At this time, Gongyi Tianyang leaped down onto the edge of the martial arts platform.
Even with a very small, youthful appearance and childish nature, his countenance was already filled with determination.
Gu Zuo heard some faint comments right above him.
“YangEr is still a little lacking...”
“What a pity. If HengEr could practice martial arts, it wouldnt be as bad as this.”
“Stop talking like this. YangErs apt.i.tude is also excellent!”
“By merely comparing him to the other Families outstanding children, hes still a little inferior...”
“The cadet branches produced a few decent seedlings.”
“Although theyre more successful than YangEr by a thread, the same comparison yet applies: theyre still somewhat lacking. My Gongyi Clan hasnt been able to find another!”
“Ai, its difficult... difficult!”
Gu Zuo got the general idea after listening for a bit.
The Five Great Clans were all vying against each other, relying on generation after generation of youths from which more and more experts emerged. Furthermore, they absolutely couldnt lose to anyone else.
The facts were like this: because there were many people in the Five Great Clans, they had vast resources for polishing. So, in every generation and in every Clan, this led to one rising to preeminence and suppressing all their peers, and was regarded as a genius among geniuses. The others struggle for first place  was like t.i.tans in a deadlock, as the Clans fought over rights and benefits. Strategies for second place were also vigorously fostered so that they still had a subst.i.tute if the top dog had an unexpected accident.
But presently, those kinds of young powerhouses all rose from the other four Great Clans. All except for the Gongyi Clan. In the past, the Clan Heads second son, Gongyi Tianyang, could only act as a subst.i.tute and have his apt.i.tude compared to that of those powerhouses. And the cadet branches produced many of the same rank as Tianyang.
Contrary to expectations, Gongyi Tianheng was a stunning, unrivaled talent. If it werent for his weak body, the youths from the other four Great Clans would live in fear of his domination without a ray of hope — this was what the leaders of the Five Great Clans acknowledged.
Its just that, although Gongyi Tianheng could elevate his status among the five young masters in the imperial capital, being unable to practice martial arts was the bottom line. He could only just barely prevent the Gongyi Clans face from falling and nothing more.
But the same was known to the Gongyi Clan: if Tianheng perished, then there was no one to take his place. There was no doubt that after the fight over Clan benefits, the Gongyi Clan would be left in a disadvantageous position. Relatedly, adding on whether or not the Clan Head had a prominent successor... It was obvious that the pressure on Tianhengs own younger brother, Tianyang, would be immense.
At this moment, Gongyi Tianyang took on his task.
In a split second, he was like a fierce tiger rushing down a mountain, his punches repeatedly lashing out. His clenched fists were bursting with a red-hot power and relentlessly struck his opponent!
This was at the top of the Human level cultivation methods, > It was extremely ferocious.
His opponent was a martial artist sponsored by the Helian Clan, who studied the school  of the
> He used a clay ability, and his defenses were formidable. This martial artist reacted quickly and immediately sensed Tianyangs attack. His two hands were already pushing against the ground, forming an earthen shield in front of him, which suddenly obstructed Tianyangs fist.
Two people had the same grade of Bone Forging second stage. However, it seemed that
> was inferior to > by a vast difference in ranks. That martial artists strength was also inferior to Gongyi Tianyangs  hard work. After the earthen shield was struck, there was a scorched dent of a fist on the surface. Soon after, the earthen shield split open from the center of that dent.
The martial artist retreated two steps, and in his mind, he darkly praised him: Dangerous!
However, he wasnt afraid at all. Rather, both his feet and hands abruptly positioned to form the first stance of the earth leopard style, and viciously lunged forward. He was aware that he was more than ten years older than Gongyi Tianyang. By this, he also had more life experiences to to steel himself. His mind was extremely calm and showed no quarter as he met his foe. He wanted to disrupt his opponents battle rhythm.
Gongyi Tianyang saw him coming, and his face showed a flash of surprise.
But he wasnt bad at dealing with it. His nimble body was immediately on top and rained down twelve explosive punches. One fist was heavier than the next. Every strike imbued Tianyangs hands with an opposing force to corner his opponent, one shattering punch after another!
One could only hear the sound of loud bangs without end. After suffering Gongyi Tianyangs outrageous play with the shattering power of his fists, that martial artist thought it would be difficult to regroup. And Tianyangs grandeur became more and more magnificent. After three consecutive punches, the martial artist protecting his body had his defenses broken through. His strength was of no use; in the end, he was struck out of bounds of the martial arts battlefield.
Gongyi Tianyang was already victorious.
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He breathed a sigh of relief and smiled.
Immediately after Tianyangs fight, Gu Zuos nerves were stretched taut. Seeing that he won, he also let out a sigh of relief — no matter how things went later on in the martial arts compet.i.tion, whatever the case may be, it was a good beginning. For the time being, he didnt have to worry about the little life of his patrons younger brother.
After Tianyangs victory, he returned to the stone platform.
The Clan Head and other people praised him. Tianyang clenched his fist and came to Tianhengs side. In a soft voice, he asked: “Big brother, how did I do just now”
Gongyi Tianheng smiled and nodded: “Youve improved since last time.”
Seeing his second brothers happiness, he shook his head: “However, while > is mighty and fierce, its qi consumption is large. Your last attack had too many strikes, and you had no energy left over. If you met an opponent with even more abundant experience, you will lose. This is due to your insufficient skill and because you only focus on power. Do you understand”
Tianyang respectfully replied: “YangEr understands. Ill have to ask big brother to give me pointers.”
Tianheng thought about a plan going forward, and stated: “For the next couple of matches, youll carefully observe both parties and their styles of martial arts. Suppose you were in their position, and reflect on how you would respond at the time of their attacks. After this match, Ill listen to what you have to say.”
Tianyang realized that his big brother would teach him, and the anxiety in his heart lessened all of a sudden: “Many thanks, big brother! YangEr will work harder.”
Gongyi Tianheng nodded slightly.
Then, sure enough, Tianyang earnestly watched the fights. He muttered to himself, and his mind was completely focused on the battles.
Gu Zuo stared distractedly from one person to the other.
Ah, thats not right! His patron wasnt able to practice martial arts. How was he able to give pointers to his second brother Beforehand, he watched his patrons siblings practice in front of him, and still thought it was nothing more than just showing off and seeking praise. Now it seemed like it wasnt just merely that, but rather reporting to ones instructor...
Holding these doubts close to his chest, Gu Zuos thoughts on his patron and his patrons second brother were at hand.
After this event, Gu Zuos imagination grew even more exaggerated.
Many matches pa.s.sed in quick succession on the battlefield. Between each match, Gongyi Tianyang always gave his opinions for Tianheng to hear. And Tianheng gave his pointers one after another; he provided his a.n.a.lysis of the whole martial arts compet.i.tion to his brother. Not only did Tianheng place Tianyang in the partic.i.p.ants position, he also carefully explained how to defeat the opponent from the compet.i.tors perspective.
Granted that Gu Zuo could only acc.u.mulate natural qi at the moment, he still could hear that every word from his patron made sense. His patrons second brother listened, and he looked like he had an epiphany.
This proved that...his patron was profoundly knowledgable
So, not only was he Mr. Perfect, he also was a top student —
What was even more baffling was that besides his patron giving pointers to his second brother, a bunch of youths came over in a circle to attentively listen to Tianhengs lecture. Immediately it seemed like his patron, who couldnt practice martial arts, had a greater comprehension than these people, whove been practicing for many more years.
It made the elders happy to see, and they urged some of the children of their own blood to listen carefully.
Gu Zuo couldnt understand. He turned his head, and went to straight up ask the shadow-like follower of his patron, Dragon One.
Gu Zuo chuckled twice and said: “Dragon guard, young master Tianheng is...”
Fanaticism flashed through Dragon Ones eyes: “Young master is a heroic sage . This is merely a trifling matter, thats all.”
Gu Zuo blanked, and tentatively asked: “So, young master Tianheng is a genius , whose judgment is absolute”
Dragon Ones expression was solemn: “Far more than that!”
Then, he didnt speak anymore.
Gu Zuo b.u.mped into a soft nail .
He knew, without his patrons command, that loyal hound bro wasnt particularly fond of putting up with him. He got it.
Of course, what he didnt know was that if his methods for refining medicine didnt shock him several times over, in short, he absolutely wouldnt deign to speak to him...
In the middle of all this, without Gu Zuo knowing, the martial arts compet.i.tion for the group “Fifty years and under, of the Bone Forging rank” also finished.
Many people still died, but compared to the “Thirty years and under, of the Blood Refining rank” there were even less fatalities. There were many martial artist of similar capabilities, and after fighting to their last and sparing no effort in killing each other, there were still many martial artists who found the time to concede defeat. This was due to them having their own means of survival, even if they were seriously hurt — naturally, anyone who thought about murdering their opponent might be blocked by the referee. 
Gu Zuo discovered that in todays compet.i.tion, sponsored martial artists and those from the auxiliary families werent put forward for the time being. On the other hand, there were some deaths among the people from the Gongyi Clans descendants and cadet branches.
Their bodies were taken away, and several of the elders sitting at the high administrative level were depressed as these corpses were delivered on their journey.
One could see that these bodies were once these elders blood descendants.
Similar scenes took place among the other four Great Clans.
— Even for the lives of these Great Clan youths, when fighting, they still werent worth much.
Generally, the only thing worth celebrating was that Gongyi Tianyang lived the whole way through.
After three matches, he met a troublesome opponent on his fourth match. Tenaciously persevering for ages, when his strength depleted, he immediately retreated to forfeit.
And Gu Zuo found that after returning, his patron had Tianyang carefully reflect on his actions. And then, light seemed to radiate from Tianyangs eyes. It looked like after this compet.i.tion, he received a lot of benefits.
Perhaps, this was one of goals of the Clan War.
— Someone who hadnt seen blood, wouldnt become a seasoned veteran. In fact, such a person wouldnt be considered a true martial artist.
On the third day, it was finally the third groups turn.
The “One hundred years and under, of the Condensed Meridians rank” group — and Gu Zuo was alarmed to discover that his patron unexpectedly wanted to partic.i.p.ate in this group! Ah, this wasnt right! His patron had never practiced martial arts. He said he wasnt going to throw his life away.
It couldnt be that he only needed to play a friendly match after the end of the martial arts compet.i.tion No problem, right
 天驕 - Tian jiao, literally heavenly arrogance. Though I couldnt find a proper definition online, it seems to fit a rank or t.i.tle of superiority. So, it might meantop dog or supreme.
 門 - Men, in this case, it means school. While school could reference an actual organization, here it refers to a field of study.
 I think this was a typo on the authors part. It originally says Gongyi Tianheng.
 天縱之才 - Tian zong zhi cai, heroes, sages, and especially gifted leaders of men.
 學富五車 - Xue fu wu che, to have as much knowledge as five book-filled carts.
 軟釘子 - Ruan ding zi, a euphemism of a tactful refusal or rejection. This nail refers to a carpentry nail, or the act of nailing or pinning something, not a fingernail.
 Not sure where the referee was when Gu Zuo was having a crisis. Haha.
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