The Cult Leader in the Clergy Academy - C.187


Ye-Jin was soon discharged from the hospital. So was Bok-Dong. After all, they had not been injured—they only lost consciousness due to black magic. However, Jin-Seo and the student had more severe injuries, so they had to stay in the hospital for a few days, maybe even a few weeks longer.

After Ye-Jin and Bok-Dong were discharged, Florence Academy gathered the faculty members for a meeting. Ye-Jin and Bok-Dong attended the meeting as supervisors of the practical exam and as witnesses to the incident that occurred. Joseph also attended the meeting as a supervisor of the practical exam and participated in the discussion about evaluation criteria.

"Even though it’s called a meeting, not many people are attending. Is this normal?" Joseph asked Ye-Jin as they left the F.A. meeting room.

Ye-Jin lowered her eyes with a resigned expression.

"It's not always like this, but it does happen from time to time, especially when incidents related to Satanists occur..."

"I suppose it is something to be cautious about. It could lead to many people getting fired."

Even in the past, Florence Academy had always been a place with frequent issues. It had been that way when Joseph was a student at Florence Academy and even before he was a student as well.

However, in the past, most of the accidents had been a result of the students’ actions, whereas the incidents that were occurring recently were due to the actions of external individuals such as Satanists.

Handling incidents that internally occurred within Florence Academy was easy, but it was difficult to handle incidents involving external individuals, especially those related to Satanists. It was not uncommon to be dismissed for mishandling incidents related to Satanists.

"Even so, the vice-principal's attitude was a bit strange. I can't remember their name, but, um, they had short hair..."

Joseph suddenly stopped speaking and closed his mouth, murmuring to himself as he went through his habitual deductions.

A man came forward and blocked his path. Joseph looked at the man blocking his way with a displeased expression.

Joseph was quite tall, but the man in front of him was much taller. He had such a large build that he felt like he was standing in front of a wall rather than a person. 'Big' was an understatement—the word 'huge' seemed more appropriate for this man.

Just as Joseph was wondering if the man was going to start something, the man bowed his head ninety degrees and politely greeted Joseph.

"Inquisitor Joseph, I am Dae-Ho. Do you not remember me?"

"Dae-Ho? Dae-Ho... Ah, Dae-Ho! I remember. Of course, I remember!" Joseph belatedly recognized Dae-Ho and showed a hint of regret.

Ye-Jin watched awkwardly as the two of them conversed. While she knew that Dae-Ho was Bok-Dong's friend, she wasn’t particularly close to him.

Joseph greeted him warmly and shook his hand.

"So, what brings you to Florence Academy? Were you also a supervisor for this practical exam? How come I didn’t see you?"

"No, I’m not here for the practical exam. I came to discuss other matters."

"Ah, right. Florence Academy is under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Paladin Order... You must be busy these days. By the way, you look like you've aged in the time we haven't seen each other. You look ten years older."

"Haha... Please, sir, it's not that bad."

They exchanged greetings and occasional jokes, having a pleasant conversation. It was only when Dae-Ho received a phone call that they finally finished their conversation and parted ways.

Even after Dae-Ho left, a faint smile remained on Joseph's lips.

"I was excited because it's been a while since I've seen that friend. I helped him a little when he became the head of the Eastern Paladin Order. We've been close since then."


"Come to think of it, aren’t you around the same age as Dae-Ho?"

"...Actually, we were classmates at F.A."

"Oh, really? Then why didn’t you at least exchange greetings earlier?"

"We're not that close."

"I see," Joseph replied without much enthusiasm and started walking.

Ye-Jin glanced at Joseph as she walked beside him. During the meeting, there was a discussion on how to handle Jin-Seo and the student’s grades. However, no one had rushed to speak. Considering the situation, there inevitably would be controversy over giving preferential treatment, but they couldn't just give Jin-Seo preferential treatment and ignore the situation Jin-Seo was in.

Above all, Jin-Seo was the Chairman's daughter. No, to be blatant, it was because no one wanted to take responsibility. They kept their mouths shut because they didn't know what kind of repercussions their words would have and cowardly waited for someone else to speak first.

At that moment, Joseph had spoken up.

"Wouldn't it be better to give her preferential treatment for this matter?"

He spoke comfortably, as he was the oldest among all the members in the meeting room and held the highest hierarchy within the church.

"We can say that Florence Academy expelled the demon that had appeared at the examination site, and Florence Academy not only protects the students but also enables them to protect themselves... By tailoring the story like this, there won't be any controversy about fairness since it’s a fact that she expelled the demon."


"After funneling the public opinion, the students' morale will rise once we give them preferential treatment. Why don’t we use Jin-Seo as a symbol and advertise Florence Academy? It would be a good opportunity to try and change the atmosphere of this place.” Joseph’s words poured out like water from a waterfall—he did not stop and he was easy to understand.

Most seemed to agree with him, but of course, there were also those who opposed him. However, Joseph quickly suppressed any opposing opinions that arose, not with authority but with logic. In the end, following Joseph's opinion, it was decided to give Jin-Seo and the student scores that were second only to the top.

Although it wasn’t by much, Ye-Jin had begun to respect Joseph. He seemed to have a weird personality but he was a person who possessed common sense.

"By the way, I'm sorry. You must have wanted to rest after being discharged. I feel like I'm making you suffer too much," Joseph said.

"Sir? Oh no, it's okay. I'm doing this because I want to," she replied, smiling faintly and nodding.

When Joseph had first requested her cooperation, she was taken aback. She had wanted to take a break, but more than anything, she had doubts about Joseph. She thought she would be used for investigation purposes only and be discarded without any real benefits. When Ye-Jin was a priest, she had experienced such things countless times.

However, she decided to trust him after seeing Joseph's attitude during the meeting. Above all, it was time for her to start thinking about what she would do after retirement. She had already made up her mind to retire. After seeing her distorted desires through the dreams shown by black magic, she realized that she could no longer stay in the teaching profession.

"We're here."

The two of them stopped, concluding their silent walk together. Joseph, with his hand posed behind his back, silently gazed at the cross hanging on the rooftop that was crumbling down. Ye-Jin looked at Joseph and the cross with a bewildered expression.

"Didn’t you say... that we would start a full-scale investigation today?"

"Come in. There's something we need to do before the full-scale investigation."

With a heavy heart, Ye-Jin followed Joseph into the shabby building. The place was shabby and run down, literally like a ruin. It seemed to have been a small cathedral once, but the long benches where believers would have sat were shattered and broken.

The statue displayed at the edge of the auditorium was missing its head, creating an eerie atmosphere, and there were blood-like stains on the cross and the wall, making it look like the backdrop of a horror movie.

There was no awe or holiness characteristic like that of a cathedral. It was just gloomy and spooky. Ye-Jin looked around and suddenly shivered from the creeping sensation.

"Don't be scared. This used to be a fairly convincing cathedral... and now it's also my home."


"You may not believe it, but once you get used to it, you can live here quite comfortably. Although it seems like I can't sleep well."

It was truly unbelievable. Ye-Jin couldn't live even a single day in a place like this. She'd clearly lose her mind if she stayed here for a few days.

"What about your family..." Ye-Jin was about to yell out the thought that came to her mind, but she quickly closed her mouth, realizing that it wasn't something she should say to Joseph, whom she had practically met for the first time.

She glanced at Joseph for a moment. Even though it could have been a remark that could make him uncomfortable, Joseph smiled as if it didn't matter.

"I don't have a family. Do you think someone like me could make a family?"

"..." Ye-Jin closed her mouth at his self-deprecating joke.

Joseph twisted one corner of his mouth in disappointment, as there was no response.

After a brief exchange of words, the two turned silent and moved to a corner of the crumbling cathedral. When they opened the door in the corner, a corridor appeared, and at the end of the corridor, there was another door.

Joseph inserted the key into the door lock.


As the door opened, it made a sound more unpleasant, or perhaps even more unpleasant, than the scenery of the cathedral. Darkness filled the other side of the door.

Joseph casually pushed through the darkness and entered the room, but Ye-Jin hesitated in front of the door. She couldn't muster the courage to go in. It wasn't because she was afraid of the darkness. It was because of the foul smell emanating from the room. The stench was a complex and dreadful mixture of the flesh of demons, the saliva of demonic beasts, human blood, and various chemicals that even Ye-Jin couldn't clearly distinguish.

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At that moment, Joseph turned on the light. Ye-Jin's face, which had been filled with caution, was now filled with astonishment.

"This is..."

"If you want to see a whale, you have to come out of the whale's belly first."

Ye-Jin looked around the room. She was amazed by everything she saw. It was shocking enough to forget about the eerie and gloomy atmosphere of the cathedral and the scenery of the corridor they had just passed through.

It was the walls covered in pictures that initially drew her attention. At a glance, there seemed to be hundreds of them. The subjects of the photos varied. There were humans, demonic beasts, demons... and occasionally, there were photographs of bodies so mutilated that their forms couldn't be recognized. Between those photos, dozens of arrows were intertwined like spider webs.

The next thing she saw was a desk piled high with weapons. Most of them were blunt weapons like clubs or hammers, and there were also crossbows that looked like guns and knuckles. Each one looked intimidating and deadly.


Ye-Jin's gaze was glued not to the photos or weapons but to the bookshelves. She may not be a bookworm, but she had read enough to deserve the title of book lover. Especially when it came to her field of expertise, it was not an exaggeration to say that she had read almost every book. However, the books in Joseph's library were all unfamiliar to her. Ye-Jin instinctively knew that the countless books filling the massive library were all forbidden books.

"Here, you will come out of the belly of the whale. Seeing the whale comes next," Joseph said, handing Ye-Jin a book from his library.

It was a book with a repulsive appearance, and its cover was made of human skin.

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