Chapter 67: Vile Characters (Part One)
-Tai Chi Palace, Chang’an-
The Headquarters of the Royal Guard was big; it occupied almost one-sixth of Tai Chi Palace. It was a giant detached courtyard, and it was right next to Crown Prince East Palace. Since the Emperor was still in his prime, he hadn’t selected a crown prince yet, so East Palace was still empty.
The Headquarters of the Royal Guard was divided into two sections. The one in the front had the offices and residences of the royal guards, and the one in the back was the Intelligence Department. There was no sign in the back, so most people wouldn’t know the difference between the two sections.
Those who didn’t have great knowledge couldn’t tell the slight differences between the flying-fish robes of royal guards and intelligence guards.
There was a garden in the back, and the most eye-catching thing was a giant boulder that looked like a mountain. It had red words engraved on it, and it was heard that this boulder was transported to Chang’an from Yangtze-South. The amount of money used to transport this boulder was enough to fully equip 2,000 soldiers.
This boulder was supposed to be placed in the Royal Garden, but the previous emperor didn’t like its shape, so it was moved to the garden at the back of the Headquarters of the Royal Guard instead.
This boulder was eye-catching because it was huge and looked like a sleeping ox. Also, a giant white gyrfalcon always lay and rested on top of this boulder.
Among all birds, gyrfalcon was the most dashing.
When Khagan Mong Ge of Mongo-Yuan and Emperor Yang Yi of Great Sui had their first meeting in the northwest, Mong Ge gave Yang Yi this gyrfalcon as a gift.
After that meeting, the Emperor said that he obtained two things at the meeting. The first was the market in Fangu that allowed Mongo-Yuan and Great Sui to trade, and the second was this gyrfalcon.
This white gyrfalcon was close to a meter tall, and its wingspan was even more shocking. It could easily bring a calf into the air; its viciousness made people fearful.
Although the Emperor liked this gyrfalcon, he rarely came to see it. If this gyrfalcon wasn’t gifted to him by the Khagan of Mongo-Yuan but a citizen of Great Sui, its treatment would be much different.
Hou Wenji was the one who looked after this gyrfalcon.
The Intelligence Department trained falcons and dogs, but it was much harder to train falcons.
Hou Wenji used a lot of time and energy to train this gyrfalcon.
Since the Intelligence Department had detailed procedures, Hou Wenji didn’t need to manage everything. Therefore, when he had time, he would go out and hunt with this gyrfalcon for several days.
When his time was tight, Hou Wenji would release some wild animals in the backyard of the Intelligence Department and let this gyrfalcon that was named Loyal Dog by the Emperor to hunt them.
This gyrfalcon that the Khagan of Mongo-Yuan gifted to Great Sui was named Loyal Dog; its meaning was obvious.
This gyrfalcon was arrogant, and it rarely went after ordinary beasts. Therefore, when Zhuo Buyi walked into the backyard with Little Flower, this gyrfalcon was excited. If Hou Wenji didn’t stop it, it would have fought Little Flower viciously.
Seeing Loyal Dog, Little Flower who was dispirited on the way back to Chang’an became stimulated. These two beasts who were masters of nature didn’t like each other.
However, Little Flower would be at a disadvantage if this fight occurred.
“This boar is not bad,” Hou Wenji laughed after freezing for a second, “Such a big wild boar must be the lord of a forest, but you brought it into the Capital. Aren’t you afraid that it will lose its wildness and aggressiveness after being here for too long?”
Zhou Buyi walked to Hou Wenji and said to Little Flower while pointing at the garden that had many trees, “The big boulder belongs to that bird, so this little forest belongs to you. Although it isn’t big, you can use it as your home for now. Later, I will ask His Majesty to allow you to stay in the Innumerable Beast Park inside the Royal Garden, and you can still be a lord there.”