"Reporting to the military commander, 30,000 elite cavalries have been assembled!" An Cunxiao reported with his fist clasped in his hand.
"Reporting to the military commander, 20,000 infantry has been assembled!" Reported Han Sizhao with his fist clasped in his hand.
Li Keyong finally stopped his steps. Killing instinct had filled his eyes. He turned around and looked at everyone. "Today, Tongguan is likely to be breached by Li Ye. Now, as your commander, prepare for battle and get ready to leave anytime! An Cunxiao, you are going to help take Tongguan now!"
No matter what, he would not allow Li Ye to have all the credit for taking Tongguan.
Everyone was perplexed because the Pinglu soldiers had not had much success in taking Tongguan. So they wondered why Li Keyong said that Tongguan was going to be breached today. Many of the generals could not get it. But as they saw Li Keyong's expression, they dared not ask further questions. So they obeyed and saluted by clasping their fists in their hands.
The more intelligent generals were suddenly frightened and shocked. They couldn't help thinking that the Yanmen army was not at all prepared. The battle of the past days and Li Keyong's arrangements had made them think that Li Ye could not breach Tongguan. So now the soldiers were all sleeping peacefully. But now Li Keyong's order meant that the battle situation was not what they had expected. It was beyond their control.
Li Keyong had asked all the stunned generals to go and prepare for the expedition.
After the generals withdrew, Li Keyong buried himself to think about the many problems that he had not figured out.
He felt he had been schemed by Li Ye, but he couldn't understand how. He thought that since Wang Duo had turned to Buddhism and been controlled by Huiming, Li Ye couldn't do anything to him as long as he had Wang's support. He thought he could achieve greatness, but now it seemed things weren't as he expected.
Li Keyong had to now think about the battle and think about strategies. He would not let Li Ye take all the credit for taking Tongguan no matter what. His soldiers had to be a part of it.
When Tongguan was breached, Huazhou was next in line. He had elite cavalry, so he had to get ahead of Li Ye and snatch Huazhou from him. Because Huazhou was the headquarter for Huang Chao to guard Tongguan and defend Guandong. It was also the base for Huang's army, so there were countless weapons and grain there. Needless to say Huazhou's importance was not to be underestimated. Whoever took Huazhou would have the edge in attacking Chang'an.
Just as Li Keyong was thinking about all that, An Cunxiao suddenly came in and reported, "General, we cannot get close to Tongguan!"
Li Keyong was taken aback, he lifted his head and asked in a low voice, "What happened?"
"The Pinglu army has taken up all the roads, we can't even get close to it," answered An Cunxiao.
Li Keyong was in shock for a long while, and the look in his eyes kept changing. His facial color changed from dark to pale, at last he let out a scream, "LI YE!"
Li Ye's expression recovered and gradually got calm because after Liu Dazheng's troops breached Tongguan from the side, Zhao Polu's pressure was instantly eased. So his guards quickly climbed up on the city wall and started fighting with the opposing guards in close combat.
Though Li Ye did not see the two Spiritual Master Realm Taoists that were guarding the Tongguan camp, he could sense their energy was dissipating. Clearly, when the Zhongnan Mountain chief and the grand elder had seen the unfavorable situation, they left.
Breaching Jinggu had clearly affected the morale of the guards manning Tongguan. So when they faced off against Liu Dazheng and Zhao Polu attack from both sides, they couldn't hold on as the two attacking sides cooperated so well. Before long, the city wall was lost.
The two Pinglu forces charged into the defending army's camp, and they began killing left and right. Before long, Huang Chao army was defeated, leaving corpses everywhere. In the end, Huang Chao army's spirit had been totally broken and they started fleeing.
As Li Ye approached the gates to Tongguan and saw how the Pinglu soldiers were killing the rebels, he was at ease. Though there were still quite a few Huang Chao soldiers inside Tongguan, tens of thousands in fact, and they were prepared for a round-robin battle to defend the city.
But now, chaos erupted within the camp and most soldiers saw the situation and began to flee. With the lopsided attack going on, even if there were still a few brave warriors, the outcome was already determined.
Li Ye then turned around and looked outside of Tongguan, he saw endless Pinglu soldiers. A large number of armored guards were like trees in a forest and in neat formations.
Since he knew that Tongguan would be breached today, naturally he had a plan in place. Currently the formations outside of Tongguan started moving and the sea of armored soldiers had split in the middle. The three thousand Wolf-tooth Troops and five thousand elite cavalries led by the armored general had come charging through the split path. They quickly approached the gates to Tongguan.
Shangguan Qingcheng lifted her head and glanced at Li Ye. Li Ye nodded to her in acknowledgment.
As the elite cavalry charged into Tongguan, they headed straight for the military camp. The rebels that blocked them were either killed or sent flying. Many were flattened like meat patties. A lot of the soldiers took off their armor and fled while screaming.
Shangguan Qingcheng led eight thousand elite cavalries and kept charging ahead.
There were still many defeated soldiers near Tongguan and they were all fleeing towards Huazhou. But how could they compete against the cavalry? It didn't take long for Shangguan Qingcheng to go get ahead of them. Hua Zhou was just fifteen or twenty kilometers ahead of her.
Hua Zhou was still peaceful for the moment. Though a violent battle had erupted in Tongguan, Hua Zhou was safe as long as the Tongguan was not breached.
There were large fields of farming land outside the city. Many farmers were still busy and smoke could be seen from many chimneys. If it weren't for that fact that it was not a good year for the crops and there were many barren lands, this was a scene from times of peace and prosperity.
When the farmers heard the noise, they stopped what they were doing and lifted their heads up to see what was going on. When they saw the cavalry charging on the official road, every one of them screamed from the fright. They threw away the farming tools in their hands and began running away. The farmers that were close to the city were headed towards the city.
Of course the elite cavalry was much faster than them. Luckily no one was stupid enough to get on the official road, so the Wolf-tooth Troop did not need to kill anyone. The Hua Zhou city gates were wide open with only a few soldiers guarding it. Some of them were yawning. As soon as they saw the elite cavalry, all of the guards were in shock.
The Conductor and Leader immediately yelled on top of their voices that they were under attack. They screamed for the gates to shut. By the time the chaotic city wall restored order, the cavalry had already arrived.
Just at that moment, a few dozen cultivators suddenly charged out of the nearby streets and houses. All of them looked elite in green robes, wielding blades. And they were extremely athletic
After their sudden appearance, they charged at the guards manning the gates without delay. Their blade light was like a meteor shower landing on the guards. Without time to react, the guards all fell one by one.
Most of them had died without realizing what had happened as the shocked expressions were still left on their faces.
The guards near the gates wanted to defend themselves so they fought with the cultivators. But before they could even gather together, the cavalry had already charged through the gates.
Shangguan Qingcheng led his men straight to the middle of the city, heading towards the Inspector General manor. He divided a small section of this team to rein in their horses to a halt. As the cavalry soldiers got off their horses, they wielded a blade in one hand and a shield in the other. Then they joined forces with the green-robed cultivators and charged towards the city wall.
Calm and composed, Li Ye sat atop the city wall.
Now that the situation was pretty much in control, he could finally relax and take some rest. Though he was not particularly tired, however, being the chief governor of three military forces, he was quite stressed. So naturally, he was mentally exhausted.
The Junior Priestess and Senior Priestess followed Li Ye around like a shadow. When they stood beside each other, they looked like two statues.
But no one took them for shadows, for they were both extremely beautiful people. Not to mention the forceful energy that emanated from them because they both had such high cultivation. Many were even scared to look at them in the eyes.
Li Keyong eventually found Li Ye, but he only brought along a few high leveled cultivators with him because it was impossible for his troops to get through the Pinglu army formation.
Currently a hundred thousand Pinglu troops were trying to enter the city, almost leaving no space for people to land their feet. And following close behind the Pinglu army, was the Zhongwu army.
Since Yang Fuguang took good care of Li Ye last night, Li Ye returned the favor by telling him to prepare early. Even so, the Yanmen army, who thought they had the credit for breaching the city firmly in hand, had fallen behind.
All of the Yanmen soldiers were angry, some of the generals were even swearing. But it was useless because not only did the Pinglu soldiers ignore them, even the Zhongwu troops paid them no attention. The Caizhou Army was especially arrogant, and they even fought the Yanmen soldiers who were trying to cut in. Quite a few soldiers from both sides were hurt by their little scuttle.
After the battle of Dengzhou, the Caizhou Army was extremely obedient towards Li Ye. They followed him everywhere. Because they had won quite a few battles under Li Ye's commands, they had gotten quite a lot of rewards too. However, with the presence of both the Pinglu and Zhongwu army, they had no place. It was like they were the stepchild that had to be careful of their every move. Circumstances had dictated that the usually cocky and arrogant Caizhou troops had turned into well-behaved and obedient children.
But it doesn't mean that their aggression was totally gone, they proved it when confronted by Yanmen army lower in status than them. So they found their pride by stepping on the Yanmen soldiers.
If the Yanmen soldiers had behaved themselves, then nothing would have happened. But they did the stupid thing of trying to cut in, which had angered the Caizhou Army. So they started screaming and when push came to shove, they fought with their fists, and the only that they didn't do was fight with blades.
The way the Caizhou Army saw it, the Shatuo army and the Tartar army were either foreigners or Northwestern tribes. Though the Tang did not discriminate against foreigners or Northwestern tribes, the soldiers of Caizhou Army were Tang people and therefore they felt privileged. So when they saw a bunch of Northwesterners trying to pick on them, they were extremely angry. Of course each one of them wanted to teach the Yanmen soldiers a lesson.
When Li Keyong came before Tongguan city and saw Li Ye relaxing on top of the city wall like he had control of the world, Li Keyong's anger was hard to behold. It was as if we wouldn't have to worry about anything thanks to Li Ye.
That was a huge slap in Li Keyong's face.
When he thought about how cocky Li Ye was about taking Tongguan not long ago, Li Keyong felt like he had eaten a fly. Now that Tongguan was indeed Li Ye's, and he also heard that Li Ye had sent elite cavalry to take Hua Zhou too.
If he took Hua Zhou, then how could the Yanmen army contend to attack the capital and the surrounding lands?
When Li Ye saw Li Keyong, he revealed an endearing smile as if he had seen an old friend. He then asked deliberately, "To what do I owe the pleasure, General Li?"
Li Keyong twitched his mouth and squeezed out a smile, he clasped his fist and said, "I'm here to congratulate Prince An for taking Tongguan and achieving a great triumph for the imperial court."