What will happen if the Seventh Prince really dies? Does life force exist in this world? Will he absorb the Seventh Prince's life force if he kills him? Is the Seventh Prince really the him in another world?
When these thoughts appeared in Ren Baqian's mind, he felt as though he was holding Pandora's box. Every now and then, he was tempted to kill him.
But he did not dare to do soHe really did not dare to do so...
So far, those people that he ordered stomped or hanged to death were merely trusted aides or butlers of those nobles.
Even though he always appeared to be ruthless, he still knew what he could do and what he could not do.
He really did not dare mess around with the Seventh Prince.
If the Seventh Prince really died here, it would be akin to a particular country's president dying in China. It would cause tremendous impact and commotion.
This was equivalent to giving the royal family of Great Xia a slap and spitting at them afterwards.
If that really happened, the royal family would not need any evidence to send someone to kill him. All they needed was a little bit of suspicion.
Let's not talk about whether or not the empress would protect him first. Even if she wanted to protect him, he could never not step out of the imperial palace. Otherwise, Great Xia could just send an expert to finish him off.
Ren Baqian rubbed his head and suppressed the urge to kill the Seventh Prince. He had to properly finish what the empress had given him.
He had better keep this thought locked in the bottom of his heart.
However, Ren Baqian's vigilance had increased. If he himself had such an urge, what about the Seventh Prince? Would he have same thought? If the Seventh Prince had such a thought, given his status, he would hold no qualms about killing Ren Baqian. If that was the case, Ren Baqian would be in deep danger.
That afternoon, the number of people that were participating in the Great Hunt had been computed.
Everyone would have to participate.
Unlike Ren Baqian, everyone else knew about the Great Hunt. Since they rushed to Lan City before the start of the Great Hunt, they naturally had the intention of participating in the event.
In any case, everyone could bring a follower.
After all, unlike the aboriginals, the foreigners did not possess exceptional strength or fighting skills. Even if those nobles were proficient in martial arts, they still needed followers to help them carry their game.
This was something that set them apart from Ren Baqian.
Even though Ren Baqian also wasn't an aboriginal, he could not enjoy such a preferential treatment.
While the number of participants was being calculated, Ren Baqian thought of finding Gu Daxiong later. After all, he needed a mount to hunt, right?
Ren Baqian had not touched a mount before, let alone ridden on one. Even if it was last minute, he had to think quickly of a solution.
Gu Daxiong was snoring inside his room. After he was woken up by Ren Baqian, he resentfully cursed a few words. After Ren Baqian told him his purpose of finding him, he laughed and said, "There is a pen in the backyard. You can take whichever animal you like.
"Thank you very much, Sir Gu." Ren Baqian cupped his fists and went straight to the backyard.
Normally, ancient people would say "a cow pen" or "a horse pen". However, Gu Daxiong merely said there was "a pen". After Ren Baqian went to the backyard, he finally understood what was going on.
In the pen, there was all kinds of animals, except for horses.
Reportedly, Dayao had very few horses but many sheep and cows.
This was what happened in the pen as well. There were several sheep. All of them were the type of animals that were used to pull carriages on the street. They were huge, somewhat similar to horses. There were also a few animals that resembled a gentler version of cows. Some of them had curved horns and some had helix-shaped horns. Ren Baqian did not know what the differences between these two types of cows were. The cows with helix-shaped horns were green in color, and they were slightly skinnier than the curve-horned cows.
Other than these animals, there were two gigantic birds not far away. Their feathers were tawny in color, resembling an ostrich. However, when compared to an ostrich, their heads were bigger, their beaks were wider, and their necks were thicker. Their bodies gave off a faint stench. Even though the stench wasn't very strong, it smelled very disgusting, causing Ren Baqian to cover his nose.
"This thing can be used as a mount?" Ren Baqian asked the person-in-charge with curiosity
"Sir, this is a mountain-gazing bird. This thing runs extremely fast. When it comes to trekking mountains and crossing rivers, it's much faster than other animals. It is usually used to send mail," the person-in-charge immediately explained.
Ren Baqian looked at the two mountain-gazing birds and asked again, "Which animal is best used as a mount for hunting? I want a mount that is gentle and easy to control."
"Mountain-gazing bird is one. It can be ridden on mountains and it can jump onto rocks that aren't tall. The other one is crooked cow. It is fast and it can carry heavy load. However, it isn't as convenient as the mountain-gazing bird when it comes to trekking through a mountain," the person-in-charge explained.
Ren Baqian looked at the helix-horned cow that the person-in-charge was pointing at. Then, he looked at the mountain-gazing bird. He liked the crooked cow more as its back was wider. It was definitely more comfortable to sit on the crooked cow. Furthermore, it could carry heavy load.
Even though the mountain-gazing bird could run and jump in the mountains, it would not be able to react in time if it encountered fearsome beasts. According to Caretaker Shi, there were many fearsome beasts in the mountain. Ren Baqian felt that he might even be safer if he walked with his two legs.
It wasn't that the crooked cow could not traverse mountainous terrains, but rather, the mountain-gazing bird could do it better.
The main issue that Ren Baqian had with the mountain-gazing bird was its stench. If he rode it for a long period of time, it would be a torture for him.
"Let me try riding the crooked cow," Ren Baqian said.
"Okay!" The person-in-charge opened the wooden fence and pulled a crooked cow. Then, he fastened a saddle on its back and said to Ren Baqian, "Sir, please."
The width of the crooked cow's back was approximately 1.3 meters. Ren Baqian took in a deep breath of air and climbed onto the saddle on it.
The crooked cow was rather tame. It remained motionless as Ren Baqian climbed onto it. After Ren Baqian stabilized himself, the person-in-charge passed a cord to him and taught him how to control the beast.
"Move!" Ren Baqian gave the crooked cow's belly a soft kick with his calves. Immediately, the crooked cow moved forward.
The reins were fastened to the face of the crooked cow, somewhat similar to those on a horse. The ways to control a crooked cow were roughly similar to how one would control a horse. Furthermore, the crooked cow was quite docile, making it very easy to ride.
However, when this crooked cow began to run, Ren Baqian had to hug its body for fear of falling off it. After a while, Ren Baqian began to feel an unbearable discomfort. The cow did not run very fast, but it was very bumpy, swaying left and right. This gave Ren Baqian a bout of motion sickness.
Ren Baqian hurriedly stopped the crooked cow and jumped down from it to take a break.
"This is the most stable mount?" Ren Baqian asked.
"The mountain-gazing bird is more stable than the crooked cow. Sir, you can give it a try."
Upon hearing these words, Ren Baqian had no choice but to ask the person-in-charge to bring out the mountain-gazing bird.
The mountain-gazing bird was also very docile, or rather, it had been domesticated very well. When Ren Baqian touched the mountain-gazing bird's feathers, it gave off a "gurgle" from its throat and turned around to look at him.
"Sir, you should touch its head first, it likes to be touched on its head," the person-in-charge said.
Ren Baqian placed his hand on the mountain-gazing bird's head. Following which, it gave off a "gurgle" again and squinted its eyes at the same time. It looked as though it felt very comfortable, resembling a cat or a dog that pleaded to get stroked.
When Ren Baqian climbed onto the mountain-gazing bird and rode it forward a while, he realized it was much more comfortable to sit on even though it did not look at all remarkable. The feathers on its body were soft, and they wouldn't chafe his thighs. When it ran, it was more stable than the crooked cow too. Its only weakness was its stench. All this time, its stench had been assaulting Ren Baqian's nose.
"Why is it so smelly?" Ren Baqian asked.
"This thing uses its stench to prevent other wild animals from seeing it as their prey," the person-in-charge explained.
Ren Baqian furrowed his eyebrows for a while. This thing was indeed smelly but it was very comfortable to ride on. If he rode the crooked cow, he would be paralyzed even before he reached his destination.
Alright, he would just endure the sentence. If worst came to worst, he would bring back two bottles of perfume from Earth and spray it down with them.
That night, Ren Baqian took the mountain-gazing bird back to the beast park. Then, he sent the name list for the participants of the Great Hunt to the palace. Afterwards, he fell asleep and returned to Earth.