The Cult Leader in the Clergy Academy

Chapter 216



Chapter 216

Click, clack.

Legba walked through the crowd. The red moonlight eerily illuminated his pale face. His intense gaze scanned the faces of the people gathered at the crossroads.

Various expressions decorated the people looking at Legba: the men in black attacking the museum, the Florence Academy students, Han Dae-Ho, and even some tourists. Their expressions and gazes were different. Some were shocked, others were bewildered and unaware of what was happening, and some were fearful. Legba raised his staff.

Thump.

With that, some of the people in the crowd disappeared. Only the men in black who had attacked the museum remained at the Crossroads.

Legba smiled at them. The men in black found his smile eerie. A transcendental being, unknown to their religion, stood before them. The smile from such a being could only feel eerie. They felt chills along their backs. It wasn't just because they feared Legba's smile and gaze. It was because something else was watching them as well.

The gaze came from the sky. The leader of the men in black looked up.

Thud.

As he looked at the sky, his mouth gaped open with astonishment, and then his body slumped as if all the strength from his legs had been drained away. Drool dripped from his open mouth. His eyes turned red and bloodshot, and his pupils trembled from side to side as if he were going crazy. Despite his fear, he couldn't take his eyes off the sky.

"Ah, argh. Ugh, kr-rrk..!"

Grrk, grrk, grrk.

Finally, he fell down, foamed at the mouth, and dug his fingernails into his eye sockets as if trying to gouge out his own eyes. However, not a single wound appeared on his eyes—there was only a bone-chilling sound as if he were scratching glass.

In response to their boss's sudden action, all the men in black looked up. There, in the sky looming over the Crossroads, they faced the presence watching over them.

Beings with red, blue, or pale eyes stared at them. The unknown entities looking at them were unmeasurably vast. They were the wind, the lightning, and the trees that humans worshipped. They were the origins of civilization—the rivers, water, and fire.

The men in black sensed that this place was not a land for the living but a land for the deceased or spiritual beings. They also knew that the towering beings looking at them were divine beings.

They trembled with fear yet, at the same time, were filled with joy and admiration. They felt endless beauty and thirst toward the primordial and divine beings looming over them. It was human nature to chase after the origins of the world.

Click, clack.

Legba walked forward. The appearance of a small and pitiful old man suddenly disappeared. Before them stood a colossal presence that oversaw the Crossroads and everything spiritual within them.

Legba raised his staff and lightly waved it in the air.

Shhhhh...

Then, the darkness that made up the Crossroads swirled and gathered, only to scatter and transform into something new. Two paths appeared before the men in black. Legba stood at the center of one of the paths, gripping his staff.

[I have given you two paths,] Legba said.

In his hand, a pipe suddenly appeared. He took a puff of the pipe and continued speaking.

[The path you choose is the path you desire.]

Legba exhaled smoke. The puffy smoke bled red in the moonlight.

[Which path will you take?]

Thump.

Legba struck the ground with his cane, urging them on. The men in black hesitated, unable to choose a path.

They wanted only one thing right now. But they couldn't decide which path would lead them to it, so they couldn’t make a decision. The red moonlight, the colorful eyes, Legba's smoke, and the darkness of the Crossroads blended together in a strange hue.

The men in black cautiously stepped forward, hesitantly moving toward a path. After the first person chose their path, the others followed suit.

Legba counted the number of people walking on the chosen path with his cane. [46 people.]

Out of the 47 men in black invited to the Crossroads, 46 chose the left path. Only one person hadn’t chosen a path and was sitting in the center of the Crossroads. It was the man who had first felt the gaze of the Loa, raised his head, and foamed from his mouth. He was the leader of the men in black.

He was still trying to dig into his eyeballs, his fingers in his eye sockets. His face was covered in tears, mucus, and froth. Legba approached him. Alll 𝒍𝒂test nov𝒆l𝒔 on novelb𝒊n/(.)c𝒐m

[So, is that your choice?] Legba spat the smoke that was in his mouth into the man’s face.

The smoke enveloped the man. The goat pattern on the back of his neck faintly glowed in the smoke. However, the pattern only emitted light and had no effect whatsoever at the Crossroads.

[Sometimes, those who lose their sight open their mind's eye.]

Drop. Legba's words were accompanied by the sound of a droplet of water falling.

*

Drop.

"..."

I woke up. The Crossroads had disappeared, and I was again met with the museum's interior. The place was quiet, as if time had stopped. No one opened their mouths, nor did they move, just like when Damballa handed me the staff.

Time at the Crossroads felt fleeting but also eternal. Therefore, even after returning to the museum, my sense of time was hazy. I couldn't tell if the stillness enveloping the museum was fleeting or eternal.

Clack.

Right then, I heard footsteps. The footsteps went from one to two and then gradually increased to four. It was the footsteps of the men in black who had surrounded us.

They took their hands off the detonators and started walking with their shoulders drooping to the ground. They lined up, leaving the museum much more orderly than when they had come in. Some took off their masks and threw them away, while others took off the bomb vests they were wearing and gently placed them on the ground.

Numerous men in black left the museum, leaving only one person left.

"Ah, krk, grrk, krk...!"

The only one left was the boss of the men in black. It was the man who had a goat pattern on the back of his neck. He was groaning strangely and digging his own eyeballs with his fingers. Blood flowed down his arm, clung to his elbow, and then dripped on the ground.

It was a terrifying sight. However, none of us were surprised. Jin-Seo, Min-Seo, Dae-Man, and Han Dae-Ho all blinked, focusing only on regaining their sense of reality.

Everyone here had just come back from the Crossroads.

Click, clack.

Legba's footsteps echoed through the quiet museum. Everyone's gaze turned in that direction. He walked across the museum with a staff in hand, passed in front of us, and playfully tapped Su-Ryeon's head with it. Su-Ryeon remained lying down, unaware of what had hit her.

[I'll come find you later,] Legba's voice echoed.

It seemed like only I could hear his voice.

[Congratulations. You've obtained the staff,] Legba said.

Rustle.

Somewhere, I heard the sound of Damballa moving. I followed her trail with my eyes, but I couldn't even catch a glimpse of her. Instead, I felt a strange sensation in my hand. No, perhaps it was a familiar sensation—the sensation of a stiff, rough branch.

The Staff of Reversal, or the poteau mitan. The staff was in my hand. I had obtained the staff. So, maybe I didn't lose anything here after all. I felt there must have been a price to pay for obtaining the staff, but I couldn't figure out what I had sacrificed.

Slam!

At that moment, the museum door opened, and clergymen rushed in. They were the responders to Han Dae-Ho's request for support. Legba calmly passed by the clergymen with leisurely steps and finally left the museum. I couldn’t make out his figure anymore.

*

Han Dae-Ho couldn't forget the scene that had unfolded before his eyes in that brief moment. Even now, when he closed his eyes, that shocking scene flickered in the darkness. The land was shrouded in darkness, and the eerie, fiery red moon illuminated it. The old man holding the staff in the center. Two paths.

The Crossroads.

‘The Voodoo Cult has a place called the Crossroads, which represents the values of the Voodooists, who emphasize choice and freedom.’

That was what Oh Hee-Jin, a knowledgeable religious scholar who knew more about other religions than the Romanican Church, had said.

Yes, things had looked strange from the beginning. Even if rain was possible, geographically, it wasn't possible for such a loud storm to occur naturally.

But thunder and lightning had struck, and rain had fallen. He had heard that the Prophet of the Voodoo Cult could control the weather. If the Voodoo Cult was present, then that would explain all the strange phenomena that had just occurred.

Click, clack.

Han Dae-Ho saw an old man walking across the museum. He could only make out the man’s silhouette because of the darkness, but he could tell that the old man was the same person he had seen at the Crossroads. The cane gave it away.

Slam!

The clergymen who came in late shouted, “We’re the Seoul North Paladin Order Dispatch Team A! Han Dae-Ho, where is Han Dae-Ho, the head of the East Paladin Order?"

However, Han Dae-Ho did not answer. It would be fitting to say that he simply didn't have the presence of mind. With trembling fingers, he pointed at the old man who had just left the museum.

"Th-that...!"

The old man with the cane must be the Cult Leader or the Prophet of the Voodoo Cult. Or both. That man was, at the very least, an important figure in the Voodoo Cult, and he had to tell them. He had to tell them they needed to catch that person.

But his mouth wouldn't open. He could only watch the old man’s retreating figure.

He was afraid. In the past, Han Dae-Ho had explored a scene that appeared to be the aftermath of a battle between the Voodoo Cult and Satanists. The traces left behind at the scene of the battle made it evident that the battle had been intense.

At that time, Han Dae-Ho also felt quite afraid due to the thought that one day, a war might break out between the Satanists, Voodoo Cult, and the Romanican Church.

"Ugh, ugh...! Ugh, aaah─!"

"Urrgh... what is this? Han Dae-Ho, I need a briefing on the whole situation!"

"..."

"Hey, Han Dae-Ho!"

However, the fear that Han Dae-Ho felt was completely different now. Back then, he had been afraid of the possibility of a war breaking out and feared the concept of war itself. He feared the inevitable casualties if a war broke out, even if they would win.

The fear he felt now was different. He had directly felt the power of the Voodoo Cult. No, maybe what he experienced was an indirect glimpse of their power. The strength of the Voodoo Cult was possibly much greater and more dangerous than he imagined.

That was why he was afraid.

"The Voodoo Cult..."

The Romanican Church, Voodoo Cult, and Satanists. If these three religions clashed, the first to disappear would be the Satanists. Then, if the Romanican Church and the Voodoo Cult remained to engage in a full-scale battle... It was hard to say that their victory was guaranteed. No, they would have to make tremendous sacrifices in order to achieve victory.

"What’s happening? Hey, Han Dae-Ho! What can we do if you’re like this? Even the students' condition right now─!"

"I know," Han Dae-Ho said, interrupting the Western Paladin Order's leader. "Please help with the recovery efforts. I will report the situation."

He then explained the general situation to the Western Paladin Order leader and proceeded to deal with the aftermath of the situation. First, he instructed the clergymen to escort the students. After sending the shocked students back to the hotel, he evacuated the museum visitors. He collected all the bombs, firearms, and daggers left behind by the men in black. And he captured the boss of the men in black left alone at the museum.

"Director, this..."

While he was cleaning up the scene, Han Dae-Ho heard through his subordinate's report that the men in black who had left the museum were found dead together at the nearest well. According to the testimonies, 46 men dressed in black jumped into the well and took their own lives.

Han Dae-Ho shivered uncontrollably. It was because the rain had now stopped.


Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.