Despite his challenge, Samuel was lazy with his stance allowing both weapons to hang limply at his side. The two glowing orbs of power next to his shoulder and the glowing eyes belied his danger though. Belial was no stranger to combat and he noticed the hidden edge in Samuel's casual demeanor.
But he did not have the time to see what the eccentric master may be hiding in his sleeve. While Belial's unique constitution promised that he would not be affected long-term by his power move. But that same constitution was absorbing the positive effects of the pill quite rapidly.
His senses were completely removed from his inner demons and the two disciples focused entirely on the opponent in front of him.
There was an explosion of inky black essence as he charged at Samuel with his enhanced speed and power, his knee. To him Samuel was sluggish, his movements slow...
He blocked the attack, redirecting the force to the side with both his swords. Belial could see that with his extreme momentum, he could do little but allow it to happen. On top of this, he felt the juxtaposition of heat and cold as he approached and subsequently departed from his quarry.
"What tremendous speed and power. Yet... what a weak guiding hand."
This only enraged Belial further as he came back with a flurry of rapid strikes.
This was more effective as he landed blow after blow on Samuel's body. However, his opponent did not seem the slightest fazed by the hits.
His fury did not turn Belial stupid, he would have never survived so long if that was the case. His empowered senses tried to pick up anything wrong with the current plan of attack.
In mere moments he noticed the problem, every strike was being blocked by a small shimmer of gold in that localized area. It shattered on contact with his fist but stopped any further damage and it kept repeating in the fraction of a second before his fists made contact. On of this, he seemed to be dodging a few of his blows which only added fuel to the fire.
"Why do you, not attack?! Have I pushed you to cowardice?! I expected more from an elder!"
He shouted his attacks unrelenting.
"I have no reason to be offensive. Attacking you will yield very little results, your current state makes you all but immune to all but my most powerful attacks. As it stands, you will soon run out of the pill's effects and I will be the victor. To do more will only jeopardize my chances so I shall remain."
Belial's eyes bulged as he shouted being all rage and bluster. But in the back of his mind, he started to get worried. Despite the large difference Belial could barely get an advantage on such a passive opponent and using techniques would drain his essence too fast for comfort. Not to mention, the whole point was to impair him not kill him something he would hate to do so after wasting so much of his resources. But, he was starting to get desperate. Using a well-known tactic, he tried egging him on.
"Have you no pride?! To not fight with your all when you engage with a powerful opponent is shameful!"
Samuel's tone stayed even. He started lecturing Belial as though he was tutoring a child.
"Where is it written that a cultivator must go all out against a more opponent? It is a norm, not a hard fact. The truth of the matter is that in a life-and-death serious fight, one must do everything in their power to be the winner. The loser's fate becomes subject to the winner so the method hardly matters. I thought you would realize this given that you used my disciples as hostages. I even commended you for it."
Belial felt humiliated, his face red in anger. Though one would not notice this as his face was already red from exertion and the pill's effects.
Samuel continued only adding fuel to the fire.
"Or is it that you expected that I would follow decorum? If that is how you lived your life till now, I am truly concerned about how you will deal with the outside world."
Belial leapt back his face now a visage of the god of wrath. A life of silent ridicule and contempt driving his emotions up a wall. All of it coalesced through Samuel's inconsiderate words. Unbeknownst to Belial, it was he who was getting egged on if perhaps unwittingly by Samuel's casual dismissal.
Not caring anymore whether his opponent lived or died, he brought out a javelin of pure black tipped with an edge of pure white while creating quite a bit of distance between himself and Samuel. It was arcing with black and white lightning giving the artifact a sense of menace that even Samuel felt. Unlike all the attacks before this one held a genuine threat to outright kill him. His gaze turned very grave as the situation was no longer a guaranteed win on his part.
"You think you have the right to lecture me!?! Do you have any idea the life I had to live to get to this point?! Any clue of the trials and tribulations I had to overcome simply because I was born different!? Now Suffer an eternity trapped in the Spear of Duality!"
Samuel stood quietly and intently listened to monologuing of his opponent, his eyes on the artifact that looked very very dangerous. He readied himself the swirling orbs around him spinning faster and becoming bigger. At the same time, flecks of ice and glowing burns started to cover Belial.
"Urgh! What in the name of the infernal emperors!?"
He looked down at his body and then at Samuel, shouting a curse.
"You underhanded, cur of a cultivator! Take this! GODS OF ANNIHILATION! STRIKE TRUE!!!"
With that, he threw the light spear at his opponent feeling almost the entire chunk of his remaining essence deplete from his body as the spear left his hand. At the same time, the flecks rapidly covered him with frostbite and blisters, Samuel's hidden essence using the fall of natural essence defense to its advantage. But Belial was still standing, a sharp and steady glare present on his deformed face. The pain was excruciating but Belial suffered worse. Besides, it would all end with the death of this eccentric monster.
As soon as the spear was in motion it turned into an intertwining flame of black and white as it streaked towards Samuel.
"Collision of Stars."
Both the floating orbs around him turned so massive that they dwarfed everyone in this battle combined by a couple of orders of magnitude. Both spheres moved at speeds terrifying for their size as they moved to intercept the flying spear.
All three impacted each other at the same time.
A blinding white flash of clashing powers covered everything the eye could see, a deafening boom heralding its wake. This was the battle of experts, powers that could change the land itself and both struck a deciding blow. The outcome would decide the victor, but for now, all bathed in the divinity of its might to mortals and cultivators.
Even the aloof sovereigns perched on their lofty thrones watched down in interest, to see such a rare and prodigious clash of wills and might.