Gu Zuo's heart constricted: “What did they do?”
Gongyi Mingxia recalled something, and her complexion grew displeased: “It was because of the other four Clans' children. Big brother, along with his generation's four young masters, were all twelve or thirteen years old, and the four were well-known Blood Refining martial artists. As a result, they all partic.i.p.ated in the same group during the martial arts compet.i.tion. At that time, big brother was also twelve, but because rumors were spread outside the Clan that big brother's skills were out of the ordinary, this subtly caused him to be compared to the other four young masters. The Helian and Sima Clans' young masters mocked him, saying that since he could manage a reputation like that, then it'd be better if all of them joined in on the fight.”
Gu Zuo, a guy who didn't consider things deeply, heard all of this and frowned: “Those rumors and the mockery are those old b.a.s.t.a.r.d's doing?”
Gongyi Mingxia scoffed: “Exactly. No one was a match for big brother. However, with his health and age at that time, grandfather couldn't let big brother reveal too much of his reputation, and definitely couldn't let him be compared to the other four young masters. You know, as a matter of fact, this wasn't only poking at big brother's weak spot, but also putting him in lots of danger. It could be said that besides having a false reputation, there wasn't even a small advantage in this situation! But those couple of old b.a.s.t.a.r.ds secretly pushed this plan forward.
“Thus, it would seem to outsiders that big brother, who couldn't practice martial arts, would go so far as to dare mix with those four exceptional and equally famous geniuses. Wouldn't that be a deliberate slap to their faces? Like this, they had an excuse to call this situation big brother's bad luck. Even if bystanders understood, they could only say that big brother was in the wrong before. Those couple of genius youths were impulsive, and couldn't let their anger stand.”
Gu Zuo heard this and was speechless.
This scheme within the Clan was too treacherous. What he originally heard about the five great young masters still had a lot of things bubbling up between them in the undercurrent… However, now it seemed it was still his patron's skill in raising the stakes?
Mingxia continued talking about that matter. It seemed she was indignant to this very day, and couldn't help but complain on her brother's behalf: “Those old b.a.s.t.a.r.ds were truly good-for-nothings! At that time, if big brother didn't respond, then he would be weak for not shouldering the responsibility; and if he did respond, even if he joined them and immediately conceded defeat, I'm afraid that big brother wouldn't have enough time to even speak. Those guys would use the fastest speed so that big brother wouldn't be able to open his mouth… Although they wouldn't consequently murder big brother, he would be publicly  humiliated. And if he was disgraced, we, his blood, would also be disgraced. In that case, the goal of those old b.a.s.t.a.r.ds would be accomplished.”
Gu Zuo listened and listened, and his heart was incredibly tense: “Then, afterwards? How did young master Tianheng respond?”
Gongyi Mingxia laughed: “Big brother couldn't be smarter. At first, he looked aggrieved, bringing up his inconvenient health. That it'd be better to sit and discuss martial arts, which was another type of contest.”
Gu Zuo felt that this wasn't so simple: “Being unable to humiliate young master Tianheng, they certainly wouldn't just let that go.”
Mingxia nodded: “Correct. Naturally, those people were unwilling. Nevertheless, one of the young masters deliberately urged things on, saying something like, ‘How can a person who practices martial arts only rely on a sharp tongue?'”
Saying this, she was pleased with herself: “But big brother refuted them, saying, ‘By using martial arts to compel this person, without consent or some accommodations, I'm afraid there's mischief at work .'”
Gu Zuo heard this and was hooked: “Then, after that?”
Gongyi Mingxia's face flushed with excitement: “Then, that Helian young master still wanted to fight. Big brother, without a better option and not retreating a single step, proposed that he could dispatch his bodyguard and give him commands. Together, they would take part in the martial arts compet.i.tion. Big brother even said that if his bodyguard's movements were the slightest bit different from his instructions, then he'd lose.”
Likewise, Gu Zuo's face also flushed red with excitement: “When young master Tianheng talks, he's just stringing them along. They're already following young master's reasoning.”
Mingxia's cute eyes bent in happiness : “Exactly! Big brother's a person who couldn't practice martial arts, so he already backed off of this particular stage. If they still forced their way, even a blind person could see that this was wrong. So they had no choice but to compromise. Dragon One would listen to and obey big brother's commands.”
Now Gu Zuo understood.
Then, at least his patron wouldn't have lost the match or lost face that time. Or, simply put, he'd win. And those other great young masters certainly weren't resigned to his patron using his mouth to instruct Dragon One; they'd come together and resist. This defiance definitely had a follow-up.
Ultimately, his patron appeared to be the odd one out on the martial arts battlegrounds.
Currently, his patron already secured his place among the five great young masters. Not only was it tricky in itself to masterfully use Dragon One, his loyal hound, as an extension of his will , but it was calculated that commanding Dragon One, instead of allowing him freedom of choice, would limit his martial strength by half. He perfectly managed the conspiracy of the other people involved.
No, no, no. He should say it seemed that when the people thought to humiliate him, they would be face-slapped in return. They'd think it'd be a cinch, drunk on their superiority, but as a result, his patron completely sidestepped their attack and returned the favor with the palm of his hand. After a good beating to the face, what could they say when they couldn't talk?
Thinking this was also incredibly invigorating.
When Gu Zuo looked down to his patron, his eyes were once again very bright.
For this kind of man, it seemed that no matter what his circ.u.mstances, he was suited to be a winner in life.
However, those things his patron achieved necessitated a lot of skill. If he was placed in the same position, even if he used the same methods, it wouldn't mean he'd be as outstanding as his patron… It really made a person think it'd be difficult not to admire him!
Below, Gongyi Tianheng seemed to sense something. He slightly turned around, and lifted his gaze right as Gu Zuo stared at him.
Gu Zuo froze, caught in the act.
Tianheng faintly smiled.
This smile was really hard to describe… Too handsome.
The last group in the martial arts compet.i.tion was very marvelous. The fights were more intense, but there were even fewer dead bodies.
The higher a person's martial strength, the better they could grasp their own situation. And in this realm of Meridian Condensing, it was too challenging to widen the gap so much that a martial artist could prevent his opponent from opening their mouth to forfeit the match.
Gradually, the majority of the martial arts compet.i.tion was already completed.
Gongyi Tianheng commanded Dragon One and won ten matches in a row. There was no uncertainty in his skills.
In his performances, all his fights were direct and efficient. This revealed Tianheng's unparalleled insight as well as demonstrate Dragon One's valiant and matchless capabilities.
Dragon One was the head of the Tianlong Guard. Also, his age was only approaching thirty years. Indeed, his gallant skills were no less than that of the four great young masters, whom haven't pa.s.sed twenty years in age. But in itself, he was not in the least inferior to the previous “young master in reserve,” whose apt.i.tude was somewhat lacking.
Everyone thought that Dragon One's experience at least granted him keen reaction speed, which would a.s.sist Gongyi Tianheng's commands a little. However, only Dragon One knew that if he truly fought with his opponent by himself, the battle wouldn't necessary end in his favor.
This was also one of the reasons why they, the Tianlong Guard, gave the highest praise to this young master who couldn't practice martial arts.
Currently, this group's compet.i.tion was already coming to an end.
All of a sudden, the shadows of four martial artists abruptly rose high in the air behind the stone platforms of the other four Clans. Their figures were like lightning and looked like shooting stars. In the blink of an eye, they already smashed into each of their respective Clan's platforms!
These were the four exceptionally charming young masters: slender and graceful , with their heads held high and standing tall.
These were the imperial capital's brilliant and famous four young masters. They were:
Sima Clan descendant, branch chief's second son, nineteen years old: Sima Yuanyou, successfully reached Houtian ninth stage!
Helian Clan descendant, Clan Head's third son by blood, eighteen years old: Helian Xingcheng, successfully reached Houtian ninth stage!
Duanmu Clan descendant, third branch, eldest son, nineteen years old: Duanmu Qingrong, successfully reached Houtian ninth stage!
Huangfu Clan descendant, fifth branch, eldest son, eighteen years old: Huangfu Zhanghao, successfully reached Houtian ninth stage! 
After the four people arrived, each side took precautions against the other. It seemed they all viewed one another as rivals. They incessantly looked forward to the upcoming fight.
Once they glared at each other with a fire in their eyes, they all simultaneously looked over at another side.
When their lines of sight reached a particular place, they were met with the luxurious clothes of a young master. The corner of his lips were bent into a smile. With an easy-going att.i.tude and composed leisure, he gave people the impression of a n.o.ble and benevolent character.
Undoubtedly, this was Gongyi Tianheng.
Tianheng faced these four men and faintly nodded his head, seemingly not at all interested in their affairs.
However, the implicit meaning of these four mens' gazes also had nothing in common with each other.
The eyes of that Sima Yuanyou and Helian Xingcheng were full of contempt. And as for Duanmu Qingrong and Huangfu Zhanghao, although their goodwill wasn't worth mentioning, deep in their eyes was a bit of wariness and defiance. Their states of mind were rather complicated.
Gu Zuo watched and took in the whole scene before him. His pulse was very fast.
Ah, the confrontation of the five great young masters… It seemed like his patron could persevere.
No, that's wrong. His patron simply went above and beyond perseverance!
Although the other four young masters' presences were out of the ordinary and their appearances were magnificent, their temperaments had distinct quirks. Perhaps it was due to Gu Zuo's familiarity with his patron, but he just felt that these four men together couldn't compare with Tianheng's bearing.
Gu Zuo also believed this to be so.
Perhaps these four young masters were really awesome, but his patron had the Tiandu Body! If it weren't for the negative side effects, his patron's IQ and const.i.tution would leave all these young masters far behind in the dust. Where could these people still show off to this extent?!
— Don't blame Gu Zuo for thinking so highly of Tianheng.
When all was said and done, after he came to the imperial capital, every couple of days he'd discover Tianheng showing off a new ability. Most of all, on the basis of Tianheng's IQ with the other four equally famous young masters, if his body's inner qualities also awakened, then he'd certainly have a special distinction! It'd be inevitable for others to appreciate him, right?
Furthermore, the four great young masters subtly checked each other's fighting performance through meaningful glances, but Gu Zuo saw their dispositions. They were inferior to his patron's steady and cool-headed demeanor — if his patron was a top student and Mr. Perfect, then against the four great young masters, it would be like a university heartthrob  and a cute schoolboy. The former trumps the latter.
Gu Zuo's heart was a little hot-blooded.
He was thinking, after he went back, he would research without delay. If he cured his patron early, then he would definitely receive an especially formidable bodyguard. Yet, he also didn't discover that, originally, he was worried all along. But after much foreshadowing, even if the five great young masters ended up fighting right away, it was obvious that the four were more powerful than all of the previous martial artists. Just now, Gu Zuo never again had those kind of carefree thoughts. He held immense doubt over his patron's personal safety…
 众目睽睽之下 - Zhong mu kui kui zhi xia, under watchful eyes.
 心怀叵测 - Xin huai po ce, to harbor treacherous thoughts or ulterior motives.
 弯 - Wan, to bend. In this case, her eyes would look like this (^_^).
 大手 - Da shou, hired thug. However, I need to give credit where credit's due, haha.
 长身玉立 - Chang shen yu li, usually used to describe a woman's figure.
 Before I get into the names, the author appends the martial ranks with 大圆满, which means great success. 元友 - Yuan (surname) you (friend). 兴程 - Xing (Rise, flourish) cheng (rule, order). 轻容 - Qing (Light, gentle) rong (appearance, looks). 长昊 - Zhang (Chief, head) hao (vast, limitless).
 系草 - Xi cao, a man considered to be the most handsome in a university department.
T/N: I need to brush up on my genealogy terms. If anyone notices an error in my familial cla.s.sifiers, please let me know.
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