The Cult Leader in the Clergy Academy - C.202


Baron Samedi had vanished, and I had heard the faint sound of breathing during the phone call that had ended abruptly. Everything felt ominous.

I tried to think positively.

Baron Samedi must have gone to seduce another woman as usual. In-Ah had accidentally called me, so that was why she hadn’t said anything. The reason why the phone call was cut off must have been for the same reason. As my thoughts began to lean toward the foreboding feeling that I had, I was unable to think positively.

I recalled how Baron Samedi had casually talked about In-Ah's death while exhaling cigarette smoke. I thought about the sight of chrysanthemums placed on In-Ah's desk. I thought of Yoon-Ah, who would be left alone.

[Come back.] Legba's voice snapped me back to reality, and I realized I was already outside.

I was walking aimlessly towards In-Ah's house. Cold sweat was pouring out. Even though I wasn’t cold, my teeth were chattering and clashing together. I thought about the cat that had burned to nothingness along with my room.

[It's probably no big deal, so just go back,] Legba said, but I didn't stop walking.

"How do you know that?"

[That child is better at taking care of herself than you. I guarantee it. If she were sick, she would have gone to the hospital a long time ago.]

"She could be too sick to go to the hospital."

[Kids your age don't get that sick. Besides, humans don't die that easily.]


I ignored Legba's words and kept walking.

His words about humans not dying easily were only partially true. Humans did possess an incredibly resilient life force that defied common sense, but occasionally they would pass away so easily that it was almost impossible to believe.

[Besides, even if she does die, what's wrong with dying?]

"This isn't just a matter of right or wrong..."

[I understand. You're scared right now, aren't you?] Legba continued speaking without even acknowledging what I had said.

[What are you scared of right now? Are you scared of the death of that child named In-Ah?]


[Or are you scared of missing the opportunity for you to repent?]

I silently continued to walk.

Legba was right. I wasn't afraid of In-Ah's death itself.

The mission trip was just around the corner. If everything went according to plan, Yoon-Ah would once again return to being a human. But I was afraid of In-Ah dying before that occurred. I was afraid of not even having a chance to wash away my sins.

Perhaps, just like Legba said, In-Ah was perfectly fine. Maybe I was making a mountain out of a molehill. However, if by any chance something went wrong with In-Ah, and if I was able to stop that from happening but I didn’t do so, I felt like my regret would be too immeasurable.

[I see, so is this also your choice?]

I nodded. This was also a choice. I had to make a choice that I wouldn't regret.

[Then at least check the time.]

After leaving those words, Legba disappeared.


I arrived at In-Ah's house and tried calling her again.

Just as I expected, she didn’t answer. I rang the doorbell. No one came out. I tried knocking, but there was no response. I pressed the doorbell again and waited, but still no one came out.


Even if she was deeply asleep, normally she would wake up after hearing the doorbell. And even before that, she should have woken up after hearing the ringtone on her phone. She shouldn’t be sleeping so deeply at this time of the day in the first place. The sun had set, but it wasn't completely dark yet.

I stared at the lock on In-Ah's front door.


I used Ogun's power. I intended to unlock the door with it, but it didn’t go according to plan. Ogun wasn't lending me his power.

[You haven't forgotten the fact that what I hate is not just lies, right?] Ogun said with a voice that was as cold as ice, yet at the same time, a voice that was burning hot. I could sense anger in his tone.

He hated lies and thieves. Therefore, I wouldn't be able to borrow Ogun's power when picking the lock.


Then, I simply had to break the door with pure strength. I called upon Bossou.

[Insufficient offerings. I can not lend you my strength!]

"I'm sure I gave you an offering just the day before yesterday."

[...Actually, I just thought it would be better for you to think things through one more time. It feels like the Prophet needs some rest,] Bossou said.


All of the Loa were opposing my judgment. This had been a frequent occurrence lately.

Back when I confined Yu-Hyun and interrogated him, Ji-Ah didn't listen to me and came out of my room. The Loa didn’t listen to me either. No, they had never listened to me from the beginning. They never moved according to my will.

Did anything ever work out the way I wanted it to? I had always been swept away by the situation, and I had always chosen the only method that could help me survive in that situation. It was a realization that was somewhat obvious.

I grabbed the door handle in frustration. And with my other hand, I unleashed divine power. If I used blessings and exerted strength, eventually the door handle or the door would break, and I would be able to open the door.


However, before I could even unleash my divine power, the door opened. I hadn’t even turned the door knob. Through the crack of the open door, a familiar face appeared.

In-Ah was silently looking at me. When I realized that it was In-Ah, suddenly I felt that her face seemed unfamiliar. The reason why I felt that her face was unfamiliar was because Yoon-Ah's face overlapped with hers. That was how emaciated In-Ah’s face looked.

We faced each other. In the silence, In-Ah suddenly tried to close the door.


I quickly squeezed my foot into the door crack. In-Ah struggled as she was unable to open or close the door. She eventually ended up glaring at me with a frown.

I glanced at her narrowed eyes. In-Ah sighed as she unlocked the door chain and opened the door.

"...Why did you come all of a sudden?"

Her voice was very small. It seemed like she didn't have the strength to speak loudly. I took out her report card that I had folded up and kept in my pocket.

"I came to deliver your report card."


The truth was, In-Ah seemed to be really sick, so I tried to cook a simple soup like before and brought it to her. She obviously hadn’t been eating properly while she was resting due to being sick. However, In-Ah didn't easily let me into her house.

"Of course, you can’t come in! It's strange enough that you're trying to come into my house, especially at this time!"

"What's strange about it?"

"...If I say it’s strange, then it's strange," In-Ah said and led me outside.

We went to a park near her house and found a bench to sit on. Before we knew it, it was already dark outside.

She would occasionally look up at the sky or lower her head to look at the ground, and sometimes she would turn her head to look at me. But she only looked at me and didn't say anything.

I quietly stared at her and said, "How bad were you sick? For you to take a week off from school."

"...It wasn't that bad," In-Ah said while lowering her head.

"I just... pretended to be sick because I didn't want to go to school."


No matter how I looked at it, In-Ah looked visibly unwell. Her body was even thinner than before, to the point where I was worried she might disappear completely. But she was acting like she was completely fine. It seemed like she wanted to act as if she was okay.

So, I didn't press her further. Because there were moments when I felt like that too.

"Why didn't you want to go?"

"...It's not that I didn't want to go. It's just... I will have to go again starting from next week. I kind of wanted to go back to school after taking a week off," In-Ah said with a smile.

However, her smile looked forced. It obviously looked awkward because it was a forced smile. She still wasn't good at lying, so I was relieved.

"Why didn't you want to go?"

"No... It's not that I didn't want to go. I just..." In-Ah trailed off and dropped her gaze to the floor.

She seemed unsure of what to say. I waited for her to continue, but she only pursed her lips without saying anything more. I could hear the wind blowing in the silence. The air that the wind was carrying was heavy.

I looked at her, who had her mouth shut, and nodded.

"You don't have to say anything."

"...What do you mean?"

"You don't want to tell me at the moment, right?”

She must also have things that she didn't want to share with anyone and concerns that wouldn't be resolved even if she told someone. I also had many things that I hadn’t told her and many things that I couldn't say.

The truth was, it seemed like I wasn’t all that curious about why she was suffering. It was enough for me to know that she was still alive. I didn't want to dig into things that she couldn't talk about right now.

"It's not that I don't want to talk about it," she said while slowly shaking her head.

"Then what is it?"

"It's just... It's nothing important, but I hate that it seems like it’s not important, so I was wondering how to say it."

"Just say it. You can just think of it as no big deal.”

"Wait, don't rush me. I'm going to say it anyway," In-Ah said as she glared at me.

She quietly sat there as if trying to organize her thoughts and then took a deep breath. Then she exhaled and smiled. It was a much more natural smile than before.

"My parents should have come this week... No, they should have come last week. But their plans got postponed, so they'll probably come in two weeks," she said.

"Yeah," I replied.

"I got my hopes up for nothing and ended up disappointed. It made me a little depressed, especially since I'm still not used to being alone at home. And also..."

She abruptly stopped talking and then glanced at me. I was patiently listening to her talk.

She continued, "Oh, by the way, this is just something I want to mention. I saw you with Ha-Yeon the weekend before last weekend."

"The weekend before last weekend...?"

If she saw me with Ha-Yeon, it must have been the day I met Sung Yu-Da.

"Yeah, I was with Ha-Yeon at that time. We had plans to meet," I explained.

"Oh, really? So you had time to meet her, but you didn’t have time to contact me?"

"Did I not contact you then?"

"Look at this, you don't even remember."

In-Ah pouted her lips.

I wondered whether this was something she should be this angry over. "Did that really hurt you that much? To the point of not going to school."

"Of course... not. It's not because of that! Didn’t I tell you earlier? That this was just something that I was mentioning?”

"If this was just something that you were mentioning, it seems like there was no need to say it now.”

In-Ah reluctantly gave up and said, "...Fine, I was a little hurt. What? Is it not okay if I feel hurt?"

She continued, "Were you always this close with Ha-Yeon?"

"It’s not that I wasn’t always this close. I’m not close to her even right now.”

"What? Then why were you together back then?"

"I wasn’t meeting Ha-Yeon. I was meeting Sung Yu-Da... the former cardinal."

I was about to just say Sung Yu-Da, but I hastily added honorifics to refer to him by his title. In-Ah looked at me with widened eyes as if she were surprised.

After blinking her eyes, the sight of her avoiding eye contact after meeting my eyes looked foolish and a little cute. She lowered her head and smiled.

"What? So it was just a misunderstanding."

"Pretty much. Why are you going around misunderstanding things by yourself?”

"...What? Why are you talking like that? Do you want to fight?" In-Ah said while glaring at me.

She stopped staring at me and smiled. "Anyway, I'm glad that it was a misunderstanding."

"So it was because of this that you didn’t show up at school after all.”

"No, it's not like that, you idiot! Do I look like such a shallow person? If we're going to talk about the reason...”

In-Ah, who was speaking confidently, suddenly trailed off. Her expression suddenly darkened. In-Ah looked up somewhere. I also followed her gaze and looked up. I saw a bird's nest on the tree.

"The reason is...” she muttered while looking at the nest.

I looked at her and asked, "The reason is?”

"...Ah, right! I guess I was upset because of you. It's your fault, really."

"How did it turn out like this?"

"Well, if I got hurt because of you, it's your fault, isn't it?"


I pretended to be dumbfounded by her words. It seemed like there was a separate reason that made her so upset, but she didn't want to talk about it.

In-Ah pressed her temple with her finger and tightly closed her eyes. She seemed to have a headache.

"Do you have a headache?"

"A little... but I'm okay. Should we start heading back?" In-Ah said as she got up from her seat.

The smile that she had on her face was a little awkward. It bothered me, but I nodded and silently got up from my seat to follow her. I considered accompanying her directly to her house, but In-Ah refused. When I tried to insist on accompanying her, In-Ah sighed and pointed to a streetlight in the distance with her finger.

"Then just take me there. Don't take me all the way home. It feels like I'm taking away your time for no reason."

"You're not going to faint while going home again like you did last time, right?"

"Come on. I’m not that sick. You worry too much,” In-Ah said with a smile.

Her smile felt lonely for some reason. I escorted her to the streetlight that she had pointed to.

As we exchanged farewells and were about to part ways, she stared at me intently from under the streetlight. It felt like she had something to say, so I waited for a moment.

She pursed her lips for a moment, then looked straight at me as if she had made up her mind and said, "...So, the mission trip. When did you say you were going?"

"According to the schedule, it's the day after tomorrow."

"How long will you be gone?"

"I think it was either a three-day, two-night trip or a four-day, three-night trip... Probably a three-day, two-night trip."

"Ah, I see..."

In-Ah lowered her head with a faint smile. The streetlight cast a long shadow over her eyelashes.

She lifted her gaze from the ground and looked at me again. There was no longer a smile on her face.

"...Um, is there a chance that you won't go?” she asked while pulling at my collar.

This content is taken from (f)reewe(b)novel.𝗰𝗼𝐦