Li Yue was a former commander of the Yellow Turbans, but he eventually realigned himself with the White Wave Bandits sect of the group along with Han Xian and Hu Cai. In 195 AD, Dong Cheng and Yang Feng asked them to assist him in escorting Emperor Xian of Han out of Chang'an, and Li Yue, Hu Cai, and Han Xian arrived to assist them. The White Wave Bandits were lured into a trap by Guo Si when he scattered priceless goods on the roads, and the bandits could not resist the temptation to take the goods, and many, including Hu Cai, were slain. Li Yue escorted the emperor away from Guo Si and Li Jue, and was rewarded with the title of General Who Conquers the North. However, Romance of the Three Kingdoms stated, "Now Li Yue and his fellow ruffians showed their true colors. They wielded the powers of the Emperor as they wished, and officials who offended them were beaten or abused even in the presence of the Emperor. They purposely provided thick wine and coarse food for the Emperor's consumption. He struggled to swallow what they sent. Li Yue and Han Xian joined in recommending to the Throne the names of convicts, common soldiers, sorcerers, leeches, and such people who thus obtained official ranks. There were more than two hundred of such people. As seals could not be engraved, pieces of wood were hammered into some sort of a shape. Court affairs had never degraded to such a low point."
Li Yue later decided to betray the emperor for his own reasons: he advised the Emperor not to move the capital to the destroyed city of Luoyang, but when the Emperor consented to Dong Cheng and Yang Feng's plan to rebuild the city, Li Yue decided to desert him. He planned to assist Li Jue and Guo Si in capturing the Emperor in revenge, but news of his plot was leaked. When he attempted to fall upon the imperial escort, claiming that Li Jue and Guo Si's men had arrived, Yang Feng noticed that he was only Li Yue from his voice, and sent Xu Huang out to battle him. Li Yue was killed in the first bout, and his White Wave Bandits scattered.