The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 10

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

A Positive Outlook

“So you’re thinking positively, then?”

“Yes, I don’t see anything bad about it.”

Kang Tae-han said with a smile.

Of course, he needed to look over the exact details of the contract, but since what he’s saying now isn’t a final answer, there’s no loss.

“Good. I look forward to working with you in the future, Mr. Tae-han.”

“Yes, I look forward to it as well.”

The two exchanged a light handshake, smiling.

Just then, the tea that had been ordered a moment ago was placed before each of them.

“Umm… should I just follow along and drink?”

Director Hwang scratched his head awkwardly.

In front of him was a large teapot and a small empty cup.

For someone who usually drank instant coffee, these items were a bit unfamiliar.

“This feels unnecessarily complicated.”

“There’s no need to be so nervous about drinking tea, it’s just a cup of green tea at the end of the day.”

Tea ceremony is meant to enhance the charm and enjoyment of the tea, but when taken to excess, it becomes a hindrance to the enjoyment of the beverage.

If you want to drink comfortably, just drink comfortably.

Kang Tae-han chuckled and carelessly poured himself a cup of tea with one hand.

The steam rose, spreading a fragrant green tea aroma.

‘Well, it’s just a cup of green tea, after all.’

There’s no reason for anyone to make a fuss about it.

Director Hwang, following Kang Tae-han, poured himself a cup and took a careful sip.

‘Oh?’

It tasted better than expected.

It was hard to put into words, as he was only used to instant green tea, but there was a distinctively different feeling.

It was more than just the taste.

It was beyond simply suiting his palate…

“How is it? Better than you thought, right?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty good. I don’t usually drink tea, but I like this.”

“Different body constitutions match better with different types of tea leaves.”

Kang Tae-han replied nonchalantly as if he knew this would happen and took a sip of his tea.

During the brief moment of silence that followed, Director Hwang belatedly realized something odd.

‘Different body constitutions match better with different tea leaves?’

Could it be that Kang Tae-han had already figured out his constitution and recommended this tea?

‘Now that I think about it, when he recommended the tea leaves…’

It suits your palate and will be good for your body constitution.

It seemed like he had said something along those lines.

At the time, he didn’t think much of it, but looking back, it was as if Kang Tae-han saw right through him.

‘Nah… It’s not some martial arts fantasy.’

Unless Kang Tae-han had taken his pulse like a traditional Korean doctor, how would he know such a thing from just looking?

Director Hwang hadn’t even received a massage from Kang Tae-han yet.

‘It must be a coincidence.’

Even to him, the thought seemed absurd.

Shaking his head, Director Hwang lifted his cup again.

With another gulp, he savored the taste.

The warmth of the tea seemed to permeate his body as it flowed from his mouth to his throat.

‘Coincidence, right?’

Nevertheless, the phrase ‘suits your body constitution’ really seemed to fit the feeling he got.

* * *

‘Lately, my body feels lighter.’

Nam Woo-hyun, the associate who had first received a massage from Kang Tae-han, was realizing that his physical condition had improved tremendously.

‘I’m not the same as I used to be.’

This phrase is usually used to mean that one’s body isn’t as good as it used to be with age, but in Nam Woo-hyun’s case, it was the opposite.

His body felt more vigorous than before.

Even without caffeine, he could endure the late nights at work, and even when tired, a good night’s sleep made him feel refreshed as if he had slept soundly.

As the saying goes, ‘A sound mind in a sound body,’ his mind felt clearer with his body feeling so refreshed.

Could that be why?

His standing at the company was improving day by day.

“Associate Nam!”

“Yes, Manager.”

“How far along is the project you mentioned the other day?”

“Oh, that? It’s almost finished. I’ll have the report up by today.”

“…What? Already?”

“Associate Nam, how about the contract deal from yesterday?”

“The one from yesterday was successfully concluded through Deputy Manager Lee.”

“Deputy Manager Lee? He’s a bit nitpicky, isn’t he?”

Work that had piled up in the past was now being handled swiftly.

“Wow, Associate Nam! You seem like a completely different person?”

“Is that so?”

“I’m telling you! Even though you only have the title of associate, now it seems like you handle tasks better than those at the associate level.”

“Hahaha. Thank you.”

With work going well, previously stagnant performance began to rise, and naturally, his reputation within the department improved.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say he was thriving.

However, despite the successes, there come times when things don’t go as smoothly.

For Nam Woo-hyun, that day was today.

“I’ve already eaten dinner, though?”

“Alcohol? I don’t really feel like drinking…”

“Let’s just meet some other time, Mr. Nam Woo-hyun. It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just that I’ve been feeling weak lately, I don’t want to do anything. It’s annoying.”

An awkward laugh from Nam Woo-hyun followed the man’s words, and a bead of sweat rolled down his back.

‘This is awkward.’

The man in front of him was Director Kim Kwan-ho of Cheonri Mulsan.

Though he held the title of director, it was known that within a year, he’d move up to an executive position, and currently, a significant contract was hanging on his decision.

‘Upstairs, they’re practically treating it as a lost deal…’

He was essentially the last pitcher in a losing game, assigned just for the sake of not abandoning the deal altogether.

But Nam Woo-hyun wanted to close this deal.

It was a significant contract, and with no expectations, the impact of success would be dramatic.

It was hard to get this opportunity, so he had to try something, but if he cuts it off like that, nothing can be done.

He dislikes meals, dislikes alcohol.

In the industry, that’s essentially the same as saying ‘just go home.’

Either there’s a strong dislike, or he truly doesn’t want to do anything.

One of the two could be true.

‘He does look a bit pale.’

Nam Woo-hyun glanced over at Kim Kwan-ho.

Like any other worker, although Kim Kwan-ho’s complexion was unusually pale and tired-looking.

‘His body feeling weak isn’t an empty complaint, is it?’

An idea struck Nam Woo-hyun. It was an experience he’d had with someone he’d met for the first time…

It felt somewhat odd, perhaps even rude, to not offer the idea.

Nam Woo-hyun pulled out his smartphone to check the date.

Today was the day he’d coincidentally made a reservation.

Honestly, he was reluctant to give it up to someone else, but work came first.

However, the real concern was how Kim Kwan-ho would take the offer.

Would he be interested in going to the sauna together?

“…Eh. I don’t know.”

Probably nobody would complain if he just went back.

At most, he’d hear a few formal nagging comments and that would be the end of it.

Nam Woo-hyun spoke as if to let whatever happen, happen.

“Uh, Manager Kim. How about going to the sauna?”

“…What? A sauna?”

“Yes. I know a good place.”

Kim Kwan-ho’s face twitched.

It was more a look of bemusement than anger.

“It’s not that I dislike your company… but aren’t we not quite at the level to go to a sauna together?”

“Well, you mentioned you were feeling weak, and you looked a bit pale… I really know a great place.”

Nam Woo-hyun said with an awkward smile.

Silence ensued for a moment.

Kim Kwan-ho, who had been standing quietly, suddenly let out a chuckle.

“Huh, must be quite the sauna, huh?”

“The sauna is decent, but there’s a masseur there whose skills are seriously no joke. These days, it’s impossible to get a spot without a reservation.”

“Then I wouldn’t be able to get in, right?”

“Ah. Of course, I’ve prepared in advance. If I hadn’t, do you think I’d even have mentioned it to you?”

“Hmm…”

Kim Kwan-ho swallowed, contemplating as he stroked his chin.

Truth be told, he had been thinking of going to the sauna after work anyway.

He wasn’t lying about feeling weak.

And the more he thought about it, the more ridiculous the offer seemed, yet it somehow piqued his interest.

“Well, there’s no reason why guys can’t go together, right?”

Kim Kwan-ho chuckled again before he spoke.

* * *

“Hmm.”

Kang Tae-han sat in his chair, lost in thought.

Since his meeting with Director Hwang, things had been progressing steadily, even though the premium course wasn’t introduced immediately.

The first big change was the reservation system.

Instead of the first-come-first-served policy or having to wait if your chosen masseur was busy, now customers could book in advance for their preferred time.

It was becoming more like a proper massage shop.

This had made things more convenient not only for Kang Tae-han but also for the other masseurs.

Having an idea of when guests would come allowed for a more efficient use of time.

But what preoccupied Kang Tae-han wasn’t related to this change.

‘His manners of speaking rarely change.’

Kang Tae-han was deep in thought with a serious expression.

He had already corrected his everyday speech.

He couldn’t say for sure if he had returned to his former self, but he had regained his natural way of speaking to some extent.

The problem was when giving a massage.

Or more accurately, when performing actions related to martial arts.

For simple tasks, it was no problem, but when concentration was needed, it was as if a switch was flipped, and he reverted to his speech habits from his martial arts (murim) days.

‘During my father’s time, I used honorifics.’

It seemed things were better now, or perhaps they were fixed, but once he returned to work, it was apparent that neither was the case.

In retrospect, it might have been simply because he was speaking to his father.

Because even in the murim, he would have used honorifics toward his father.

‘When I use the skills learned in the murim, does the mode of speaking from those days come out without me noticing?’

Contemporary Kang Tae-han.

And Kang Tae-han from the murim.

Though the same person, there was a world of difference between them.

Perhaps this anomaly was due to that sense of alienation.

Kang Tae-han vaguely theorized.

“…Hmm. Well, does it matter?”

In the end, no definitive answer emerged.

If it was worth worrying about, it would have been an issue by now.

Kang Tae-han crossed his arms with an embarrassed expression.

If there had been a problem with his manner of speaking, it would have surfaced long ago.

He’d been working for quite some time now, and numerous clients had passed through his hands.

He’d directly asked Director Hwang whether there had been any complaints about his way of speaking, and not only had there been none, but there had also been no complaints at all.

‘Sometimes being assertive may be beneficial, depending on the situation.’

In the service industry, kindness is normally essential, but sometimes what seems wrong might be the right answer.

Of course, that didn’t mean Kang Tae-han was deliberately speaking disrespectfully.

‘Let’s continue this way for now.’

Maybe his concentration was still lacking, or maybe the contemporary way of speaking wasn’t fully natural to him yet.

Either way, these weren’t issues he could resolve in the short term.



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