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I have gone through the question “Why did Lord Rama strike from behind to kill Vali?” and the many excellent answers there. In particular the answer by user Be Happy addresses this by citing a comment from valmikiramayana.net which says anyone facing Vali lose half their strength.

I would like some canonical backing to that statement if there is any and further I am not convinced by that argument because half of infinity is still infinity, but moreover a bleeding Rama single-handedly has killed 14000 Rakshasas in dandakaranya.

So, why did Rama not directly challenge Vali?

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Himavan to Dundubhi (re: Vali's strength):

https://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/kish/sarga11/kishkindharoman11.htm#Verse11

"Oh, war-expert Dundubhi, Indra's son is there, a brave and glorious one by name Vali, and he is now presiding over the matchlessly pompous city Kishkindha. [4-11-21]

"He is a highly intelligent one and a war-expert too, and he is the capable one to give you a duel, like Indra to Namuchi. [4-11-22]

"Approach him promptly if you desire a fight now, and he is an intrepid one who will always be in the manoeuvres of war, and indeed none can assail him." Thus said Himavan to that demon Dundubhi. [4-11-23]

In Manusmriti we have:

https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/manusmriti-with-the-commentary-of-medhatithi/d/doc200758.html

Section VIII - Duties in Battle (saṅgrāma)

Nor one who is sleeping, nor him who is without his armour, nor one who is naked, nor one deprived of his weapons, nor one who is only looking on and not fighting, nor one who is engaged in fighting with another person;—(92)

The same is repeated by Hanuman in Yuddhakanda:

https://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/yuddha/sarga59/yuddhasans59.htm#Verse73

Meanwhile, Hanuma of exalted mind, burning with courage, regained his breath and in his martial ire cried out furiously towards Ravana, the Lord of Demons who occupied in fight with Nila as follows: "It is not proper to engage in a combat with a person who is already doing a fight with another."

The conclusion is inevitable, Rama-Sugriva duo wanted to eliminate Vali (who was invincible in a face-to-face battle) by whatever means possible. Shooting an arrow hiding behind a tree was the easy option. Interestingly, Hanuman who was standing next to Rama when Vali was being killed didn't utter a single word about the morality of the whole incident.

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That's because Vali was blessed that when Vali will fight with someone, that person's 50% energy will be transferred to Vali.

So if Lord Ram directly fought with Vali, his 50% strength would move to Vali and it would become difficult to kill him.

So Lord Ram hit an arrow so hard that it went through 7 trees before hitting Vali.

In his next Avatar as Lord Krishna, he was hit by arrow towards his foot by a hunter named Jara. He was the same Vali who was reborn as Jara.

Half of infinity is infinity. But Lord Ram was born as a human, he lived as a human to establish Dharma over Adharma. So he had to live as per the rules of this world.

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