Swallowing the water did alleviate his thirst. Squatting quietly on the spot, Zhang Xuan focused his attention intently on the internal state of his body. As soon as the slightest spark of flame appeared in his body, he would quell it right away.

But even after waiting for a while, nothing happened at all. It was as if the water was completely ineffective on him.

When he stood up once more, there was a deep frown on his forehead.

If the flame had appeared in his body, he might have been able to trace down its origins. However, with nothing appearing at all, he had no idea how he should proceed on from here.

Could this be something similar to the Yellow Water of the Netherworld, which he had encountered in Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's ancient domain? Was the water poisonous to others but harmless to him?

"Elder, are you fine?" the Intuitive Impulse realm cultivator asked carefully.

Seeing there was no white smoke puffing out of the young man's head, and there was no cry of agony either, the crowd heaved a sigh of relief.

"I'm fine!" Zhang Xuan replied with a nod.

"That's a relief. It was really a horrifying sight to see a living person being reduced to yellow sand… If not for the fact that I have traveled here together with him, I would have thought that he was a sand giant in disguise!" the Intuitive Impulse realm cultivator remarked fearfully.

"Sand giant in disguise? Being reduced into yellow sand…"

A flash sparked through Zhang Xuan's mind as a thought surfaced in his head. He quickly turned to the Intuitive Impulse realm cultivator and asked, "You said earlier that you only found a sand giant after traveling for four hours. In other words, you didn't encounter any sand giants in the first four hours at all, did you?"

"Hmm? Yeah, that's right!" The Intuitive Impulse cultivator was slightly taken aback by Zhang Xuan's question, but he swiftly nodded affirmatively in response.

From the moment they woke up after being teleported out of Qufu, they had been in the midst of this desert. There was no danger at all initially, but on the fourth hour, they suddenly encountered a sand giant. They had mentioned this right from the moment they met, so it was not a secret at all.

"To only meet a sand giant on the fourth hour… Could it be that the sand giants are actually the remains of the dead cultivators?" Zhang Xuan murmured with a grim look in his eyes.

It was weird that the sand giants only appeared four hours after the opening of the folded space. Could it be that the first batch of cultivators had only found the oasis four hours after the opening and became the first group of sand giants?

"Remains of dead cultivators?"

The crowd was stunned.

Thinking about it, everything seemed to fit together. As horrifying as the idea was, it was actually plausible!

The middle-aged man had been reduced to sand after his death, which was the very reason that they had thought about sand giants in the first place!


"We'll know the truth with a quick test!" Zhang Xuan said with narrowed eyes.

He walked back to the heap of sand that the middle-aged man turned into and placed his finger on it.

In the next moment, his consciousness was plunged into a world of darkness.

"As expected!" Zhang Xuan frowned grimly.

The fact that that he was brought into this dark space while using his spirit enchantment art meant that it was possible to enchant life into the heap of sand!

Focusing his attention, he enchanted a spark of flame into the heap of sand, breaking the darkness within this dark space.

Huala!

The heap of yellow sand slowly rose to its feet, becoming a massive sand giant. However, it only wielded the prowess of an Aureate Body realm cultivator.

"It's no wonder enchanted sand could wield the strength of Sempiternal realm cultivators!" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in realization.

Previously, he had been perplexed by how enchanted sand could wield such great fighting prowess. From the looks of it, it seemed like the sand that had made up the sand giants was not ordinary sand but the corpses of cultivators!

In other words, the sand giants that they had been fighting with all that while were actually the experts who had been reduced to sand by the oasis!

In other words… they had been fighting the dead!

"Wait a moment… if that's the case, where in the world is the spirit awakener?" A doubt surfaced in Zhang Xuan's mind as he quickly scanned his surroundings.

If his deduction held through, the spirit awakener had to be in the oasis. However, other than the lake, a field of grass, and a towering tree, there was nothing in sight.

"Even I have to come into direct contact with the heap of sand in order to enchant it… There's no way the spirit awakener was able to enchant spirits into heaps of sand from a distance away!" Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in frustration.

He felt like he had already gathered the clues required to solve the puzzle, but everything still remained an enigma to him. Somehow, he was unable to form a complete picture with the clue to see through the veil of mystery.

And the very crux of that was the spirit awakener. Until he found the spirit awakener, this matter would remain a mystery to him, and he would not be able to find the exit out of this desert world.

He had also observed the lake very closely earlier. Crystal clear, he was able to see to the very bottom of the lake with ease, but there was no exit in sight.

As such, it was very likely that the exit was not located in the oasis.

"Earlier, the middle-aged man was reduced to yellow sand after drinking the water, but nothing happened to me when I consumed it. Also, it's only possible to enchant the corpses after they have been reduced to heaps of sand. If there's nothing wrong with the water, it has to be something above the water then!" Zhang Xuan frowned in bewilderment as he turned his gaze to the surface of the water once more.

Only those who drank the water from the oasis would be reduced to sand and become enchanted into sand giants. He felt that as long as he could understand how those cultivators were turned into yellow sand, he would be able to find out where the spirit awakener was hiding!

Thus, he scooped up another mouthful of water and examined it closely, but he still found nothing worth noting. It was just simple water with nothing inside. Just as he was about to give up, a slight breeze suddenly blew through the oasis. The tree towering by the lake swayed along with the breeze, its leaves rustling noisily.

Hu!

The cotton blooming all over the towering tree fell into the lake with a light tug of the breeze, and they floated quietly on the surface of the water. A moment later, they dissolved apart and vanished in the water.

"Could that be the culprit?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes.

He hurriedly walked up to the towering tree and pinched a handful of cotton out.

Tzzzz!

To his astonishment, it felt as if a bundle of flames was burning on his palm. This bundle of flames bore a striking similarity to the flames that he had found in the bodies of the trio!

"Just as I thought!" Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

It was no wonder those before them had ended up bursting into flames after drinking the water whereas he remained completely fine.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

It seemed like the key lay in these cotton buds.

Only when one drank water laced with cotton would they be reduced to yellow sand and transform into sand giants!

When he checked the water, the cotton had already dissolved into the lake, so it was no wonder he had been unable to find anything at all.

He had finally found the cause behind the mysterious flames… but where was the spirit awakener?

Zhang Xuan walked up to the tree and examined it closely. However, there was nothing peculiar in sight.

He raised his hand and placed it lightly on the tree trunk. A moment later, a smile crept onto his lips.

He leaned in to the tree and whispered, "You are the culprit, aren't you?"

Hualala!

Another breeze brushed across the oasis, gently shaking the tree. It was as if the tree was feigning ignorance to Zhang Xuan's words.

"You know, it doesn't really matter to me whether you feign ignorance or not," Zhang Xuan remarked leisurely.

With a flick of his wrist, the Infernal Blacksaber materialized in his grasp, and with flash of cold light, it slashed right for the massive tree.

Let's see how you are going to feign ignorance after I chop you down!

Hula!

But before the Infernal Blacksaber could come into contact with the tree, a hurried sharp gale of wind burst through the air. Glancing upward, Zhang Xuan saw a tree branch darting right for his head like a piercing spear.

The movement of the tree branch was extremely swift and forceful. In terms of prowess, it was actually on par with an attack from a Sempiternal realm consummation expert.

Nevertheless, Zhang Xuan still dodged the attack easily with a side step.

Sou sou sou!

However, it did not seem like the tree was willing to let him get away scot-free. Dozens of other tree branches suddenly shot forward and pierced right in Zhang Xuan's direction, as if the charge of innumerable ferocious dragons. The force of their movements left behind lingering black streaks in the air.

"Impressive!" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes as the earlier smile vanished from his face.

With a flick of his finger, he sealed the space around him to temporarily fend off the tree branches. Following which, he raised the Infernal Blacksaber and executed hundreds of slashes in the blink of an eye.

It was apparent that the tree wielded strength on par with Sempiternal realm consummation experts. He had to make sure to tread carefully, or else he might end up losing his life.

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