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The news of Golden Palace's invasion was like a mountain fire that burned the entire world and shocked the Central Plains.
Li Yu responded very fast. She forcibly suppressed the ministers who supported the Queen with great courage. Risking being mocked, she ordered the Northern Army to withdraw immediately, converging with the Northern Military Camp and forming two lines of defense outside Hebei county.
At the same time, she ordered the Southern Army immediately to stop fighting with the savage tribes in the primeval forest and move to the Northern Frontier as soon as possible. Then she ordered a part of the Western Army to the north to fight as a guerrilla against the cavalry of the Golden Palace.
To the ministers' surprise, Li Yu sent her Yulin Royal Guards to the Northern Frontier as well, regardless of her control of Chang'an.
At the emergency meeting, all the ministers had to acknowledge that her arrangements were extremely timely and devoid of self-interest, but they still were opposed by some people.
In those people's eyes, the Northern Army could not support Tuyang City. Since she had sent the Yulin Royal Guards to the north, what if the cavalry of the Golden Palace rode straight to Chang'an? The Northern Army was exhausted and damaged, and they should be replaced with the other armies; still, they went to Tuyang City.
Li Yu ended the argument with two sentences.
"Chang'an cannot be overcome."
"If I am not afraid to die, why are you afraid?"
Since Li Hunyuan became the new Emperor, Li Yu had been kind and gentle. The reason she acted so opposite to the past, showing her utmost toughness at this time was because she knew better than anyone else how strong the Golden Palace was.
She once married the wise Chanyu of the Golden Palace and lived in the Wilderness for a long time. She knew the gra.s.sland cavalry was the real threat for Tang.
Until now, her guards were still the savages from the Wilderness.
She clearly knew that the Golden Palace was like a monster that had been suppressed by Tang for hundreds of years. As soon as they broke away, they would be unimaginably destructive.
Compared with the cavalry of the Golden Palace, the Left King's Palace was a child and Yan's Army was a crying girl.
Under the terrible pressure of the Golden Palace, Li Yu was not interested in Prince Long Qing's army. She knew very well, only the local army could limit them and they were unable to affect the overall situation at all.
Therefore, even if the Queen's ministers didn't support her, and her loyal ministers carefully and privately expressed their doubts, she still insisted on mobilizing the power of the entire country to the north.
The results would prove she had made the right decision.
However, few people stood by her back then. After the meeting, she felt so tired and scared in her mind.
Was this the retribution for tampering with her father's edict?
At this moment, noises sounded outside the hall. Several officials came in a hurry, following a eunuch before she could say something, as well as Li Huiyuan and He Mingchi who all looked terrible.
Li Yu straightened her body and calmly said, "What happened?"
He Mingchi turned to the Emperor.
Li Huiyuan came forward and handed Li Yu a letter in his hand.
The minister who came from outside said quaveringly, "The West-Hill Divine Palace has just issued a rescript."
The rescript from the West-Hill Divine Palace, with a personal letter from the Hierarch Lord, was sent to Chang'an at the same time.
In the rescript, the West-Hill Divine Palace exposed the Empress that the Emperor of Tang had protected for decades, as being the Saintess of the Devil's Doctrine. It was a blasphemy. Two leaders of the Academy were eliminated just because they didn't respect Haotian. Therefore, the Divine Hall started a war against Tang. It also said the Golden Palace went south under Haotian's order and the Tangs should not revolt. They should overthrow the dark royal family with the people of the world.
Finis.h.i.+ng the rescript, Li Yu began to read the letter.
Compared with the splendid rescript, the letter was simpler. There was only one sentence: The darkness covers the stars and Tang is in trouble. You should drop it."
Holding the letter, she fell silent and began to tremble.
Li Huiyuan nervously looked at his elder sister and He Mingchi lowered his head. The eunuchs and maids' faces turned pale and the ministers widely opened their eyes. The whole hall was in silence.
The Golden Palace was the strongest enemy Tang had ever encountered in decades, while the rescript and the letter were the most frightening things for the Tangs.
In fact, there was no country in the world able to destroy the Tang Empire, including the Golden Palace. As long as Tang could make it past the rough beginning, they would win.
However, if the whole world was going to attack Tang, could they make it? When it happened many years ago, Tang had the Headmaster, but not anymore, as he had already ascended to heaven.
Facing the attack from the entire world, any country would directly crash under the horrible pressure and the prospect of despair.
However, the Tang Empire would not. With the strong confidence and faith that were built for a thousand years, the Tangs felt anxiety, but they didn't give up.
All the inst.i.tutions of the imperial court quickly acted and all kinds of military orders were sent from Chang'an to all directions.
In contrast, as the political and military power center, the imperial palace was calm and peaceful.
Everything they should do had been done; what else they could do but wait?
Standing by the stone bal.u.s.trades and looking at the sky, Li Yu was in silence.
Thinking of the letter from the West-Hill Divine Palace and the prediction of the Imperial Astronomer, she put her hands behind her back, clenching tightly. Her nails cut through her palm, drawing blood.
She took a deep breath to suppress the fear and hesitation in her heart, and then turned to the imperial study over the small lake.
Since she tampered with the Edict and made Li Huiyuan the Emperor, she never entered the imperial study again. The room was not big but she felt depressed because it was filled with her father's smell.
However, she came in today. She needed the spiritual comfort and support from her father at this moment.
A military general entered. Although the enemy didn't get close to Chang'an, it was wartime in the whole country.
"When can General Xu s.h.i.+ reach Chang'an?" she asked.