Side Story Chapter 39: The Final Battle!
Li Xuantu suddenly thought of something and exploded in rage.
He had far stronger Psychic Energy than the others, and in just a moment, he had realized what had happened outside the city.
An army had surrounded the city!
And judging by the sound, the army was rather large.
Never since the founding of the Great Tang had an army assaulted the capital.
“Third Brother, you are forcing my hand into killing you. No matter how many soldiers you have brought, it will be of no help to you in this battle. The gates of the capital are one thousand feet tall, and the city is guarded by the City Guard and the Imperial Army. The soldiers you have mustered will need at least one hour to break through the gates.”
“They won’t need an hour.”
Li Taiyi chuckled, and as if in response to his voice, four booms came from the north, south, east, and west.
An Eastern Palace messenger frantically rushed over. “Bad news! All of the gates have been lost! The soldiers manning the gates have turned traitor, letting the invading soldiers in.”
Before one wave had settled, another rose. Another messenger arrived and got down on one knee.
“Your Highness, we’ve just received word. Our men were ambushed, and Virtuous Empress Dou was taken away.”
A third messenger soon followed.
“The City Guard has turned traitor. They’re working with the rebel army and are making their way toward the Imperial Palace.”
Three nightmarish reports came one after another, causing all of the Eastern Palace advisors to pale.
“How could this be!? How could the City Guard join the Third Prince?”
“So this was your trump card.”
The First Prince shook his head as he finally spoke, his expression composed and devoid of panic.
“I must admit that I truly underestimated you. However, despite all you’ve done, these are just minor tricks. The rebel army outside the city together with the City Guard amount to around forty thousand men, but the Imperial Palace has one hundred thousand soldiers, and this isn’t even considering that the City Guard was not meant for battle. Their fighting power isn’t even worth mentioning. At best, all you have done is make a little more trouble for me.”
Li Xuantu was proud and powerful!
Ever since his mother had passed away when he was young, he had grown up in an adversarial environment and had encountered all sorts of dangers and predicaments. In the campaigns on the border, he had been in mortal danger. Comparatively, all that Li Taiyi did was nothing at all.
War had always been his strong suit, and as long as he had the Imperial Army under his control, he was unstoppable and could lead it to defeat his opponents one by one.
He stretched his hands, cracking his finger joints. At the same time, a powerful energy erupted from his body. Those familiar with him knew that this was a sign that the First Prince was about to strike.
The entire Imperial Palace other than the area in front of Taiji Palace was under Li Xuantu’s control, but at this moment, right before Li Xuantu was about to strike, sounds of fighting broke out from various parts of the palace.
In the blink of an eye, a frantic messenger appeared. “Reporting! Your Highness, bad news. Grand Marshals Zhao, Li, and Wang have all turned traitor. Grand Marshal Zhou is doing his best to try and fight back.”
The news brought by this messenger caused the unflustered Li Xuantu to instantly pale, losing the composure he had maintained.
Grand Marshals Zhao, Li, and Wang were Eastern Palace men, and they were Li Xuantu’s trusted subordinates in the Imperial Army.
Though the Imperial Army had six Grand Marshals, the soldiers under the command of these three constituted eighty percent of the force. In other words, these three men had eighty thousand soldiers under their command.
If Third Prince Li Taiyi had previously been a desperate beast putting up one last struggle, now, it was Li Xuantu playing this role.
Li Xuantu’s heart exploded with shock and anger as he turned his head to Li Taiyi.
There was no doubt that it was Li Taiyi who had upset his plans.
Even more frightening to Li Xuantu was that Grand Marshals Zhao, Li, and Wang had been with him for an extremely long time. Li Xuantu had always deeply trusted these three, or else he would not have entrusted them with more than half his forces for tonight’s important operation.
He had never imagined that they would betray him.
If even these three could betray him, Li Xuantu couldn’t even imagine who else would betray him. What about the court officials, the Eastern Palace advisors?
He didn’t know who he could trust right now.
An intense killing intent erupted in Li Xuantu’s heart.
He had never imagined that Li Taiyi’s strategies would penetrate so deeply, would be this terrifying.
In the past, all of his actions had been for the sake of the throne, but now, Li Taiyi’s actions had made Li Xuantu extremely uneasy.
Even if he ultimately took the throne, Li Xuantu would not be able to spend a single night sound asleep while Li Taiyi still lived.
“What does it matter if you have the Imperial Army? I’ll kill you now!”
Li Xuantu could no longer restrain himself. A single strong man could take down ten martial artists, and even if Li Taiyi controlled all of the Great Tang’s soldiers, so long as he could kill him, he would still be the right and proper successor.
It was naturally good to have as many soldiers as one could, but his confidence lay in his peerless strength, not his soldiers.
The golden sword that had been thrust into the ground trembled as if it was being pulled by an invisible force, and then it soared up like a dragon and into Li Xuantu’s hand. The moment that sword landed in his hand, Li Xuantu vanished like a ghost.
Li Xuantu struck quickly, and Li Taiyi reacted in kind.
This political strife was because of the two of them, and they had dragged in the City Guard and Imperial Army. He had appeared here precisely so that the battle would be restrained to just the two of them.
“First Imperial Brother, you won’t succeed!”
Li Taiyi’s icy voice rang out through Taiji Palace, and at the same time, their swords clashed in the air.
Two terrifying Stellar Energies erupted from their bodies, transforming into destructive torrents of energy that swept out to all sides.
All of the Eastern Palace advisors and Golden Guards were blasted away by the shockwaves, and even the golden throne Li Xuantu had placed at the entrance was flung into the distance.
Chaos ensued, and Taiji Palace became the center of a storm.
“Back! Back! Hurry and retreat!”
Everyone rolled on the ground and clambered to their feet, hastily fleeing from this storm.
First Prince Li Xuantu did not merely excel in the art of war. His talent in martial arts was also unprecedented, and he was acknowledged as the number one expert of the Imperial Palace. This was one of the main reasons so many generals had pledged loyalty to him.
No one had expected that Third Prince Li Taiyi would have been hiding so much of his strength that he could take the First Prince’s terrifying blow directly.
The Imperial Palace fell into turmoil, but Li Xuantu and Li Taiyi could not concern themselves about the people on the ground.
They both understood that all of their schemes had been used up. What would determine victory now was the battle between the two of them.
The victor would be king while the loser would be a bandit.
Flames burned in the darkness of the Imperial Palace. All of the Imperial Army could see the heaven-shaking battle taking place between the First Prince and Third Prince, endless waves of Stellar Energy erupting from their bodies.
They were constantly changing positions, rising and falling, as fast as lightning.
At one moment, they could be above Taiji Palace, but in the next, they would be in the southwestern part of the Imperial Palace.
Suddenly, as their Stellar Energies swept past, a building of the Imperial Palace exploded like it was a sandcastle, raining debris and shrapnel over the area.
Faster, faster, faster…
At the beginning, everyone could still keep up with the fight, but as the fight progressed, all that could be seen was their Stellar Energies. The heavens, the earth, and the entire capital had become their battleground.
Countless people held their breath as they looked up at the sky.
Each person understood that when this battle was over, the Great Tang would have its new Emperor.
Time slowly passed, and as the battle continued, everyone began to grow worried.
After some time, a mighty bellow came from the heavens.
“World-Shaking Emperor Dragon!”
With this mighty roar, clangclangclang! Numerous Halos of Spacetime appeared in the air.
Raaaa! The Halos of Spacetime suddenly transformed into a mighty dragon that reached its claws out at Li Taiyi.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Even before the claws made impact, the energy infused within them distorted the surrounding space for tens of thousands of feet. From a distance, one could see giant spacetime fissures appear above the Imperial Palace.
Those spacetime fissures contained destructive energy that could obliterate mountains.
Everyone felt a deep fear in their hearts, and even the war horses neighed in fear and tried to escape.
Li Xuantu’s cultivation level was unfathomable for any Prince, far above that of even Great Generals.
But Li Taiyi did not back down in the face of this attack. A moment later, without the slightest hesitation, Li Taiyi unleashed his strongest attack.
“Son! Of! Heaven’s! Sword!”
A thunderous roar boomed through the heavens. Crack! The sky seemed to split apart, and after that came something that everyone who took part in this coup within the Imperial Palace would remember for the rest of their lives.