Dear teachers,

Can you please explain to me why the writer used present tense (he likes) and present perfect (he has covered) in the sentence (past tense) below.

A long time ago, there was an Emperor who told his horseman that if he could ride on his house and cover as much land area as he likes, then the Emperor would give him the area of land he has covered.

This is quite the opposite from what I learned when I was in college. Hope you can help me with this.