Not only was Gu Zuo stoked from taking in the performance of the five great young masters, but he was also secretly excited in his heart.
Altogether, they were the well-known figures of a youthful generation. Who knew which one was the strongest in the end?
At last it was time. The people of the Five Great Clan's administrative level and the imperial family members atop the palace's high walls paid special attention.
This generation's powerhouses were even more extraordinary than the previous couple of generations.
In the past, when those imperial young masters were about twenty years old, their foundations had only just reached the Meridian Condensing rank. But these young upstarts were already successfully at Houtian ninth stage! It would take but a single step for them to enter the Xiantian realm, and rise among the ranks of the empire's cornerstone martial artists!
Youth implied unlimited potential.
Similarly, talented youths geysering forth also implied that a marvelous era was arriving with the gathering of Tianwu continent's geniuses. This would lead to many exceptional battles between figurative giants and provide this continent many glorious years to come!
The figure of a tall and st.u.r.dy man walked out of a palace tower .
He seemed to be no more than twenty years old. From head to toe, he exuded an explosive kind of grandeur. His appearance was robust, and his deep eyes seemed to reflect his vast contemplations.
Beside this tall and st.u.r.dy young man followed a red clothed young lady. She had radiant skin  and a gorgeous complexion. She seemed like a rose in full bloom. She looked lovable and soft, but hidden within was an extroverted personality. It would be hard for people to forget from just one look.
The young lady softly laughed: “Ninth brother, what's worth watching here? Although each of the current young masters are out of the ordinary, they're still somewhat inferior compared to ninth brother.”
In a deep voice, the tall and st.u.r.dy young man said: “Third sister, you shouldn't underestimate others.”
These two people were the current Cangyun Emperor's ninth son, Prince Cangyu, and third daughter, Princess Yaomin. 
They definitely weren't the imperial family members who were presiding over this Clan War. So it wasn't until the last day that they finally arrived. It seemed they wanted to watch the final and most exciting couple of battles.
Prince Cangyu's sight briefly rested on the imperial capital's four young masters.
Perhaps these people still didn't realize, but because he was part of the imperial family, he already knew some pieces of information — his Father-Emperor already made a decision.
So he came over to inspect the event first.
After a look, Cangyu's line of sight landed on Gongyi Tianheng.
However, no matter what Helian Xingcheng and the others did, Prince Cangyu could see through them all at a glance. The only one he regarded, and regretted, the most was the supposedly useless young master of the Gongyi Clan.
He hated that Tianheng couldn't practice martial arts. It left him with one less exceptional rival!
As a prince who'd already entered the imperial inner circle, Cangyu didn't only have outstanding martial strength, he clearly understood that the current imperial family needed the Five Great Clans to mutually impede each other. This would ensure that the imperial family's position was even higher.
Each of the Five Great Clans had their own chess pieces. However, the imperial family also spread a gigantic network to use the whole empire as a net for snaring valuable talents, the Clans included.
Thus, the Five Great Clans' upper echelons and the imperial family's inner circle both knew about Gongyi Tianheng's fearsome IQ.
Most of all, the people who cultivated to the Xiantian rank and beyond all keenly understood that this kind of IQ was extremely astonishing. If it weren't for Tianheng's weak body and his remaining lifespan of two years, the imperial family would probably accommodate him for the empire's benefits. However, the other four Great Clans would disregard all consequences and demand Tianheng's a.s.sa.s.sination!
Otherwise, Gongyi Tianheng would certainly become the one who would affect the political balance.
Also, because Tianheng would soon die, the other four Great Clans allowed him to blossom in his final glories. If not, once the current Head of the Gongyi Clan retaliated to protect the Clan's face and fly into a terrible rage, the damages to the other four Clans would be astronomical.
This being the case, why shouldn't they bear to simply wait for Gongyi Tianheng to die?
Prince Cangyu's heart was full of misgivings.
Not only because he had one less rival, but he also clearly understood that if Gongyi Tianheng was able to practice martial arts since childhood, his Father-Emperor's plans would certainly be a.s.sured.
But now Tianheng was of no use. Thus, they could only carefully observe Helian Xingcheng and the others from which to select a worthy target to cultivate.
It's just that even if it were them, there were still some inferior qualities…
The people below never knew the opinions of the Ninth Prince Cangyu.
However, the elder generations of the Five Great Clans had countless undercurrents within. Contrarily, bits and pieces could be glimpsed at.
This made them urge on the younger generation even more rigorously. They all wanted to strive and compete, to stake it all and come out on top . And the Gongyi Clan elders could only secretly sigh in their hearts.
At this time, the head referee spoke: “With the twelve people who've won and the four eminent young masters, we now have the top sixteen. Henceforth, everyone will be paired up in groups of two and battle for supremacy. What do our distinguished martial artists think?”
All the martial artists bowed in respect: “We have no objections!”
Helian Xingcheng and the other four great young masters were known for being young and powerful. They were all from the Five Great Clans so naturally they were ent.i.tled to dropping in unannounced in the final segment. The other twelve people were constantly competing to raise their social status. Gongyi Tianheng was also like this — in itself, due to his particular nature, he definitely couldn't just brazenly appear out of nowhere like the other four young masters. However, that he dared to bring Dragon One to fight his battles was also proof of how extraordinary he was.
Thus, the matches of the top sixteen were set.
At first, Gu Zuo was concentrating his attentions to watch the fights when he inadvertently turned his head and saw the Gongyi Clan's third young lady Mingxia holding something pitch-black in her hand. She was looking at a tower atop the palace walls.
He stared blankly. Why did this pitch-black thing look so familiar?
Gongyi Mingxia noticed Gu Zuo's peculiarity, and tossed the thing over into Gu Zuo's hand: “This is a ‘Tongtian Eye' ; it lets you see faraway places. My strength is at the Blood Refining rank and my eyesight isn't sharp enough, so I have to use it to see clearly. Brother Ah Zuo, do you want to try?”
She could clearly see the matches on the battlefield, but wanting to take a gander at the people at the top of the palace tower was out of the question.
Gu Zuo managed to catch the thing, feeling that it was heavy in his hand. After that, a corner of his mouth drew out: “…Many thanks to third young lady.”
What ‘Tongtian Eye'? Wasn't this a telescope? Ah, it seemed it was a rare object…
However, the moment Gu Zuo raised the thing up close to his eye, his perception changed.
This Tongtian Eye had an even greater clarity than any of the telescope models he knew of! In addition to its unknown functionality, with a flick of the wrist, something several kilometers away would be brought into exacting detail . So long as it was aligned with the eye, one's line of sight was not constrained to the device's frame at all. Instead, the radial scope of the visualized scenery was some tens of meters outwards. In special environments, one could imagine that it should be considerably useful.
Afterwards, Gu Zuo lowered his head, with the Tongtian Eye aimed below the stone platform.
— It was here that his patron stood.
In the Tongtian Eye, it seemed as if his patron's entire body was drawn close from far away like he was right in front of Gu Zuo. Even the creases of his outer robes were crystal clear.
Suddenly, Gongyi Tianheng slightly turned his head. At once, that handsome face was magnified within the Tongtian Eye. His long eyelashes gently fluttered, and his appearance was a l.u.s.trous white. There were practically no blemishes to speak of — handsomeness to this degree was also very intimidating.
Gu Zuo's heart jumped, and hurriedly put down the Tongtian Eye.
At this time, Dragon One already got into place. His patron turned his head, and with a smile on his face, he calmly walked closer to the martial arts battlefield.
As it turned out, the first match was between Gongyi Tianheng and one of the top sixteen martial artists.
That strong martial artist came from the Sima Clan. He was called Sima Jian. He was in the prime of his life and was very st.u.r.dy and strong. His stature would be considered equal to a very muscular Dragon One. Standing in front of each other, Dragon One seemed thin in comparison.
Upon two people facing together, that Sima Jian immediately engaged, intending to strike and seriously injure Dragon One before Gongyi Tianheng could issue any commands! Sima Jian further realized that if Dragon One escaped his strike through his own ability, it would be considered Tianheng's defeat. Likewise, he would achieve victory.
However, how could Tianheng let him get away with such notions? Since from his first time partic.i.p.ating in these martial arts compet.i.tions, many opponents had similar ways of thinking. Yet not even one had accomplished this.
In the split second that Sima Jian shot out, Gongyi Tianheng's commands were already issued: “Eruption Five, Crumbling Mountain Eight!”
Simultaneously, with Dragon One's extreme faith in his young master, he emptied his mind of all thought, and was solely preoccupied in becoming a puppet of his master's will. Explosive energy flagrantly detonated!
Spectating martial artists came from all over the Cangyun empire. They had never seen this kind of martial arts compet.i.tion before. The previous matches already left them very astonished. But they never imagined the Gongyi Clan's great young master to ultimately face off against one of the top sixteen. There were all kinds of speculations afterwards concerning the opponent's instantaneous movements.
Gu Zuo's complexion was slightly red, and his eyes were glistening.
His patron won again! He directly entered the top eight!
With Gongyi Tianheng commanding Dragon One, there still wasn't a difference from one moment of that Sima Jian's struggle to the next. Helian Xingcheng and the other great young masters battled with their opponents and soundly defeated them within three to five moves.
Their strengths were so high that the spectating martial artists naturally admired them — even though the martial artists came from other places and didn't understand the imperial capital's situation nor these young masters' skills, while they were somewhat dispirited with these upstarts coming in unannounced at first, now they experienced things firsthand and willingly accepted what happened.
It may also be a.s.sumed that with regards to these four great young masters, the Clan Wars prior to them joining must have been incredibly boring.
Soon after, the quarterfinals for the top eight immediately began.
This match-up just so happened to feature Helian Xingcheng.
His gaze was hooded, and he seemed somewhat impatient as he stood at the ready near one end of the martial arts battlefield. And Dragon One was directly opposite of him.
Xingcheng was apparently disinclined to even spare a glance at Dragon One. Rather, his sight landed on Gongyi Tianheng, and he coldly laughed: “This time, I will remove every opportunity for you to even hit back.”
Gongyi Tianheng smiled: “Please try.”
Gu Zuo heard this young master Helian's declaration. He recalled that person's reputation, and broke out in a cold sweat over his patron. However, he also believed that since his patron didn't have the least bit of anxiety, Tianheng would definitely have a solution to this dilemma.
 城楼 - Cheng lou, city (gate) tower. However, with the current location, it can only be from the palace.
 吹弹可破的肌肤 - Chui tan (wind-blown) ke po di (precisely suited) ji fu (skin). Therefore, skin that has been windswept would be flushed or rosy.
 苍御 - Cang (surname, dark blue) yu (defend, resist). 瑶敏 - Yao (surname, jade) min (agile, clever). For those who read ahead, can you guys confirm if the guy's name is separated into Cang Yu, or if his first name is Cangyu in its entirety?
 争上一争，拼上一拼. This was a bit beyond my translation skills.
 通天眼 - Tong tian yan, I can translate this as “Sky piercing eye.” However, due to the aesthetic euphony, I am keeping the pinyin name as it is.
 纤毫毕现 - Xian hao bi xian, fine hair brought into complete focus.
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