The Cult Leader in the Clergy Academy - C.204


For the sake of safety, we were to be accompanied by clergymen of archbishop rank or higher. That was what had been written on the contents of the mission trip application, and that clergyman turned out to be none other than Han Dae-Ho. It was better than being accompanied by an unknown person, but since I was in a position where I had to commit a crime at the museum, I couldn’t be completely happy about it.

I observed the reactions of the other student council members. Yu-Hyun was smiling, but he seemed to feel a little uncomfortable. On the other hand, the other student council members didn’t show any significant reactions. However, Dae-Man's reaction was a bit strange. For some reason, he was glaring at Han Dae-Ho with what seemed to be hostility.

“That's enough with the greetings. Everyone brought their passports, right? Be careful not to lose your passports after we arrive there. It’ll be a disaster if you lose it," Han Dae-Ho said.

He led us in a particular direction, and we followed him silently. Typically, we would have been exchanging jokes, but we were unable to do so at the moment. It was because the procession going through the departure procedure ahead of us was composed entirely of clergymen.

Perhaps there were seniors from Florence Academy among them, and whether we liked it or not, there was the possibility that we’d encounter them again in the future. There was nothing good that would come out of being noisy. I also didn’t want to annoy the clergymen, so I kept my mouth shut.

[It’s uncomfortable here. When are you planning to bring me out?] Damballa asked.

She was inside my suitcase. I had to bring her along in case I encountered any unforeseen circumstances, but I couldn’t think of any method of transporting her other than putting her in my luggage. It would have been nice to put her in my pocket, but unfortunately, she couldn't shrink to that size.

[It's hot. And too dry. It's hard to breathe, kid...] Damballa whined, but I didn't respond.

I couldn't take Damballa out of my suitcase right now. No matter how much of a fuss she made, I had no intention of bringing her out.

As I was smoothly going through the airport procedures, Legba sharply said, [In the first place, it's your fault for doing pointless things such as taking on your physical form, Damballa.]

[Ahh, Legba, the old and pitiful Loa who can’t even take on his physical form without a staff to support him.]


Damballa's counterattack, however, swiftly turned the tables and rendered Legba speechless. I could hear the sound of Legba exhaling cigarette smoke. As I was listening to their conversation, I realized the airport procedures were already complete.

It was when we were finally boarding the plane that an incident happened.

"Excuse me, where is the shoe rack?"


Dae-Man had taken off his shoes before boarding the plane. Seeing the confused expression on the flight attendant's face, Dae-Man belatedly realized the situation and blushed. He quickly put his shoes back on and bowed his head.

"...Ah, I'm sorry!" Dae-Man apologized loudly.

The flight attendant looked at Dae-Man with a smile as if they found him cute. Dae-Man, with his flushed face, quickly walked to his seat. Just watching him made me feel embarrassed too.

Su-Ryeon snickered and sat next to Dae-Man.

"Su-Ryeon! Didn't you say that I had to take off my shoes before boarding?"

"Huh, when did I? Perhaps you misheard?”

"...I will repay this disgrace someday."


I quietly watched the two of them bicker. From what I could tell, Min-Seo was supposed to sit in the seat next to me, but for some reason, Ha-Yeon sat there instead.

After sitting on the seat without even glancing at me, she leaned back and closed her eyes.

"Was this originally your seat?" I asked Ha-Yeon.

Actually, there was no need for me to talk to her, but there were various things that I was curious about, mostly regarding Sung Yu-Da. However, since I couldn't directly ask her, the plan was to carefully extract the desired information while conversing with her.

Ha-Yeon, who had her eyes closed, opened them again.

"...No, I asked to change seats. I didn't want to sit with that person," Ha-Yeon said, bluntly pointing toward Yu-Hyun with her chin.

Due to Ha-Yeon changing seats, Yu-Hyun and Min-Seo sat side by side. The two bickered like Dae-Man and Su-Ryeon, with Yu-Hyun often provoking Min-Seo and her getting angry in response.

Jin-Seo sat alone. She leaned her seat as far back as possible and laid down, trying to sleep. I looked around at the other passengers. They were all clergymen who were either praying while holding rosaries or trying to sleep.

I called out to Ha-Yeon again. "Ha-Yeon."

Instead of answering, she briefly glanced at me. At first glance, her face seemed calm, but there was a strange sense of wariness in her eyes as she looked at me. I felt that her reaction was weird, so I tilted my head.

The truth was, I didn’t actually find her reaction weird. I was just acting at the moment.

"By any chance, last time─"

Ha-Yeon interrupted me with an impatient tone. "I'm sorry but... I'm a little... tired. I want to sleep. Is it something important?"

"...No, it's not important. Just sleep," I said with a nod.

Ha-Yeon once again closed her eyes to sleep. I silently watched her.

She had only closed her eyes, and she wasn't actually sleeping. She didn't seem particularly tired at all. Most likely, she said that she was tired as an excuse to avoid having to talk to me.

Sung Yu-Da must have said some unnecessary things to Ha-Yeon. I had expected this to happen, but if it turned out this way, then things were going to get a little complicated. Now that I knew that my father’s research data was in Sung Yu-Da’s possession, I absolutely had to meet him again. But since Ha-Yeon was cutting me off, it would be impossible for me to meet Sung Yu-Da through her.


No, there was no need to think about Sung Yu-Da right now. I cleared my mind of stray thoughts and leaned back comfortably before closing my eyes. I had no intention of sleeping. I just closed my eyes to organize my thoughts.

I had to obtain the Staff of Reversal during this mission trip. If I failed this time, I didn’t know when I would get another chance in the future, so it was best to approach this with the mindset that this was my only opportunity.

I imagined all the possible situations that could occur and came up with countermeasures for all those situations. I didn’t think that I would be able to obtain the staff without making any mistakes. Instead, I was thinking about how to minimize the number of mistakes.

The moment the plane took off, Legba said something to me. However, due to the noise of the aircraft, I couldn’t hear his voice.

As the sound of the aircraft rising resounded, a sigh of amazement could be heard from Dae-Man, along with Su-Ryeon's laughter and Yu-Hyun's voice teasing Min-Seo. All those sounds were faintly audible.

When the noise subsided, I looked out the window. I was now looking down at the clouds that I always looked up to.


After arriving, it was early evening local time when we finished the airport arrival procedures. The reason why it still wasn’t night yet, despite the fact that we had departed at noon and had been in flight for ten hours, was because of the difference in time zones.

After collecting our luggage, we followed Han Dae-Ho out of the airport.


The first to let out a gasp was Dae-Man. I didn’t gasp like Dae-Man, but I still silently admired the scenery that lay before my eyes.

The buildings towered so high that they seemed prideful, emitting a dazzling display of lights as if they were trying to restrain the brilliance of the setting sun. Purple, orange, green, and countless other colors filled the city with an enchanting atmosphere. The city, which shone alone in the midst of a barren desert, could literally be described as an oasis or perhaps a mirage.

The cars lining the roads honked incessantly, and the people walking the streets all had unfamiliar appearances and wore unfamiliar attire. Everything was exotic, and here, we were all foreigners.

"We can admire later. For now, we need to move to our accommodations. We have less time than I expected,” Han Dae-Ho said, looking at us as we were lost in the scenery.

Finally regaining our senses, we followed Han Dae-Ho. He guided us to a vehicle parked near the airport. It was a small bus that could barely fit ten people.

"Throughout the next three days, we’ll be using this bus for all our transportation. If you get lost by any chance... Ah, let’s first go to our accommodations, unpack our luggage, and discuss once we settle down," Han Dae-Ho said.

He loaded our luggage into the trunk and guided us into the bus. As the bus was departing, we didn’t say a single word. It was probably because the impression of an unfamiliar city's scenery still lingered in our minds.

At least, that was the reason why I didn't open my mouth.

[It’s a city that has disguised all its filth with vibrant colors,] Legba said.

[Ah, I also want to see it, kid. When will I be able to get out of here?] Damballa grumbled.

Instead of responding, I diligently observed the scenery flowing past the bus window. The terrain was mostly flat, and at first glance, it looked like a very glamorous and refined city. However, if you looked closely, you could also see dirty alleyways that appeared to have been neglected for a long time.

Public safety didn't seem that great. At least there was less to worry about compared to Korea. In Korea, I had to be careful about the black boxes and CCTVs that were installed wherever I went.

At that moment, Baron Samedi said, [You’re at ease because public safety isn’t good? Oh dear, this guy is a fully-fledged criminal!]


Baron Samedi hadn’t shown himself or even said anything for the past few days. He appeared out of nowhere, and the first thing that came out of his mouth was none other than ridicule. I was just about to swear out loud, but I was just barely able to keep my mouth shut. After realizing how I felt, Baron Samedi got even more excited and started to chatter.

[Well, I suppose that Voodoo Cultists are treated as criminals just for being alive. What a cruel world!]

[Baron Samedi, why did you bother to come here if you’re just going to utter nonsense?] Legba remarked.

In response, Baron Samedi cleared his throat and said, [As always, I came to give you some advice. Indeed, it seems that the Staff of Reversal is just a step away. I can already smell the foul and wicked stench of Reversal.]


[Don't listen to my advice. If you do so, then the Reversal will be in your hands before you know it,] Baron Samedi casually said.

I couldn't help but be puzzled by his advice. It was because his advice was filled with contradictions. In order to listen to his advice, I needed to not listen to it, and if I didn’t listen to his advice, then that meant that I was listening to it.

With a chuckle, Baron Samedi said, [Reversal dislikes those who follow fate. So if I were to offer you advice, shouldn’t I offer you contradictory advice? For instance—]

[Baron Samedi, you filthy and smelly Loa! Get lost!]

The one who interrupted Baron Samedi was none other than Damballa. She despised Baron Samedi. Baron Samedi was a heavy smoker and a heavy drinker, and he only wore dark-colored clothes from head to toe, which Damballa disliked. She liked white clothes and detested the smell of cigarettes and alcohol.

[Was that Damballa just now? It's been a while, but where exactly are you?]

[Stop spewing out your foul breath and get lost!]

[Ah, you were inside his luggage! Haha, wither away and die while trapped in there. I will guide you on the way out!]

While Baron Samedi and Damballa were exchanging immature comments back and forth, the vehicle arrived at our accommodation.

Our accommodation was a high-rise hotel located in the middle of the city. According to a preliminary investigation that I conducted, it was said to be a good place because guests could see the night view if they went out to the terrace garden at night.

"Go to your accommodations, unpack, and rest for a while. And then, um... come down to the auditorium on the first basement floor after thirty minutes. I have something to tell you all. It's important, so don't be late."

We followed Han Dae-Ho's instructions and went to our accommodations. The men's accommodations were on the eleventh floor, and the women's accommodations were on the twelfth floor. There were separate elevators for odd-numbered floors and even-numbered floors, so it was a structure that forced the men and women to be separated.

Inside the elevator, Yu-Hyun sighed as if he was disappointed.

"Our floors just had to be different. This makes things a bit inconvenient..."

I couldn't understand what was so inconvenient about it.

The assigned accommodations were larger than we expected. It was beyond spacious for the three of us. There were three bedrooms, so it seemed like each person would get their own bedroom. However, although it was spacious, there wasn’t that much furniture, so it felt quite empty.

I dragged my suitcase, randomly entered one of the bedrooms, and locked the door. Then, I cautiously opened the suitcase and took out Damballa.

[Ah, it's been a while since I've seen the light. Kid, I thought I was going to suffocate from the stuffiness.]

She shook her head from side to side as if she felt very pleased by the fresh air outside. I silently watched her and then said, "I'll use this bedroom, so you can hide anywhere here."

[Do I have to hide again?]

"Yes. Wherever you hide, it’ll probably be better than the suitcase. You can hide under the bed or in that drawer over there...”

[How long do I have to hide?]

"Until we need to leave."

[Alright, kid. It's a relief that I don't have to hide forever.]


Damballa slid under the bed and hid herself. Only after seeing her do so did I open the door that I had locked and head to the living room. Yu-Hyun and Han Dae-Ho were currently in the process of unpacking in there. It was then that Yu-Hyun took out a black bag from his suitcase and put the entire thing into the refrigerator. I wasn't sure what was inside, but it seemed to be quite heavy.

I couldn't contain my curiosity and asked, "What is that?"

Like a crime suspect being apprehended, Yu-Hyun stiffened. Then, with a sly smile, he said, "Well, it’s just something like drinks."

"Is there a reason to bring drinks?"

"...Ah man, just wait and see. You'll be drinking it too, anyway."

Yu-Hyun took out the bag he had put in the refrigerator and said, "I was going to surprise you by opening it... I guess it’s too bad."

I approached and checked the contents of the bag. I was shocked.

"Are you... out of your mind?"

What he brought was alcohol. And a tremendous amount of it.

The source of this c𝓸ntent is fr(e)𝒆novelkiss