The Cult Leader in the Clergy Academy - C.183


Sun-Woo had previously asked Joseph to investigate whether there were any suspicious individuals in the Central Paladin Order. Sun-Woo had said that as if he knew that there were suspicious individuals in the Central Paladin Order.

As an inquisitor belonging to the Central Paladin Order, Joseph thought that this was very uncomfortable to hear. Sun-Woo suspected the organization that he belonged to without any evidence or reason. However, Joseph decided to trust Sun-Woo just once. This was because he didn't fully trust the Central Paladin Order either.

Paladins and inquisitors belonging to the Central Paladin Order all received their mission details through Central. However, for some reason, every time they went out on a mission, it felt as if the enemies knew about the details of the operation beforehand. Due to this, there were cases where they failed to deal with large numbers of demons or demonic beasts that they were fully capable of dealing with.

Rumors were circulating among Central members that a spy was leaking operational secrets to outsiders. Given the circumstances, it was difficult to dismiss this as mere speculation. However, without any solid evidence, it was impossible to verify the truth. Joseph decided to take a chance. Perhaps this was an opportunity to reveal the spy within the Central Paladin Order.

"I heard that the final practical exam for Florence Academy will be held on a small island near Gangjin."

"Ah, the final practical exam? I heard that they were renting a mountain in Gangwon."

He subtly leaked information about the exam location to the members in Central that he suspected. He told one person that it was being held on an island, and he told another person that it was being held on a mountain. Then he assigned clergymen to each respective area and instructed them to prepare for battle.

As an archbishop, Joseph couldn't command as many soldiers as a cardinal. Therefore, he carefully selected and recruited each combatant. Fortunately, Joseph had a good eye for talent and was able to deploy the units in their optimal positions.

And on the day of the exam, Joseph received a call from one of his subordinates.

—Sir Inquisitor! As you mentioned, there was a large outbreak of demons and demonic beasts on the island, but we successfully eradicated them according to plan!

"Approximately how many demons do you mean by a large outbreak?"

—We are currently collecting and tallying the bodies, but it is estimated to be at least five hundred or more!

"...I see. Were there any casualties?"

—There were about fifteen minor injuries, but nothing serious. We provided emergency treatment with the help of the healing priests stationed in the area...

"That's a relief. You can conclude the report here, and you can continue with your duties,” Joseph said and then hung up the phone.

It was a great achievement. He had successfully eliminated a large number of demons and demonic beasts without any fatalities. If they really had defeated at least five hundred or more demons and demonic beasts, it was a feat that more than deserved a commendation directly from the Holy See.

However, Joseph did not laugh. He couldn’t laugh.

The fact that the operation was a success meant that there was a spy in the Central Paladin Order or in an organization that had close ties to the Central Paladin Order. If that was the case, how had Sun-Woo known about this? Where did he obtain such information? Joseph was curious about the source of the information.

He didn’t doubt him. He was just curious. Joseph had a personality where if he didn’t know something, he absolutely had to find out no matter what, or else he wouldn’t be satisfied.

"What is your relationship with Sun-Woo?"

That was the reason why he asked Jin-Seo this question out of the blue. Just from a rough glance, he could tell that Jin-Seo seemed to have a special relationship with Sun-Woo. Joseph could tell just by her gaze, expression, and tone of voice. He intended to use her to gather information about Sun-Woo.

"Huh... what?"

Jin-Seo seemed to be greatly startled. The fact that she, who had remained completely stoic with barely any changes in her expression when she had talked about the demon, seemed so flustered, indicated that Joseph’s deductions had been correct to a certain extent. He guessed that they weren’t in a special relationship yet, and they weren't just ordinary friends either.

After making that judgment, Joseph waved his hands and said, "Oh dear, there seems to be a misunderstanding. What I meant was, are you close with Sun-Woo?"

"...Yes, we are."

She didn’t know how Sun-Woo felt about this statement, but she decided to say that they were close for now. It didn't feel right to say that they weren't close. However, she didn’t exactly know whether it was possible to summarize their relationship with the words, “We are close.”

After nodding to her, Joseph revealed a serious expression on his face and said, "Really? Then, have you ever felt that something was strange about Sun-Woo?"

Jin-Seo failed to understand the intention behind the question and tilted her head in confusion.

Joseph looked down at the ground as if he were pondering something, and then took a deep breath as if he had made up his mind. "What I’m trying to say is, does it feel like he is keeping a secret from you, or does he ever change the subject when a certain topic comes up?”


Once again, Jin-Seo was unable to answer. She had seen him exhibit such behavior more than just once or twice. She didn't know much about Sun-Woo. It was because he didn't talk about himself much.

Joseph quietly observed her expression and then nodded.

"It seems like there were quite a few instances like that. That makes sense."

"...What do you mean?"

"I should probably mention this first. "I am protecting and monitoring Sun-Woo," Joseph stated flatly. free webnov

"I am protecting him because he could become a target for Satanists. As you know, Sun-Woo is the only Florence Academy student who has directly seen the face of a Satanist."


"He is also a student with enough abilities to threaten the Satanists... Anyway, the other reason why I am monitoring him is because of his family," Joseph said.

With that, Joseph concluded his explanation. He intentionally didn't go into details about the reasons why he was monitoring him. It was because, in order to achieve his objective, it seemed advantageous to only explain the bare minimum to pique her interest.

Jin-Seo waited for Joseph to continue speaking, but when he didn't say anything no matter how long she waited, she spoke first.

"Family, you say?"

At that moment, Joseph stopped staying silent and began to speak once again.

"Yeah, family. I'm not sure if I should say this, but..."

The phrase “I'm not sure if I should say this" had a certain power. The story would become even more interesting for the listener if it was indicated that it was such a sensitive story that it was difficult to judge whether or not it should be shared. As Joseph expected, Jin-Seo was unconsciously focusing on his story.

"...There is a cultist among his relatives. The cultist is currently in hiding after escaping from the Holy See, but the Holy See issued a warrant for him. I unintentionally ended up monitoring Sun-Woo as a result."


Upon hearing Joseph's words, Jin-Seo was so shocked that she was unable to come up with a response. After staring at Joseph in a daze for a while, Jin-Seo belatedly regained her senses and said, "There's no way Sun-Woo’s a cultist. Besides, if it’s his relative, then their relationship isn’t even that close..."

"Yes, I’m well aware of that. There’s no way that Sun-Woo is a cultist, right?" Joseph said.

Without giving Jin-Seo an opportunity to speak, Joseph continued, "You're absolutely right. If it’s just a relative that’s not even a direct family member, then they’re not really that close. But as long as there's a possibility that they are contacting each other, we have no choice but to keep an eye on him."


"Moreover, there's even information that Sun-Woo's relative is a Satanist... So it's right to monitor Sun-Woo for his own wellbeing as well. Satanists are known to sacrifice even their own family members for their goals without hesitation."

Jin-Seo could no longer say anything. Her already pale face turned even paler. Anxiety had already taken root in her heart and was growing uncontrollably. It seemed like her anxiety would not disappear unless she saw Sun-Woo immediately.

However, the claim that there was a cultist among Sun-Woo's relatives was a lie. Joseph had deliberately said words that would amplify her anxiety in order to make her psyche more unstable. That way, it would be easier to persuade her.

Joseph carefully observed the changes in Jin-Seo's facial expression, body language, tone of voice, and chose the right moment to speak.

"So, I have to ask and request something from you."


Ji-Ah briefly went out to do some shopping in the morning, but afterward, she remained inside the underground chapel. She cooked simple meals to satisfy her hunger, and she spent the remaining time studying. Regardless of the field, she accumulated knowledge and wisdom diligently. She studied subjects such as religion, pharmacy, medical law, and political science. And when it became time, she took care of Yoon-Ah, who had turned into a zombie. She took care of small, miscellaneous tasks such as washing her and feeding her.

"Yes, good girl.”


Despite knowing that she wouldn't receive a response, Ji-Ah continued to persistently speak to Yoon-Ah. At first, Yoon-Ah was difficult to handle due to her violent nature, but later on, she obediently followed Ji-Ah's words. Ji-Ah believed that she must have been a very kind child prior to becoming a zombie. Yoon-Ah's pale face and unnaturally thin body suddenly seemed pitiful. She wished the child would be able to see the sunlight soon.

As evening approached, she prepared dinner. Since the Cult Leader was not coming to the underground chapel today, there was no need to put too much effort into cooking. Now that she thought about it, today was the day that the Cult Leader was taking the practical exam. She wondered how it went. She thought about giving him a call in order to ask him about the results and to subtly suggest that he come visit the underground chapel.

Chop, chop, chop...


Ji-Ah suddenly thought of Sun-Woo while cutting vegetables. At first, she was scared of him. It wasn’t that she was scared of Sun-Woo himself. She had been scared that Sun-Woo wouldn't accept her as a member of the Voodoo Cult. So, at first, she tried to prove her worth, even if it meant that she had to put herself at risk.

Looking back at it now, she realized how foolish she was. Sun-Woo was not someone who measured the worth of others. He did not abuse his authority as the Cult Leader, but rather, it was because he was the Cult Leader that he took on more responsibility. Sometimes, he even showed his childlike side. He was actually really young, after all.



She was almost done cooking when she heard the door open. Based on the way the door was being opened, it was most likely the Cult Leader. Sun-Woo and Jin-Sung had different ways of opening the locked door of the underground chapel, so Ji-Ah could tell who it was just by the sound.

But why was the Cult Leader, who should have been at his dormitory, at the underground chapel? Perhaps he wanted to rest peacefully here now that the exams were over. It was unexpected, but nevertheless, Ji-Ah was glad. She came out of the kitchen with the intention of welcoming him.

Sun-Woo looked at Ji-Ah with widened eyes.

"Cult Leader, did you do well on the exam—?" She greeted him softly but was unable to finish her sentence.

Sun-Woo tightly grabbed Ji-Ah's shoulders and lowered his head deeply.


Desperately gasping for breath, he lifted his head. His face was pale, and his lips were trembling. His eyes were so bloodshot that it seemed like tears of blood would pour out of his eyes at any moment.

His grip on Ji-Ah's shoulders was extremely strong, and his hands quivered as a result. Ji-Ah felt so much pain that it felt like her shoulders were going to break apart. His condition was strange. This was the first time she had seen him look so anxious.

"Ah, it hurts. I know this is urgent, but can we talk about it later?"

Ji-Ah pretended like it wasn’t a big deal and brushed his hand away. She also felt anxious because she didn’t know what had happened to him. However, she didn't show it. She deliberately acted calm. After hearing Ji-Ah’s words, Sun-Woo released his grip.

"Ah, I'm sorry. Seriously, I didn't mean to hurt you..."

"I know. It's okay," Ji-Ah said with a bright smile.

She smiled to reassure him. Sun-Woo stared blankly at her for a moment, then regained his senses and pointed to his room with trembling fingers.

"Nuna, please go in there for a moment, and don't come out or make any noise."


"I know it's confusing, but I hope you'll listen to me just this once."

Ji-Ah looked at Sun-Woo. His face still showed signs of anxiety, but he looked much better than before. It seemed like he had just barely managed to regain his composure. Ji-Ah smiled softly.

"While I'm in there, would you like me to clean your room a bit?"

"...I'm sorry."

Sun-Woo smiled briefly, then lowered his gaze with a bitter expression.

Ji-Ah bowed her head and walked into his room with short steps. She didn’t know why Sun-Woo had come to the underground chapel or why he was so anxious. However, she didn’t go out of her way to ask him. It seemed better not to do so at the moment, and she believed without a doubt that he would reveal everything to her when the time was right.

His room had been empty for a while, so dust had accumulated here and there. Ji-Ah skillfully cleaned his room. She swept away the dust and placed the items that were randomly lying on the floor on the bookshelves.


It was then that she saw a peculiar notebook filled to the brim with scribbles, or perhaps drawings, on every single page in red ink.

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