The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 35

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“Uh, so they called you a teacher…”

When Oh Jaeyoon first encountered Kang Taehan, he felt a tinge of disappointment at the stark contrast from the impression he had imagined. The image of Kang Taehan in his mind was solely based on the descriptions given by Choi Taejoon – someone somewhat older, with an extraordinary hermit-like aura, giving the impression of a hidden master with a long history in his field. Yet, the Kang Taehan standing before him in reality was a tall and robust young man in his twenties. Of course, there was an impression that he was quite capable of delivering a good massage too… But still, it was a far cry from what Oh Jaeyoon had anticipated.

“…Or is it not?”

However, the moment Oh Jaeyoon met Kang Taehan’s eyes, he was compelled to overturn his initial impression. A person’s eyes hold the depths of their lived experiences. By delving into that depth, one could vaguely perceive not only the length of their life but also their mentality and the kind of life they’ve led. Of course, it wasn’t as if one could foresee everything like a fortune-teller… But it was possible to discern whether a person was genuine or a braggart, shallow or profound. Yet, Oh Jaeyoon found it impossible to gauge the depths of this man. He could not even guess the length of the years he lived, only sensing an age that belied his appearance.

“He might be older than he looks.”

As he lay down obediently on the bed, thoughts of understanding why Choi Taejoon called this man a teacher crossed Oh Jaeyoon’s mind.

“Do you have any specific areas of discomfort?”

“Ah, my wrists on both sides, shoulders, and my knees have been feeling sore lately. I’d appreciate it if you could take care of them.”

Despite sharing his premeditated list of problem areas, Oh Jaeyoon had not forgotten the purpose of his visit.

“Hmm… wrists, shoulders, and knees,” murmured Kang Taehan, slowly reiterating the mentioned parts as he approached the bed. The moment Kang Taehan’s hands rested on Oh Jaeyoon’s back, a warm yet substantial sensation pressed down – not unlike a sizable, perfectly warmed stone. Far from discomfort, it was strangely comforting, as if loosening the tension at the core, and Oh Jaeyoon’s body relaxed fully on the bed.

“It seems there are more urgent areas that require attention.”

Meanwhile, Kang Taehan, having assessed the condition, placed his hands on Oh Jaeyoon’s waist.

“Let’s start with this area then.”

His hands firmly gripped the waist, while his thumbs reached out toward the spine. As Kang Taehan began to press on the tense back muscles…

“Ackkh!”

An involuntary cry, one that would never be shared with the Hanha Hawks players, escaped Oh Jaeyoon’s lips as his back arched gently in a parabola.

* * *

Muscles tighten or knot up due to fatigue, causing discomfort in the affected area – a stiffness out of the ordinary, or a slight sensation that something is amiss in the body. If the condition worsens, the pain becomes pronounced, even leading to mild spasms. And if left untreated over a long period?

At some point, the pain becomes unnoticeable. The knotted muscles remain ignored, and the body and senses adapt to the circumstances, ceasing to register any distinct symptoms. It simply feels as though one’s body has become slightly less comfortable than before. One might dismiss it as aging, acknowledging that things can’t be the same as in younger days.

That’s why, in most cases, individuals are unaware of the actually deteriorated state of their muscles. For Oh Jaeyoon, the muscles surrounding the spine were precisely such areas.

“Ahk, oh.”

Another press caused a death-like groan to slip from Oh Jaeyoon. He didn’t think it was possible, but it felt as if his upper and lower body were splitting at the waist.

“It has to hurt.”

Turned to stone over at least a decade, if not more, the muscles felt almost bony. They had likely been imperceptible to tactile sensation for some time. But now, unblocking the meridians and loosening the hard muscles…

This area was a massive pain receptor in its own right. Pain was inevitable.

“Just bear with it a little.”

But what could be done? Even a gentle nudge would bring significant pain. It was more merciful to relieve it all at once.

“Tea-teacher, it hurts too much…”

Oh Jaeyoon wanted to ask for respite, pleading to have his wrists and shoulders attended first, but the blinding pain fragmented his thoughts, leaving him only to sporadically gasp out short cries of distress under Kang Taehan’s manipulations.

As minutes passed with Oh Jaeyoon half-conscious, the reflexive jerks began to wane.

“Uh?”

Suddenly, Oh Jaeyoon felt a stream coursing from his waist up his back. Like water reviving a long-parched brook, it was a sensation of something cool seeping through, refreshing and absorbing. The large mass of muscle that had obstructed the flow around his spine began to unravel.

The circulation within Ji Ja’s spine had become stronger and more fluid.

The spine could be considered as the pillar of the body, the center of one’s physical structure.

The sensation of previously blocked circulation now flowing freely throughout his body was exhilarating, almost akin to an electric current coursing through his veins.

“Ahh…”

A soft exhale escaped Oh Jaeyoon’s lips.

It was a voice soaked in pleasure, the total opposite of the pain-filled tones from just moments before.

‘This feels so refreshing.’

All it took was applying pressure to a specific point on his back, and now that sensation of bliss spread throughout his body.

He couldn’t quite put into words this feeling.

Without even realizing it, the cliché phrase ‘so refreshing’ came to mind.

A bright smile spread across the relaxed face of Oh Jaeyoon.

‘But to think my back was this bad…’

Initially, he had wondered why anyone would want to mercilessly press on their back like that, but now that it was released, he understood.

In fact, this cooling sensation was what normal should feel like; his previous state had been far from it.

He had simply grown so accustomed to the discomfort that he hadn’t even recognized it.

“Now, can you bear it a little better?”

“Oh, this is just so refreshing.”

Oh Jaeyoon responded with a vastly brighter expression.

The release of blockages in the meridian channels meant that the muscles had also relaxed.

His previously stiff and knotted muscles had mostly unwound, and there was a noticeable ease in his voice.

In response to his astonished reaction, Kang Taehan also smiled kindly and said,

“Then, shall we proceed a bit more forcefully next time?”

“…What?”

It sounded like a warning of impending pain akin to what he had just experienced.

Oh Jaeyoon startled and instinctively looked back, but Kang Taehan’s acupressure was quicker.

“Gah…”

At the core of the spine, connected to the back.

If one area here tensed up, places above and below along the spine were likely to be knotted in a similar manner.

And these spots were as hardened as bone, just as they were before.

The moment pressure was applied to these spots, Oh Jaeyoon’s back bent once again under the intense stimulation, even more powerful than the first.

“After we’re done with your back, I’ll take a look at your shoulders and wrists as I mentioned earlier. Don’t worry.”

While he was working, Kang Taehan added this statement casually.

The tone of his voice held a spirit of service, attempting to meet the client’s requests.

* * *

’It’s about time for the director to wake up.’

Choi Taejoon glanced at the clock on his smartphone and stood up, stretching his body lightly.

The Craftsmanship Course prescribed a maximum nap time of one hour.

Since the hour had just passed, the director would be waking up, feeling the unbelievable transformation in his body.

‘I knew this would happen.’

Kang Taehan’s Craftsmanship Course consisted of a thirty-minute massage followed by an hour of restful sleep.

Oh Jaeyoon had been skeptical before going in, wondering why he should sleep for a whole hour here when he could just leave right away, but Choi Taejoon had anticipated this outcome.

After the thoroughly relaxing massage, one couldn’t help but fall into a sweet, deep sleep, nearly like fainting from the relaxation.

How could anyone resist such a reprieve?

Especially right after a massage, resisting sleep is close to impossible.

A few minutes later, as if on cue, director Oh Jaeyoon stepped out looking not just refreshed but absolutely radiant, as if he had been resting for days.

“Hey, Taejoon. I’m sorry, did you wait long?”

Choi Taejoon shook his head lightly in response to Oh Jaeyoon’s question.

Had he not known this would happen, it might have been an issue, but knowing it in advance made it of little concern.

“No, I’m fine. I had a massage myself and just stepped out.”

While not on par with Kang Taehan’s Craftsmanship Course, it had been a satisfactory massage that had nicely loosened him up.

Choi Taejoon smiled gently.

“But rather, how was it for you, Director?”

“…Hey, it was really good.”

It was a succinct reply, yet the voice held a residual delight.

Oh Jaeyoon placed a hand on his lower back as he spoke.

“When I first went in, I asked them to work on my shoulders and wrists, right? But he said ‘It seems there’s a more urgent area to address’ and went straight for this spot.”

Despite the intense pain that seemed to whiten his mind…

Now, after everything was over and after a deep sleep, he felt nothing but comfort.

His back moved so fluidly it felt strange.

“I can’t quite describe how I feel right now. It’s like I’ve aged in reverse by about ten years.”

At least that’s how it felt to him. The lightness throughout his body and the surge of energy made him feel as though he’d shed a decade.

“Even the level of my eyesight seems different.”

As his knotted back had loosened, his curved spine had straightened, and Oh Jaeyoon had even grown slightly taller in just a short amount of time. The change in his eye level wasn’t a mere exaggeration.

“What did I tell you? I didn’t exaggerate a bit, right?”

At Oh Jaeyoon’s words, Choi Taejoon chuckled and joined in.

Having gone through a similar experience himself, he had a rough idea of what the director was going through.

“So, what are you going to do about it?”

“What do you mean?”

“About Mr. Kang Taehan. Didn’t you say you’d invite him to the team if his skills were really as good? You said you were going to discuss it with him.”

“…Oh, right.”

Oh Jaeyoon, who had merely nodded off in bed after the massage, slapped his forehead as he belatedly remembered his original intent.



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