The last few days were an onslaught of roiling emotions, something he was not equipped to handle, so he brought out a weapon that he hid from everyone, even Lucia. His divine will. A power that he had permanently locked up doing one thing and one thing only scour the secrets of the world. But he had to bring it out to calculate what was the best course of action because he found himself unable to see a path through. Though he would not keep it active for long.
Every second he wasted his mental capacity on other things he was not comprehending the mysteries of the universe. After all, inspiration could strike at the most untoward of times.
Unbeknownst to him one of his 'inspirations' was already being documented and used by the core sect. In fact, his contributions were enough for the elusive elders, at least one of them, to slightly shift the needle in his favor.
But none of the beings outside of the core elders and the sect master knew that due to a certain artifact, the entirety of the sect was under their supervision, and their whole beings were often laid bare to these powerful beings, one of whom awoke from a very long slumber.
But for most that was not a concern and Samuel thought the same even though currently the sect was moving with him being a big pivot. Even Lucia was removed from the equation as she was the one who would most likely try to warn Samuel of current events.
The core elders loved to play games as unseen gods and Belial and Samuel just happened to be the opposing kings in a board of chess.
Samuel's move next move was trying to get his house in order. Which meant trying to resolve some issues with Elizabeth and see the damage dealt to Eishath.
To that end, he removed both from the tournament and this time Elizabeth did not try and stop him.
She was beyond tired of everything that happened and wanted to retreat into the shell she had made with her master throughout the past year. A place where she knew she would be safe and unable to be hurt.
In his current state of social clarity, Samuel realized the faults of his method of teaching. Elizabeth did not see him as a figure of authority but a figure to love. While the malformed social part of his soul preened at her devotion, the cultivator in him recoiled at the damage he caused his other disciple.
It seemed that every step of the way he had made mistakes. Using texts made for fantasy applied in real life was never a good thing and yet in his 'brilliance' he appropriated to real life.
Yet here as well, he was willing to commit another sin, or rather his divine will told him to do so. For he was going to break her down and build her back up; to remove her from him and in doing so he may end up fracturing her soul.
The easy way would be to keep things as they were. But the path to immortality was a lone one, and in recent events, he had forgotten that fact. It would be a lot worse to become accustomed to her attention and fail to ascend to a deific status because he was distracted by emotions.
Was that not his original vision? Why he took disciples in the first place? Were two minor breakthroughs truly enough to undo a lifetime of solitary success? He was on the verge of putting Elizabeth's needs past his own, a blasphemous act for his growth that will do nothing to hurt them both in the future.
His intellect dictated that cultivation was for the strong, therefore, changes had to be made.
Eishath was the one problem in his new vision but not really. Attached to him in a way that could never be undone. But she was an artifact at this point, an immortal weapon that answered his every whim. She did have certain wants he needed to meet but given enough time he could remove all ego from the transformed demon.
His divine will reasoned that she was a monster unworthy of any love or mercy. While he would still 'fix' Elizabeth and try to do right by her, he was going to reduce the demon to a tool. A new start did not absolve one of their past crimes.
Cracks that formed in his soul, the door to soul formation, started to close.
The answers he formed for his problems all involved one thing, once more separating himself from the world and becoming an object. The greatest gift he had received from Elizabeth was realizing that he was more than the cultivation he had. In a single move, he undid most if not all his progress.
The saving grace, he closed up his divine will before it closed his heart completely. His heart still beat with emotion when he gazed at Elizabeth, his expression still softening. Only time will tell if this was a killing blow or merely a road bump.