The Cult Leader in the Clergy Academy - C.198


I woke up, sensing a commotion.

[I told you not to go up there!]

[You're fussing about nothing. I just wanted to check if there were any impurities in the soil.]

[Plants are sensitive! Even a slight change in their environment can stress them out!]

[How could a plant get stressed? It would be delightful if you could stop spewing out nonsense.]

Damballa and Granbwa were fighting again. I sighed and watched Damballa try to climb onto the flowerpot. Damballa finally noticed my gaze and awkwardly turned away.

[Oh child, there really was impurity in the soil. I was merely clearing it.]

"Okay..." I replied, not having enough strength to retort.

I noticed it was still early dawn when I peered out the window. The sun had yet to rise. It was already too late for me to go back to sleep. Moreover, I felt like I wouldn't be able to sleep because Damballa and Granbwa had woken me up.

I felt like I needed to wash up to get rid of the drowsiness. Yawning, I headed to the bathroom. Damballa followed me, slithering across the floor.

[Oh, child, are you going to wash up?]


[I want to wash up too. How about we do it together?]

"You're talking nonsense."

[Why, are you embarrassed?]

Damballa climbed up my body. In the blink of an eye, she was on my shoulder.

She whispered in my ear, flicking her tongue. [I want to check if I can still call you child or...]

"I don't want to shower with a snake," I said firmly, seemingly shocking Damballa.

[Child... I feel hurt by your words.]

"Then get hurt."

[You're really mean. I never thought you would have changed so much since I last saw you...]

I ignored Damballa's words and went into the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw Damballa coiled up on the bed, waiting for me. She tried to talk to me, but I ignored her and prepared to leave. I quickly put on my clothes—I didn't want to listen to Damballa’s constant mumblings any longer.

Damballa’s voice was seductive. I was afraid I would be captivated by her words if I kept listening to them. Damballa was probably aiming for that, which is why she kept talking. Unfortunately for her, I had no intention of falling for her tricks anytime soon.

Damballa slithered toward me as I put on my shoes.

[Are you going to school? I wish I could take you there, too.]

"Please stop acting so clingy."

[I’m not acting clingy. I'm asking you sincerely,] Damballa said as she crawled up my hand. [If you take me with you, I can help you in many ways. For example, I can notify you if you are being followed.]

"Legba can do that too. So can Ogun and Baron Samedi."

[No, they aren’t the same as me.]

Damballa had climbed up my arm and was slowly wrapping around my neck.

[If you want, I can devour your enemies, oh child.]

"....I still can’t allow you to do that. You stand out too much. I'll definitely get caught if I go to school with you."

[And what if you get caught? Just say I'm your pet.]

“Do you think they'll believe that?"

[What reasons are there not to? I think I look pretty cute when I’m in this form.] Damballa whispered in my ear.

As always, her voice was sweet and sensuous. Nevertheless, I shook my head.

"Even so, I can’t bring you today. I’ll come to pick you up later when I need you. For now, stay here."

[Hmph... just for today, child,] Damballa said curtly and rode along my arm, descending back to the floor.

She wandered toward the bathroom. [Well, little one, can I use the bathroom while you're gone? I want to freshen up.]

"Sure," I replied with a sigh.


Due to the early morning fight between Damballa and Granbwa, I left the dormitory earlier than planned. I went to the classroom, but it was too early, and no one was there. There was still plenty of time until homeroom. I decided to pass the time by taking a walk around the school.

[I suggest you stop using the intoxication spells,] Legba said as we walked.

I turned my head from side to side, looking around to see if there was anyone nearby.

After confirming that there was no one, I spoke up. "I don't use it that often."

I'd use the intoxication spell occasionally when I couldn’t bear my fatigue or when I felt like I couldn’t go through something sober. Or I would use it when I had too many thoughts and couldn’t fall asleep.

I used it once yesterday as well. I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about what to do with Yu-Hyun and Sung Yu-Da. Come to think of it, I might be using it quite a bit.

[You are. You just don't realize it because you're used to it.] Legba scolded me.

"I'll try to use it less then."

[No, stop using it. Don't you know why your father forbade the intoxication spell?]

"I know, I do. But..."

The Voodoo Cult sought freedom, but the intoxication spell made people dependent on spells. My father believed that those who relied on something could never truly obtain true freedom, so he declared the intoxication spell forbidden. It was true that I relied on the intoxication spell to some extent.

[You probably already know this, but the hallucinations you saw last time are the drawbacks of the intoxication spell.]

"...Ah. Right." I barely replied to Legba's words.

I thought about the hallucinations I had seen when I got off the bus during the day the practical exams had ended. I recalled seeing everyone around me as inquisitors and crouched down to avoid being trampled by them. It wasn't just a stress-related hallucination. It was the drawback of the intoxication spell. Using the intoxication spell too much blurred the line between reality and imagination, causing imagination to turn into reality.

[The drawbacks will worsen if you keep using the intoxication spell. You're already using the intoxication spell more than necessary.]


[The only reason why you still appear sane is because you’re the one who’s using the spell. If it were someone else, they would have already been driven mad.]

A madman. I suddenly remembered the note Ji-Ah handed me. No matter how I looked at it, the writing on the note didn't seem like something a person in their right mind would write. I didn't know if that could also be a drawback of the intoxication spell.

Actually, I don't know which came first, whether I had used the intoxication spell because I wasn’t in the right mind or if I had used the intoxication spell to the point where I had driven myself insane.

"From now on, I won't use it... No, I'll try not to use it."

[You're already addicted,] Legba said, clicking his tongue. [Didn't I tell you before? You can easily get consumed by the intoxication spell.]

"I didn't know it would be like this, either. Why didn’t you warn me more forcefully back then? If you had, I wouldn't have even thought about using an intoxication spell from the beginning," I blurted emotionally.

It was a naive statement. No matter how strongly Legba had spoken, if I felt that the situation called for an intoxication spell, I would have used it without hesitation. Therefore, what I said to Legba was just a despicable attempt to shift responsibility to him. I took a deep breath, trying to clear my head.

"...Come to think of it, I would have used it no matter what you said."

[Yes, you would have. The choice is yours, and so is the responsibility. I have no intention of scolding you for making the wrong choice.]

"But it feels like you're scolding me right now.”

[If your past choices consume your present and future, then you will no longer be able to make your own choices. I am advising you to be cautious of that.]

"Yes, I will keep that in mind."

[Ha, as if. I can see that you're still letting it float away... Do as you please.]

I didn't respond and walked.

Legba spoke again. [No matter what choice you make, I will respect it. There is no reason not to. However, don't try to escape from the responsibility of your choices.]


I couldn't respond to those words. It was because students were starting to arrive at school. Legba didn't nag at me anymore, either.

As I walked along the path, I noticed Dae-Man sitting on a bench. He looked sweaty, as if he had just finished exercising.

"Sun-Woo! You came today. I heard you were sick. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine."

"Are you on a walk? You’re so diligent even when it’s the morning!"

"You’re one to talk...."

While talking with Dae-Man, I suddenly felt someone's gaze and reflexively turned my head. Su-Ryeon had been hiding behind the giant tree next to the bench in the garden, spying on us. When our eyes met, Su-Ryeon cautiously emerged from behind the tree. She approached us, holding a towel in one hand.

"Hey, Dae-Man. Use this," she said, handing the towel to Dae-Man.

Dae-Man accepted the towel and looked at Su-Ryeon with confusion.

“Why are you giving me a towel all of a sudden?"

"Wipe off the sweat! You smell horrible right now."

"It’s fine. I’ll end up getting the towel dirty." Dae-Man handed the towel back to Su-Ryeon.

She frowned.

"Oh, just use it... I was planning to throw it away anyway."

"Is that so? Well, I'll gladly use it then. Su-Ryeon, are you also on your way back from exercising?"

"Huh? Yeah! I mean, you could say that's what I was going for."

"What do you mean by going for?"

I listened to their conversation and discreetly got up from my seat.

“I’m off."

"Ah, Sun-Woo! Are you leaving? You should run a lap around the field with me before you go!"

"It's about time for me to go to class. I’ll leave you guys to it."

"Alright! I’ll send you a message next time I work out! Let's do it together!"

I nodded and quickly left. After realizing what was happening, I felt uncomfortable being caught in the middle of their conversation.


After finishing class, I briefly visited the teacher's office during lunchtime. When I returned, I ran into Yu-Hyun standing in front of the classroom door. He was holding onto one of our classmates and was interrogating them in a threatening tone.

"Hey, buddy. Where did Sun-Woo go?"

Without asking what was going on, I rushed toward Yu-Hyun and kicked him in the balls.



Yu-Hyun kneeled down and collapsed on the spot. The student talking to Yu-Hyun looked at me with widened eyes.

Yu-Hyun turned his head with a grimace on his face. I looked down at him quietly. Then, Yu-Hyun relaxed his expression as if to say that nothing had happened and gave me a confused smile.

"Such a violent greeting. Are you crazy?"

"Why are you here?"

"...Let's take this outside. There are too many eyes on us right now," Yu-Hyun said, glancing around in a manner that was very uncharacteristic of him.

I quickly read the atmosphere in the Class of Charity classroom. Everyone had stopped what they were doing and was looking at us. In-Ah was also looking at me, but her gaze looked strangely guarded.

I couldn't understand why she was acting like that. It seemed to be because I was with Yu-Hyun. He was not particularly known for his diligence, and his reputation among the female students was terrible. His reputation had worsened since I left him in front of the girls' dormitory last time.


We left the building and walked along the promenade. It was the same promenade that I used to walk along with In-Ah after our meals. Yu-Hyun wouldn't say a word when many people were on the promenade, but as the numbers shrank, he would frown and speak up.

"You fucker. Why’d you have to leave me in front of the girls' dormitory? Do you know how shitty it was to try and explain myself?"

"And how’d you explain yourself?"

"I asked for a favor from a senior I know. You know, to take the blame," Yu-Hyun said.

The dormitory supervisor had woken up the unconscious Yu-Hyun and asked about the situation. He explained that he had been drinking outside the dorms and was called by a female senior to the front of the girl’s dormitory and ended up passing out because he had been severely drunk.

Thanks to coordination with the female senior, the dormitory supervisor believed his story. The senior girl who helped Yu-Hyun at that time received disciplinary action, but Yu-Hyun himself didn't receive any punishment.

"The student who was lying unconscious on the street after drinking didn't receive any disciplinary action?"

"According to the rules, calling a male student to their dorms rather than drinking outside of school is a bigger issue for a female."

"That doesn’t make any sense."

“That’s just how all rules are, no matter where you go..." Yu-Hyun smirked and then suddenly pulled a straight face. "But rumors have spread among the students, you know? They’re saying I'm crazy about girls."

"What’s the problem if they’re telling the truth?"

"Well, they’re not completely wrong, but I feel like I’ve been wronged. I really didn't do anything this time. I wouldn’t have felt like this if I had done something, you know?"

"But why were you looking for me?" I asked, cutting off Yu-Hyun's rambling about something I wasn't particularly interested in.

Yu-Hyun finally seemed to remember and started walking toward the school gate.

"I was trying to leave school early today, but they didn't let me go when I was alone. If I go with you, they might let me pass, so let's go together."

"And why would I do that?"

"You don't have anything to do at school anyway. Just help me leave early, and then you can go home and rest."

Since the afternoon classes would mostly be self-study, leaving early and relaxing in the underground chapel would be better. However, although he spoke nonchalantly, Yu-Hyun was subtly eyeing me down. His intrusive and unpleasant gaze told me that he seemed to have ulterior motives. A strong feeling in my stomach told me that I shouldn’t bring him to the chapel.

"Don't you know I live in the dormitory because I don’t have a home?"

"Really? I didn't know. So, where was the place I left you last time?" he asked.

"Why would you want to know that?"

Yu-Hyun burst into a fit of laughter. I couldn't help but laugh along. He was so easy to read to the point that it was ridiculous. After laughing for a while, Yu-Hyun stopped, his face turning serious.

"Did I make it too obvious?"


"Well... since we're leaving early, how about going to the hospital together?"

"Hospital?" I asked, puzzled by why he had suddenly brought that up.

Yu-Hyun nodded and explained, "Didn't I tell you? I wanted to leave school early so we could pay Min-Seo a visit at the hospital."

This chapt𝙚r is updated by fr(e)ew𝒆bnov(e)