy autumn of food storage, and then continue hibernating.

“Gu Gu, what do you think?” Inside the two-story snowman building, next to the soft pillow on the pure white snow bed, Shu Shuishui was constructing a small snow house.


Shu Shuishui stretched out its paw and patted the nearly completed hemisphere-shaped snow house.
The snow house looked very neat, with an arched door facing the foot of the bed, appearing quite standardized.

Next to Shu Shuishui’s feet lay a familiar small shovel, but the shovel was clean as if it hadn’t been used.

Gu Langu leaned against the bed, his back against the wall.
His long legs were casually resting on the bed, one leg raised with his hand resting on it, the other hand propped on the bed.
He turned his head to look at Shu Shuishui’s creation and nodded approvingly.
“Very good, Shui Shui, you have talent.”

Shu Shuishui modestly waved his paw.
“Practice makes perfect.
Unfortunately, Gu Gu can’t stay inside; it’s really warm in there.” As he said this, as if to verify its own words, the little dormouse plunged inside.
His furry body remained partly outside, and his long tail swayed with delight.

Gu Langu’s hand instinctively reached out and then grabbed the swaying tip of Shu Shuishui’s tail.
The little dormouse finally retreated from the snow nest, twisting his small head to look back.
“Gu Gu, don’t play around.”

Gu Langu made a soft sound of agreement and then released his grip on the tail tip.
The furry tail tip slipped away from his fingers.
The little dormouse turned his head again and burrowed into the small snow nest, his paws busy inside, seemingly tidying something up.

Suddenly, the dormouse’s movements paused, and then he emerged from the nest once more, turning his head to look at his tail.
The tip of his tail was once again caught by Gu Langu.
The dormouse crossed his paws over his chest, pondered for a moment, and then looked somewhat helpless.
“Does Gu Gu like my tail?”

Gu Langu nodded.
“Mhm, I do.”


Shu Shuishui scratched his head.
“Well, then I’ll pluck it and give it to Gu Gu.”

Gu Langu was startled and released his grip, obediently putting his hand down.
“No need, I like the tail on Shui Shui.”

However, Shu Shuishui said seriously, “Don’t be polite.
A mouse’s tail can come off, just like a gecko’s tail.
Besides, my tail can regenerate.” Indeed, dormice possess the ability to regenerate lost tails, and Shu Shuishui’s ability in this aspect is even stronger.

Gu Langu had never heard of this ability in rodents.
He firmly shook his head and then sincerely apologized, “I was wrong.
I shouldn’t have grabbed your tail, Shui Shui, you don’t need to pull it off.”

The little dormouse tilted his head and thought seriously for a moment, then sighed.
“Sigh, well, okay, but let’s not make it a habit.” With that, the little dormouse trotted over to Gu Langu and then plopped down onto Gu Langu’s palm.
His furry tail swayed back and forth, clearly indicating that now he could touch to his heart’s content.

So, under Gu Langu’s teasing, the progress of Shu Shuishui’s small snow nest project was delayed, and the little snow pillows inside weren’t arranged.
Thus, on that night, Shu Shuishui ended up curling up in the crook of Gu Langu’s shoulder and fell asleep.

Gu Langu felt content.
While the small snow nest beside the pillow was adorable, if the little mouse slept in it every day in the future, it wouldn’t be so cute anymore.
If he wasn’t afraid of hurting Shu Shuishui’s feelings, Gu Langu really wanted to casually roll over and flatten that half-spherical snow nest.

The space within the simulator was quite magical.
As long as your mental power was strong enough, and your imagination was powerful enough, you could create endless possibilities.

However, even the tiniest changes were significant strides for Gu Langu.
Although his login space was no longer empty, looking at just plain snow for a long time could become visually fatiguing.
Gu Langu was afraid that Shu Shuishui might dislike his login space, so he tried to expend some of his mental energy each day to continue modifying it.

Of course, the results were still minimal as usual, but there were changes.
By altering the density of the snowflakes, Gu Langu created snow cups, snow tables, snow chairs, and snow stone steps that resembled white jade.


In the login space, the pure white color extended farther and farther.
One day, while Shu Shuishui was wandering around outside with a small shovel in hand, he discovered a small sapling not far from the snowman building.
The little dormouse was extremely excited because he recognized the sapling as a hazelnut tree, even though the sapling was also made of white jade-like snow.

The little dormouse bounced back to the snowman building and then tugged on the cuff of Gu Langu’s pants, dragging him over to the small sapling and pointing at it.
“Gu Gu, look! A small sapling has grown here.
I wonder when we can have hazelnuts from it.
I’ve never tasted snow-flavored hazelnuts or snow in the shape of hazelnuts before.”

A smile curved Gu Langu’s lips, his face radiating joy.
It seemed the efforts of these past few days hadn’t been in vain.
Although the sapling was clearly made of snow, Shu Shuishui didn’t mind, which was the greatest encouragement for Gu Langu.

The small sapling grew rapidly, aided by the fact that Shu Shuishui frequently brought a small bucket to water it with snow.
In less than a day, the sapling grew taller than Shu Shuishui.
On the second day, it was over a meter tall, and by the third day, it had become thicker and taller…

And so, the sapling grew at an astonishing speed.
By the fifth day, it had grown into a large tree with fruits beginning to form.
Now, Shu Shuishui wished he could live in the tree every day just to wait for the snow-flavored hazelnuts to ripen.

When Gu Langu walked into the room and found Shu Shuishui rolling up his bedding, he felt a bit flustered.
“What’s wrong, Shui Shui? Where are you going? If one tree isn’t enough, shall we plant some more?”

The little dormouse shook his head.
“No need, one is enough.
The hazelnuts on the tree will be ripe soon.
I want to move up and live in the tree for a while.
Gu Gu, be a good guardian here in the snowman.”

Gu Langu: “…” With a little snow nest in the front and a hazelnut tree in the back, Gu Langu pondered for a while.
After Shu Shuishui left with his bedding, he rolled up a blanket himself and followed Shu Shuishui out.

The little dormouse climbed up the tree, and Gu Langu followed suit.
The little dormouse found a sturdy branch to lay his bedding on, and Gu Langu also set down a blanket nearby.

The blanket was also made of snow, with a pure white color and a soft, warm texture like high-quality cotton.
It was incredibly comfortable to the touch.
The little dormouse glanced at Gu Langu beside it.
“Is Gu Gu staying in the tree too?”

Gu Langu nodded.
“Yes, helping Shui Shui look after the hazelnuts.”

The little dormouse came running over with quick steps and then hugged Gu Langu’s finger.
“Has Gu Gu ever slept in a tree? Don’t fall down, okay? Shui Shui won’t be able to catch you.”

Gu Langu indicated that sleeping in a tree was no big deal.

And so, the two of them moved their hibernation spot from the snowman building to the tree.
The next day, there was a huge nest in the tree, indeed a nest, although it was a pure white nest.

The massive nest is nestled on the largest branch of the hazelnut tree.
It was round in shape and lined with many huge, soft, white “feathers.”


Gu Langu and Shu Shuishui slept inside.

When Shu Shuishui woke up, he was a bit dazed.
Gu Langu was lying beside him, and the huge nest easily accommodated both a person and a mouse.
Gu Langu could even stretch his body inside.
The little dormouse ran around the nest in excitement.
This was probably the largest nest he had ever seen.

Upon waking up, Gu Langu received an enthusiastic hug from the little dormouse and vigorous praise.

Gu Langu was also pleasantly surprised because this nest wasn’t forcibly created by his conscious mind but appeared unconsciously through his subconscious.
All of this indicated that Gu Langu’s inner world was gradually recovering, as a normal inner world is.
Not all desires are consciously clear, and there are many fleeting subconscious thoughts.

With the nest in place, Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu found a new delight.
The little dormouse even set up a clothesline on the nest to hang a small blanket, patting and fluffing it without fear of melting the blanket.

The world Gu Langu created still lacks a sun.
Although there’s no sunlight, things are visible, and there are nights, but there are no stars or moon.
Shu Shuishui never asked why.
Every day, he happily studies every item in the pure white world.
Sometimes, the little dormouse can spend a whole day studying a cup.

When evening arrives, Gu Langu searches for the little mouse everywhere and finds a cup in the blanket.
The little mouse had actually crawled into the cup and fallen asleep, with his small head resting on the edge and his tiny body fitting entirely inside.

Helplessly, Gu Langu had to carry the cup back to the tree’s nest and carefully pour the little mouse out of it.
Fortunately, once Shu Shuishui falls asleep, it’s difficult to wake him, so the little mouse smoothly slips out of the cup.
In the soft nest, he flipped over, and his little paws deftly grabbed a huge feather to cover hiself.

This feather was also made of snow, but it emitted a warm aura like real bird feathers.
Laid on Shu Shuishui, it quickly lulled the little mouse back to sleep.

Gu Langu’s anxiety and unease were soothed by Shu Shuishui.
Especially after Gu Langu’s emotional stability improved, the subconscious creations within the login space became more abundant.
Sometimes it was a small bag of seeds, other times a stack of blankets, and occasionally a piece of cultivated land.

And so, Shu Shuishui had something to do almost every day.
He would bounce around the seemingly endlessly growing hazelnut tree, pick hazelnuts, gather them into a small mound, and store them in the snowman building.

He also worked with Gu Langu to cultivate the land and plant the pure white seeds.

Gradually, besides the world still being entirely white, there was almost no difference from the outside world.
There were cultivated lands, farmlands, trees, and even mountains.

With a small backpack on the little dormouse’s back and luggage sorted by Gu Langu, the two of them planned to hike to a distant mountain for an outdoor excursion, fully equipped with a tent and food.

But just as they were preparing to leave, a notification sound came from the communicator.
It was a message from Nan Ge, informing them about their second attempt at a dungeon, along with the opening time of the dungeon.

The dungeons all opened in the central plaza of the simulated city but at different times.
However, the number of dungeons a simulated city could produce was limited.
This meant that if there were too many failed dungeon attempts, the available options would decrease, and fewer new dungeons would be generated.
Thus, the overall strength of a simulated city was a crucial factor in maintaining a steady resource acquisition rate from the simulation space.
While excessive strength could increase internal competition, it also boosted overall competitiveness.

After inquiring about the situation of the upcoming dungeon, Gu Langu learned that the difficulty level was not high.
It was a dungeon that had appeared two months ago, reappearing every twenty days.
Although no one had cleared it so far, according to the clues provided by Liu Po, Nan Ge had deduced a general strategy.

Listening to Nan Ge’s analysis, Gu Langu expressed his contentment.
“Since you guys are confident, Shui Shui and I won’t join this time.
I wish you a pleasant journey.”

Upon receiving this response, Nan Ge remained silent for a while, feeling that their leader was taking every opportunity to distance himself from them.
Gu Langu not participating also meant that Shu Shuishui wouldn’t be there.
For Nan Ge, this was slightly disappointing.
After all, Shu Shuishui was a lucky charm, and with him around, games seemed to become a bit easier.

The most disappointed person was undoubtedly Liu Du, who sighed dejectedly as he followed the group into the dungeon.

While others were working hard to clear the dungeons, Gu Langu and Shu Shuishui were already prepared for their own adventure.
Walking on snowy paths, they headed toward the distant mountains.

Shu Shuishui wasn’t aware of the communication matters, but entering the simulator was essentially for hibernation.
He didn’t mind what he specifically did, whether it was in the login space or the dungeon space.
Whether it was leisurely strolling in the snow, solving puzzles, or going on adventures, Shu Shuishui was content with it all.

However, Gu Langu clearly preferred their private world.
Even if they only basked in the nonexistent sun, picked hazelnuts, and harvested food made of white snow, he felt utterly satisfied.

And so, after Shu Bao’s departure, Shu Shuishui once again embarked on a journey with Gu Langu.
Although it wasn’t a grand adventure, the experience was still memorable.
The little dormouse climbed to the mountaintop, standing there with the wind brushing against him, feeling nostalgic.
“It feels like going back to the old days.
Being young was so great.”

Gu Langu chuckled.
“Is Shuishui feeling old?” He remembered that the humanoid Shu Shuishui only looked to be around twenty-four or twenty-five.

Shu Shuishui nodded.
“Yeah, old arms and old legs.
Oh dear, my old back.” As he spoke, he placed a paw on his lower back, portraying an exaggerated expression of not being able to bear the strain.

Gu Langu: “…”

The journey of the two was delightful, and it was a dynamic journey at that.
Both of them were unaware that the next morning, a new mountain would appear in some direction, waiting for them to discover its treasures.

As for the others, they were naturally still struggling within the instance, racking their brains to find a way to clear it.
Fortunately, Liu Po’s sources of information were relatively accurate; the danger level of the instance wasn’t high, and the team didn’t experience any casualties.

Compared to the struggling team striving to clear the instance, Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu were truly savoring life.
As they traveled, they observed the extraordinary landscape of pure white.
The white jungle resembled intricately carved white jade trees, exuding an exceptionally sacred and aesthetic aura.
The grass formed by white snow didn’t appear sharp; instead, it swayed gently in the wind, showcasing a delicate charm.

The most miraculous thing was that one day, a pure white river appeared among the mountains, and the river was teeming with pure white fish.

After Shu Shuishui managed to catch some, he faced a dilemma – should he grill or stew the fish? Regardless of how he handled it, the fish was likely to melt away.
Ultimately, the solution dawned on the little dormouse, and he decided to make fish stew.

As a result, Gu Langu had the privilege of tasting a pot of snow-water fish stew.

Contrary to Shu Shuishui’s expectations, the snowfish in the stew didn’t dissolve due to heating, probably because the fire used for heating was also made of snow.

Everything they experienced here filled Shu Shuishui with insatiable curiosity, and he was driven by a strong desire to explore this world.

Gu Langu was very happy, and this emotion rippled through his heart and mind, unmistakably evident.
The only slight regret was that within the confines of the simulator’s space, Shu Shuishui couldn’t transform into human form.
The reason was that a simulator was designed for single-person use by default, and it could accommodate only one pet at most.
This was why Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu were able to share a single simulator.

Therefore, as long as they remained within the simulator, they would be subject to its limitations.
Shu Shuishui was effectively considered a pet within the simulator’s framework.
After connecting their mental forms, unless something unexpected occurred, Shu Shuishui would continue to be restricted by the simulator’s design and would appear in the form of a pet.

Although Shu Shuishui’s humanoid form couldn’t be seen temporarily, Gu Langu was even more uneasy about letting Shu Shuishui use a simulator on his own.
Therefore, he chose the former option.

Subsequently, the operations of the base in the real world gradually fell into place.
The cultivated crops started to sprout green seedlings, and the pleasant climate in the valley made them not worry about freezing to death.

Before the onset of the freezing season, both the Fei Luo Base and the Dong Shijun Base sent people over.
The Fei Luo Base brought sufficient supplies and hastily departed with the micro-farm and purification formation obtained through exchange.
The situation for the people from the Dong Shijun Base was a bit awkward, as not long ago, they had thought themselves clever by seizing the wintering point discovered by Nan Ge in advance.

However, the moment they stepped into the warm valley, their cheeks stung uncomfortably as if they had been slapped awake, realizing they weren’t actually ahead of the game; it was apparent that others were simply indifferent to it.

When an opportunity knocks on the door, there’s no reason to shut it out, but negotiations over prices were inevitable.
Nan Ge had ingeniously set prices that remained just above the opponents’ bottom line, securing the maximum benefit for themselves.

After these two groups, people from two more bases arrived one after another.
Clearly, they had also heard about the micro-farm and purification formation.
This was precisely the effect Nan Ge desired, and furthermore, Xie Feng had made significant breakthroughs.
The micro-farm no longer required Shu Shuishui’s constant participation; after all, Xie Feng had gained the ability to communicate with spiritual power.
Shu Shuishui only needed to bury the spirit stones one by one, while Xie Feng and his scientific knowledge could handle the rest.

Nan Ge would inform Gu Langu in real time about everything happening in the real world.
Since Li Meng’s dungeon, Gu Langu hadn’t participated in any dungeons but had been traveling with Shu Shuishui all this time.

On this day, after passing through a stretch of white jade bamboo forest, Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu had a whimsical idea to make a bamboo raft.
They rode the raft downstream without any destination in mind.
They would drift wherever the current took them, and returning was not an issue.
As long as Gu Langu thought of it, they could return to the Snowman castle.

On the bamboo raft, Shu Shuishui held a small fishing rod, wearing a hat that resembled a proper hat, sitting upright with the appearance of an enlightened recluse.

Gu Langu sat beside, also in an unmoving posture, holding a fishing rod as well, quietly waiting for a fish to bite.

Soon, the fishing rod in Shu Shuishui’s hand tugged, and he quickly pulled it, catching a small fish with snowflakes fluttering from its tail.
After removing the fish, he tossed it into a cup beside him and continued to cast the fishing line, with each motion practiced and fluid.

Gu Langu continued to sit upright.

After a morning had passed, the large bucket beside Gu Langu remained empty, while the small teacup beside Shu Shuishui was filled.
As the little dormouse stretched lazily, he noticed that Gu Langu beside him still sat with an unwavering posture, and the large bucket next to Gu Langu had not a single fish.

After strolling around for a moment, Shu Shuishui discreetly picked out the largest fish from his own teacup and secretly placed it into Gu Langu’s empty bucket.
Unfortunately, even the largest fish seemed quite pitiful in the bucket.

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