Guo Ziyi did not rest, immediately charging at a third Yeluohe.
The seemingly unstoppable Yeluohe were now extremely fearful and began a fighting retreat. It was clear that someone of Guo Ziyi's strength was a major source of pressure for them.
As Guo Ziyi held down the Yeluohe, at least fifty elite cavalry who had taken part in the border incident came on thundering hooves, sweeping aside the encirclement of Youzhou cavalry like a dragon.
While Guo Ziyi's force did not have many men, they concentrated their manpower, which had a multiplicative effect on their strength. This was not something that several hundred Youzhou elites could resist.
Screams tore through the air as several dozen Youzhou elites were blasted aside by that terrifying force.
As the Youzhou elites were being scattered, Guo Ziyi's men picked up the wounded horsemen on the ground and rode back the way they came.
"I'll cover the retreat! Go!" Guo Ziyi loudly called out. Even at a time like this, he still maintained his cool composure.
Guo Ziyi's dantian blazed, and Stellar Energy surged out in massive waves, knocking aside the surrounding Yeluohe and Youzhou elites.
Seizing this chance, Guo Ziyi drew back his spear and charged off, quickly breaking away from the enemy and vanishing into the distance.
A few moments later, he led his men away like the winds sweeping away the clouds, and they melded into the darkness.
It was only a few moments after that when a large pitch-black steed rode out from the rear.
Upon seeing that divine figure mounted upon the horse, everyone trembled and lowered their heads.
The number two man of the Youzhou garrison.
As Cui Qianyou, with his domineering eyes and draconic aura, appeared, a Youzhou elite swiftly came forward with cupped hands. "Milord, those men haven't managed to get very far. We can still catch them!"
"There's no need!"
Cui Qianyou looked in the direction that Guo Ziyi's men had vanished, and an intimidating light flashed in his eyes.
"We've just received word that the armory was set on fire. The young commander has ordered us to immediately return and protect the armory! We must ensure that we do not fall prey to the enemy's scheme to lure the tiger away from the mountain!"
Cui Qianyou's eyes gleamed with frightening killing intent.
Youzhou held many hidden armories, all of them secretly constructed by their young commander to store weapons. These weapons were extremely important for the future of Youzhou's protectorate army and could not be lost.
Cui Qianyou had also not expected an armory to be set on fire while he went out to lead the pursuit. This forced the Youzhou side to be more cautious.
The enemy was more cunning than imagined!
"Let them live for a few days longer! Once the army enters the Central Plains, they will die all the same!" Cui Qianyou fiercely said. Though he was extremely reluctant, he had no choice but to return.
Whoosh! At this moment, in an explosion of dust, the Yeluohe that Guo Ziyi had knocked down suddenly rose from the ground, even the one who had been pierced through the heart. They seemed completely uninjured.
The Youzhou elites cried out in panic and backed away.
But Cui Qianyou was utterly unperturbed.
Cui Qianyou made a gesture, and a set of shrill and rapid sounds that did not belong to any human tongue came from his mouth. A moment later, the Yeluohe mounted their horses as if they were completely fine and rode into the distance.
After one last glance at the direction in which Guo Ziyi's men had fled, the Youzhou elites turned back to the garrison.
Several dozen li away from where the battle with Guo Ziyi's men had taken place, torches flickered on the summit of a mountain. Several men stood on the edge of the steep precipice, looking in the direction of the wind.
"How is it?" An Yaluoshan said, his hands held behind his back.
Behind An Yaluoshan, Tian Qianzhen bowed and respectfully said, "A false alarm. The enemy didn't have enough men, so they used diversionary tactics to safely escape. Our men took inventory, and while we lost ten-some bows, everything else is fine."
From Tian Qianzhen's point of view, one could see that An Yaluoshan was surrounded by circles of a white substance, so thick that it seemed tangible. This white substance was slowly revolving around him in a giant vortex.
This was spiritual energy!
All the generals of Youzhou were willing to follow alongside An Yaluoshan, as staying by his side for one day would produce better results than a month immersed in cultivation.
Moreover, the spiritual energy around An Yaluoshan was different from normal, seemingly of an extremely high quality.
"Hmph! A bunch of easily frightened birds."
An Yaluoshan coldly snorted, contempt in his eyes.
"But, Gao Shang, your conjectures were right. That fellow really did send men to investigate me. If you hadn't predicted this, we would have been watched without even knowing it."
An Yaluoshan fell silent, fear in his eyes.
It was impossible for several hundred scouts to shake An Yaluoshan. What he truly feared was the man backing them, the King of Foreign Lands.
An Yaluoshan would never in his wildest dreams have imagined that, after the incident in the capital, that fellow would once again send people to keep an eye on him. This made An Yaluoshan both angry and afraid.
It had been several years since that incident with Wang Chong, but An Yaluoshan still remembered the endless loathing in Wang Chong's eyes, how he had doggedly hunted him.
This was still a mystery for An Yaluoshan. He had turned the matter over in his mind many times, but he still couldn't tell where the problem was.
But there was one thing An Yaluoshan was sure about. He had never met Wang Chong before.
Just where had this inexplicable grudge come from? An Yaluoshan still couldn't understand.
Even worse was that his inexplicable foe was now the Nine Provinces Protector-General, above the rest of the Protector-Generals, even the previous War God, Wang Zhongsi. He even had the high regard of the Sage Emperor.
The thought of such an influential character keeping watch on him made An Yaluoshan toss and turn in his bed.
And the act of sending scouts to watch him also meant that Wang Chong really had found the treasure he had gifted to the Caliph of Arabia!
Gao Shang bowed and said, "Your Excellency, there is no need for concern. Youzhou is our territory, and we've made the place watertight. They are outsiders, and even if they've discovered some things, without firm evidence, they cannot do anything!
"Even if one has rebellious intentions, as long as one does not act on them, then there is no evidence. Moreover, Youzhou is on the border and is a land of war and chaos. So what if they've found those armories? With the Lord Protector-General to serve as cover, no problems will arise. And if there really is a problem, we can just push the responsibility onto Lord Protector-General."
Gao Shang slowly and carefully analyzed the situation.
The last obstacle in Youzhou was none other than Protector-General Zhang Shougui. This man was the protective umbrella as well as the last barrier to overcome.
"The best plan is to use this matter to remove the Protector-General. At that time, there will be no one in Youzhou except Your Excellency who is capable of controlling the Youzhou army. As long as Your Excellency achieves a little more, the court will have no choice except to reward Your Excellency," Gao Shang calmly said.
He had already taken care of everything, making his plans watertight. What did it matter if the King of Foreign Lands had sent scouts to investigate? They could do nothing.
An Yaluoshan was much more at ease after hearing Gao Shang's words. If this really was the case, then it was truly for the best. Nevertheless, he still furrowed his brow, unable to shake off his unease.
He knew that the youth in the capital could never be so easy to deal with.
As he was thinking, the flapping of wings came from above. The group on the mountain looked up, and Gao Shang swiftly stepped forward and received the nighthawk.
Once he read the letter, he smiled.
"Your Excellency, we have nothing to worry about now!"
Gao Shang gave the letter to An Yaluoshan.
An Yaluoshan glanced over the letter and immediately became excited.
"The Sage Emperor reappeared in court, revoked the authority of the court officials, and ordered the provinces and commanderies to present their talented women… The heavens are truly assisting me! Wang Chong, what does it matter what you've found? You can do nothing to me!
"Everyone, listen up! We need to prepare some beauties to offer to the Imperial Palace… no, that's still not enough. Also prepare some Xi, Khitan, Turkic, and Goguryeon women. This time, no matter what, I need the Sage Emperor to be satisfied!"
Tian Chengsi, Tian Qianzhen, and Gao Shang bowed.
When they raised their heads again, they all had strange smiles on their faces.
Youzhou had been watching for news from the capital this entire time. The slapping of the Crown Prince in the Eastern Palace, the construction of the Peace Pavilion, the selection of talented women, the appearance at the court session… even the news regarding Eunuch Gao made its way to Youzhou.
After reigning for thirty-some years as a wise and powerful sovereign, the revered and beloved Sage Emperor had undergone a massive change in personality, beginning to indulge in women and pleasure while acting arbitrarily in government affairs. When compared to the earlier part of his reign, it was like heaven and earth. No one had imagined this to be possible.
But for the Youzhou group, an incapable Son of Heaven was a wonderful surprise!
This was their best opportunity!
"To think that those fellows were right! This is a blessing from heaven! Wang Chong, with the Sage Emperor acting up, let's see what you do! Will you still have the time to deal with me? Hahaha…"
An Yaluoshan's eyes exploded with dazzling light.
Phenomena had appeared in the heavens, and the Sage Emperor's personality had changed. If the phenomena were true and the true dragon really was about to die, then this world would be An Yaluoshan's.
No one would be able to stop him, not even the King of Foreign Lands!