Chapter 78:Prelude to combat
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Samuel was currently floating in the air, his divine-will finally closed and once more sealed away in his mind to do what it best comprehending his cultivation.

However, the removal of it left his mind feeling sluggish. That was he hated using it, the burst of computing power was tremendous, so much so that it was addictive. So addictive, in fact, that he often distanced himself from others finding them inefficient.

His recent excursions proved that it was not true regardless of how he thought at his most optimal state.

Though it showed him a certain truth, he needed to create more separation between himself and his disciples. Too many of his walls had come down. 

A deep part of his soul cried at this regression, but that part had been impaired long ago, so it would be.

However, despite his 'revelation' he still carried both Elizabeth and Eishath in an intimate fashion as he 'world stepped' outside the colosseum and into his private abode. Sometimes, being socially obtuse had positive effects.

"Master Samuel! Well met!"

He was stopped mid-world-step as he heard a familiar voice only to be shocked at the speaker.

Belial was the one who stopped him, but that was not the surprising thing. The complete change in physique was. Samuel had assumed that his corpulent form was due to his cultivation, otherwise, his physique would follow the physical perfection model that cultivators usually follow.

To have him change from that unique constitution to a more normal one, meant one of three things; cultivation had a transformative aspect that kicked in, and he changed his cultivation base, or was influenced by an outside power that caused a change.

Normally, he would be more amiable in this exchange and try to figure out the transformation. But at that moment he was busy, carrying an Eishath that was still unable to adjust to physical touch and an Elizabeth who gave a curt bow to the other master.

"This disciple greets you"

Elizabeth was currently very low energy which was to be expected.

He needed some space to 'fix' his disciples so he tried to end the conversation quickly.

"Well met Master Belial! I have some business that needs my urgent attention and so am sorry that I am not able to continue this conversation."

Belial's eyes shown.

"Do not worry. This will not take long."

Something about the way the speech was delivered raised Samuel's hackles.

He tilted his head trying to understand the trepidation that had come over him. But since he currently carried two disciples he acted on it quickly encasing all three of them in one of his legendary breakthrough abilities, 'Shield of Ghost Valley'.

This did not go unnoticed.

"Oh. Why the barrier Master Samuel?"

Samuel was frank.

"This conversation has unseen threads that I wish to prepare for."

Belial chuckled at his short and to-the-point reply. 

"Well... I guess it could not be too easy. My ask is simple, lay down your arms and quietly follow us."

As he said those words many figures appeared out of the thin air, each taking the form of an infernal or abyssal demon.

"Ah! So you are the demonic summoner!"

Samuel said as a light bulb went off in his head completely disregarding the precariousness he was currently in. Instead of focusing on his proclamation.

There was also the fact that he did not look at all fearful, instead, he looked rather excited.

"So many different infernals... and abyssals! That is a step above!"

He then gave Belial a very appreciative look. As if acknowledging him as a colleague to be proud of.

"You must be well-adverse in the art of demonology."

Belial could not help himself, he let out a chuckle. His muscular for shaking at the unbelievability of the eccentricity of the man before him.

"Do you understand the state you are in?"

"Oh! Yes! You wish to consume my essence for your own gain. Both Namaah and... Eishath seemed like they were trying the do the same."

"And... you are not afraid? I wish to capture you and drain you dry."

To this, Samuel only shrugged.

"The cultivation world is one where the strong slaughtered the weak. This is your cultivation path, and while I do not agree that yours is right. The path is still yours to choose and if you achieve ascension, you will be proven right and I wrong."

Belial was truly shocked at the man's mindset, it was so novel that Belial had to do a double-take as Samuel continued. 

"You even chose this opportunity to ambush me. While everyone is busy with the colosseum. This shows the extent of your planning and willingness to act on what you think is right. Though I still think you do not understand the gravity of the situation you are in. The core elders have eyes everywhere, and I do not believe this will go unnoticed. This sect hates any form of evil or demonic cultivation."

"There is also the fact that you severely underestimate me for I do not believe you even have an inkling of what I am capable of."

Samuel's tone was even when he said all of it as if reciting a rehearsed line.

Belial wore a grin on his face.

"I do not believe you realize what I have up my sleeve..."

Samuel stopped him mid-sentence.

"I assume you are talking about all the artifacts and treasures on your person and in your bag? While I agree there is some level of caution I must employ, especially if you have soul formation level artifacts, but I am quite adept in crafting myself and can say without a doubt this fight is currently heavily tilted in my favor. Even while guarding these two."

Belial was very angry now, essence leaking from him as a purple gaseous ooze.

"Hah! So you are like other cultivators. Being a hidden nascent soul made you a frog in a well! Know the error of your ways!"

Samuel never understood why cultivators, especially masters became so agitated when he simply stated facts. But given time for talk was over he prepared himself for combat.