Shao Xuan swam towards the shore, the sea didn’t have any animal activity from the abnormal changes in the current a few moments ago. As time passed, more sea creatures would reappear in the area.
Shao Xuan wasn’t feeling adventurous.
When he reached the shore, Shao Xuan finally felt a sense of comfort from familiarity of standing on solid ground. Even though he was standing on a stone in the sea, he was still surrounded by seawater and he didn’t feel the steadiness he felt on land. His worries melted away for a moment but his mind was still on alert.
Shao Xuan took a deep breath. The wind carried a mixture of the dry desert scent and the salty smell of the sea. It made him feel like he was reborn. He felt an urge to shout loudly but in this foreign place, any loud noises may bring trouble to him so he could only hold it in.
On higher ground not far from where Shao Xuan was standing, a few camels looked down to the place where Shao Xuan was standing while chewing on cactus flowers.
There were a few of them which had seen humans before but most of them hadn’t since birth so Shao Xuan’s appearance gave them a shock. The peculiar part was that these animals wouldn’t express anything, even shock. If one were to look at them now, they wouldn’t notice any changes in their emotionless faces.
The air was really dry despite being so close to the sea. The heat that radiated from the hot sand and the lifeless and few plants told Shao Xuan it had been a long time since it rained in this area.
This desert was different from the one on the other side of the sea. The beach here wasn’t purely made of sand, it had fine sandstones developed from the dry weather and harsh wind.
In other words, it was more like a mountain here, except that it was near the sea and wasn’t as tall.
The sea level could have been lower a long, long time ago and the long underwater stone path could have been exposed to the air.
The old blind slave in Snow Plains City’s stone archive room once said that the masters came from the sea. Maybe they followed the stone path to get here.
He thought about how he felt when he was underwater and the choice the flame made down there. Shao Xuan thought to himself, Maybe the few tribesmen in Flaming Horn tribe that we lost had walked the same path to come to this land too?
Shao Xuan didn’t feel the presence of a flame so he was unsure whether this land had a fraction of the Flaming Horn tribe members. He didn’t feel discouraged though, a few thousand years had passed- anything could have happened. Shi Shu had said during the period of time when tribes were in danger, Flaming Horn Tribe disappeared because they were looking for a solution to their problems.
Considering the possibilities, Shao Xuan was now looking forward to what surprises this new land would bring.
He flung off the water on his body and drank some water that he collected in his animal skin bag. His bottle broke when he was underwater so he could only use the animal skin bag as a temporary water bag. He didn’t mind much as its usage was the matter of his survival.
He enjoyed this change of surroundings, without the pressure he felt in the sea, each cell in his body felt revived. As he felt his strength quickly regaining, he shook his arms and walked along the shore. He didn’t walk far, he hadn’t seen any beasts in this area for now, if he walked inland it would be hard to saw. He needed to regain his strength now, not go looking for battles with beasts.
When he thought about it, Shao Xuan realized he had maintained a vegetarian diet for quite some time, his mouth was itching for meat now. As he looked at the camel, he couldn’t help but think of the image of a camel being roasted whole.
Shao Xuan wanted to fully regain this strength before going after the camel but as if the camels felt his hungry gaze at them, they moved to another area.
Looking at the camels leave, Shao Xuan didn’t rush towards them immediately. He wanted to regain most of his strength, enough to protect himself before he moved.
The area was bone-dry. As he moved forward, the only plants in sight were cacti and some of them had their flowers eaten by the camels. Even these animals that were well adapted to the desert climate needed water. Even when they couldn’t find freshwater, they were smart enough to not drink the seawater, instead, they chewed on the flowers as a temporary solution to their thirst.
The further he walked, the more cacti surrounded him. Many of them were tall, to the point if they had flowers, the camels wouldn’t be able to eat it.
The area was dry, deep and obvious cracks in the ground were a common sight. The heat waves kept coming as if it wanted to suck dry all the water in the ground.
Soon, Shao Xuan felt a change in his surroundings.
The wind from the sea was cool unlike the heat waves coming from the ground. The sudden change cooled down the desert air rapidly forming a dense white mist.
Standing on higher grounds, Shao Xuan could see some mist near the shore. The wind from the sea blew the mist towards the land.
The surroundings were soon covered by the thick white mist, Shao Xuan could feel an increasing difficulty in breathing from the change in humidity.
Water droplets started forming on the plants. On each cactus prick, the droplets were condensed from the air and only grew bigger from there. They were clear and shiny like a crystal.
Shao Xuan even saw some cacti that were attached to Lichen-like plants that absorbed the water vapour from the mist like a sponge. If plants like these could survive, that meant that this thick white mist frequently appeared.
It made sense how even though the surroundings were dry, some plants could survive unlike the barren land on the other side of the sea.
Animals flocked to the area. Every animal living in this terrain knew how to maximise their surroundings for survival. The small flying birds rushed over, descending from the sky, drinking the water droplets on the cacti while resting on it.
In this low rainfall area, the droplets that were brought by the mist were the only source of water the animals had.
As the number of animals increased, Shao Xuan prepared himself for battle but soon realised that there were only small-sized animals that brought little to no harm. He hadn’t seen any large beasts for now.
Shao Xuan collected some water droplets, he couldn’t keep relying on the rain stone. Even though it worked well in the sea, the efficiency had dropped in this dry surrounding so he would definitely not lose this chance to collect water.