Chapter 210 Talents Are Needed
Seeing Zhu Wen going far away, Li Ye frowned slightly. Immediately, he felt that a master in the Spiritual Master Realm appeared.
He looked far away and didn't intend to go out to chase after him. He didn't know how many cultivators there were in the Spiritual Master Realm of Zhongnan Mountain. If the two people joined forces, he couldn't fight against them.
But since he had occupied Dengzhou, Li Ye didn't feel like raising new issues. Zhu Wen had the great luck to become an emperor, so Li Ye couldn't easily kill him as he wanted. At present, he shouldn't only focus on Zhu Wen.
In the afternoon that day, the battle was declared to be over.
Before sunset, the city gradually became quiet and order was restored. Even though some of Zhu Wen's troops were still resisting desperately, they couldn't make any trouble facing the official troops.
Zhu Wen had fifty thousand soldiers, but over ten thousand of them were dead. Half of them died in today's battle.
On the battlefield, there were not as many casualties as imagined in a stalemate. Only when the battle result came out would the casualties increase rapidly because of the one-sided slaughter.
In addition, more people chose to surrender. Although Zhu Wen's troops were valiant, the great trend had gone, so not many of them were willing to die. Moreover, not all of the over fifty thousand Dengzhou defending soldiers were under Zhu Wen's direct control. Over ten thousand people eventually escaped.
The official troops also had many casualties. After all, as the initiative part of the battle, they suffered great pressure. The rolling stone and wood, molten iron and arrows did great harm to them.
The Pinglu Army had few thousand casualties and the Zhongwu Army had fewer casualties. It was not because Zhou Ji was passive and slack, but because the number of the Zhongwu Army was only half that of the Pinglu Army. Therefore, the Zhongwu Army had fewer casualties than the Pinglu Army.
That night, the generals gathered together to report the battle situation to Li Ye.
Zhou Ji, Yang Fuguang, and others were all in high spirits. They had defeated the famous Zhu Wen and occupied Dengzhou in such a short time. It was a shot in the arm for them, giving them hope for the future battle.
Yang Fuguang was knowledgable. Upon seeing Li Ye, he said to him excitedly with cupped fists, "Our troops were able to win in such a short time because you and the Pinglu Army made the biggest contribution. Without you and the Pinglu Army, we couldn't win. Over the last few days, I was deeply impressed by your competence in deploying forces, and by the Pinglu Army's valor. Now the rebels are fleeing in panic. This battle has a profound meaning. There are no more generals of the rebels in the hinterland of the Central Plains. Moreover, when the news reaches Guanzhong and the vassal states in all directions, it will definitely inspire our troops. You'll become famous because of this battle, and the whole world will praise your wisdom!"
Li Ye felt happy and slightly embarrassed as he heard this naked admiration face to face. Waving his hand, he said, "The Zhongwu Army's contribution to the victory was not inferior to the Pinglu Army's. After this battle, people will also know your and General Zhou's loyalty to the country."
666 Zhou Ji smiled and said, "You could command over a hundred thousand troops and win on the battlefield at such a young age, so you will have a very promising future. Even though we made trifling contributions, we can't put on a par with you. Who but you can help the country and save people from danger?"
"General Zhou, please don't make fun of me." Li Ye waved his hand repeatedly to express his modesty. Then he said solemnly, "All in all, we could win this battle because we were united and the soldiers spared no effort. Everyone has credit. The military envoy will evaluate everyone's credit. The people who had credit will be rewarded, while those who made a mistake will be punished. This is the foundation of my governing the army. Everyone, we can't slack off after the great victory. The most important thing now is to reassure the public."
That night, however, the victorious official troops held a banquet. Wine and meat were served, and the soldiers were in high spirits. Almost all of them were drunk except for the troops on duty. After the battle, they considered the relaxation as a matter of course.
But Li Ye didn't slack off. There were few ten thousand soldiers on duty to guard against the return of Zhu Wen, even though that was less likely. Caution was a habit. If you slacked off once, you would slack off later on.
Besides, Li Ye prohibited the armed forces from disturbing the residents and looting. The military order had no effect on the Pinglu Army. The eighty thousand of the hundred thousand soldiers were new recruits, so they were not in the habit of looting after the battle.
But the Zhongwu soldiers were very resistant to this order. In this age, whether they were the Imperial Troops or not, looting was common after a battle. Only when he entered Chang'an, Huang Chao didn't loot. When the troops of the Tang Empire drove Huang Chao out for the first time, they were defeated by Huang Chao's counterattack because of looting.
Because Li Ye had built up the prestige, the Zhongwu soldiers dared not disobey the order even though they were dissatisfied. Moreover, Li Ye took out the gold and silver from the storehouse and gave it to the soldiers who were the first to attack the city as a reward, so the Zhongwu soldiers had nothing to say.
That night, Li Ye asked Li Zhen and other civil officials who came along with the army to quickly begin to deal with matters concerning the pacification of the people.
Although they had captured Dengzhou, it was ruined badly in the battle. Zhu Wen also recruited many civilians during the battle, and the good fields outside the city were left untended.
At this time, it was particularly important to restore Dengzhou's order and let the crops in the fields grow normally. That was vital for the ordinary people's livelihood. Even though Li Ye didn't intend to make Dengzhou his own, he wouldn't treat the ordinary people bad.
After everyone left, Li Ye remained quiet alone.
In the dead of night, he kept his mind concentrated with his eyes closed. Wisps of luck kept converging toward him from the window. The Dragon Qi in his body was quietly swimming and gradually growing.
The color of the Dragon Qi gradually showed, and the Dragon Qi seemed to turn into reality.
Li Ye guessed in his heart that maybe the time that the Dragon Qi transformed was the time he would step into the Spiritual Master Realm.
Although Li Ye succeeded in killing Wujizi in the fight with him, he kind of played a trick. Anyway, it was very difficult to step into the Spiritual Master Realm. Moreover, what happened to Su Emei and Wei Xiaozhuang made Li Ye fear the reincarnation of the immortal.
Although according to the historical process, Huang Chao was bound to fall, but this world was different from the Earth. Besides, Li Ye came here from the transmigration because of rebirth, and there was no him in the original history. Even if Huang Chao would fall, he wouldn't necessarily achieve success.
He didn't know how many achievements he would make in the process of settling the Huang Chao Uprising. That was to steal the great luck that originally belonged to Li Keyong. Besides, after the Huang Chao Uprising, the world was in complete chaos. The vassal states fought for their own sakes. The weak became the prey of the strong. Li Ye was in Pinglu, facing Li Keyong in the north and Zhu Wen in the south. It was not a worry-free situation.
It was really hard to say what would happen in the future.
In such a world's overall situation, there were also things like Taoist sects going out into the world and the reincarnation of the immortal. Everything was full of unknowns.
Then, the troops rested for several days in Dengzhou. Li Ye planned to wipe out the rebel forces of different sizes in Guandong first to prepare for the attack on Tongguan.
After leaving Dengzhou, Zhu Wen didn't stop until he reached Tongguan.
After arriving in Tongguan, he was no longer eager to go west to Chang'an, but sent people to gather his troops along the way. Most of those soldiers who escaped from Dengzhou were regrouped by him.
A few days later, Zhu Wen had over ten thousand soldiers again. As they fled for their lives, these soldiers had to discard their armor because the armor was so heavy that it affected their speed. Not many people had knives in their hands now.
But Zhu Wen didn't mind. If they were still alive, that was enough. Although they lost the battle in Dengzhou, there was no denying that they were still the experienced elites. These soldiers were treasures. When going back to Guanzhong, they would regain armor. After having some rest and doing drills, they would become the real valiant soldiers on the battlefield again.
When Zhu Wen led the over ten thousand remnants of a defeated army to return to Chang'an, Huang Chao came to meet him personally on Ba Bridge with a group of civil officials and military generals.
Seeing Huang Chao's Ceremonial Guard in the distance, Zhu Wen was stunned for a while and then he rode his horse fast to come closer. Over a hundred steps away, he dismounted and walked forward with his troops behind him.
Wearing the imperial robe, Huang Chao was in high spirits and looked vigorous. Seeing Zhu Wen bow to him, he came to lift him up, laughing as if he were meeting the victorious general and the battle situation of the Qi Empire were very optimistic. Otherwise, why was he so happy?
"You fought for the country on the battlefield with toilsome labor and distinctive merits. I was often concerned about you! Now I'm greatly relieved to see that you've come back safely!" Huang Chao patted Zhu Wen's shoulder affectionately and laughed louder and louder.
Not only he but also the Prime Ministers behind him treated Zhu Wen kindly, as though Zhu Wen had not been defeated at all.
Zhu Wen's mind was working fast and he guessed Huang Chao's intention in his heart. Appearing sad, he bowed again. "I was defeated on the battlefield. I let you down. Your Majesty, I beg you to punish me!"
Huang Chao lifted Zhu Wen up once again. He said loudly, "You confronted hundreds of thousands of troops alone in Guandong, so you are not to be blamed for the defeat. You needn't say more. Come back to the Imperial Palace with me. I've prepared a banquet to welcome you back in person!"
When Zhu Wen's troops came back, they were trembling with fear and afraid that Huang Chao would punish them. At present, they were all relieved, like a stone finally falling on the ground, as they saw the attitudes of Huang Chao and the Prime Ministers.
"It seems that His Majesty is a wise man. As he knows we lost Dengzhou, he doesn't blame us for not fighting hard. His Majesty also knows our credit for the bloody battle."
Contrary to his troops' relaxation, a haze was cast over Zhu Wen's heart. The more generous Huang Chao was, the worse the situation was.
The Qi Empire needed talents at present and he was a valiant general, so Huang Chao didn't punish him. He was afraid that it wouldn't be easy for the upcoming battles. More importantly, the future of the Qi Empire was the key. As a minister and military general of the Qi Empire, the destiny of the Qi Empire was Zhu Wen's own destiny.
That day, Huang Chao hosted a banquet for Zhu Wen in the Imperial Palace. It seemed that Huang Chao was sincere. He treated Zhu Wen as usual. He was drinking wine and chatting merrily with Zhu Wen at the banquet.
Zhu Wen was the commander of Huang Chao's trusted army, so he was closer to Huang Chao than anyone. When fighting throughout the country, the two of them even had the experience of sleeping together.
Zhu Wen's face was impassive, but in fact, he was worried.
After the banquet, Zhu Wen left the Imperial Palace.
When he was about to get on his horse outside the city gate, he heard a familiar voice from behind him. "General Zhu, please wait."