The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 41

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“Heat.”

An hour later.

Chae Eun-bi immediately rose from the bed as soon as she opened her eyes.

Since when had she fallen asleep?

Taking a moment to catch her breath, she placed a hand on her head and tried to recollect her memories.

It was a bewildering experience, and she needed time to organize her thoughts about what had happened.

“Huh?”

But before she could sort out her thoughts, her body’s sensations were quicker to respond.

She felt an overflow of energy in every limb.

She wasn’t sure if it was the right expression, but she felt a robust vitality, akin to the vigorous blood of youth – that was the perfect way to describe it.

And most importantly, her lower back.

She had only turned her body lightly as if to stretch, yet it felt both light and smooth, as if it were a lie.

No – it was not just a feeling of softness; it was as if the structure of her lower back had slightly changed…

It seemed unlikely, but at least that was how it felt, nearly on par with such a possibility.

“Could it be…”

Chae Eun-bi got up from her spot, albeit hesitantly, and took a swing stance with a little wobble.

If her back really had healed, if she could play golf again…

“No, that’s not right.”

But she shook her head and sat back down on the bed.

It wasn’t that she thought it impossible, rather she was afraid to move hastily and worsen her condition.

Especially in a situation seeming full of possibility, she needed to be even more cautious.

‘I might ruin it all if I get carried away, right?’

However, the desire to check her condition was as strong as a chimney of smoke, so Chae Eun-bi tapped her cheek a couple of times, as if hypnotizing herself.

“Uh, what’s this?”

She was startled by the disparity between the time she thought had passed and the time shown on the clock that suddenly caught her eye.

“Was I asleep for an hour?”

It was a deep sleep without dreams.

Though she felt as if she had merely dozed off for a moment, an hour had in fact gone by.

Reaching for her smartphone, she confirmed the time once again, but the clock had not been wrong.

‘Ah… then that “uncle” must have gone home by now.’

Initially, she did not expect much from the massage, thinking, ‘I’ll be content with a meal from uncle,’ but unexpectedly, the massage had been surprisingly beneficial, and the meal with uncle was missed.

Of course, the current situation was better, but still, it left an undeniable feeling of regret in her.

With a slight frown, Chae Eun-bi heaved a small sigh.

She felt a complex emotion, hard to articulate, like a weight pressing down on her heart.

“Are you awake?”

But in the next moment.

The closed door opened, and a soft orange light filled the previously dark room.

It was the preliminary lighting activated before turning on the brighter white lights, so as not to hurt the eyes.

The person who entered, turning on the light and stepping into the room, was none other than Kang Tae-han.

When Chae Eun-bi made eye contact with him, he lightly smiled and carefully placed the refreshments on the small table.

“Uh… what?”

On the other hand, Chae Eun-bi’s eyes widened in surprise.

It was nearly 9 o’clock.

Considering he’d said he’d be off work by 7, there had to be a reason for him to still be here…

“You waited for me?”

At Chae Eun-bi’s words, Kang Tae-han let out a light chuckle.

“The staff who normally prepares the tea had already left… You said something earlier, Eun-bi.”

“What did I say?”

“That we have to eat together.”

Right after being affected by Kang Tae-han’s sleep-inducing acupressure, Chae Eun-bi had murmured in pain something along those lines.

Though it sounded like sleep talk, her pronunciation slurred, and it was so faint you wouldn’t hear it unless you paid close attention… Kang Tae-han had distinctly heard it.

“Probably you said something like, ‘I have to eat with brother.’ Although it was very unclear.”

“Eh? Really?”

“Yes. So, I was waiting.”

Hearing this, Kang Tae-han chuckled, covered her with a blanket, and left the room.

He went to the fitness club for his usual workout and then returned here.

“Well, I had asked you to come to Seoul, and since you actually came, it only seemed right to have a meal together.”

“Right? Ha ha, it would be too heartless to part without one! After all the way to Seoul!”

Chae Eun-bi chuckled awkwardly, her speech tangled, still overwhelmed by the massage’s effect, feeling her face and ears flush with warmth.

“Is there anything particular you’d like to eat?”

“Well, I’m not sure?”

“There aren’t many places open at this hour… Would you like some potato soup?”

“Oh, I like potato soup. Pork bone soup is good, too.”

“That’s good to hear. Then, take your time with the tea, and we can go.”

Kang Tae-han, with a gentle smile, switched the warm orange light for the bright white light and left the room.

Chae Eun-bi stared at the closed door for a while, lost in thought.

“Ah…”

At that, she absently rubbed her head vigorously, although her expression betrayed a smile curling at the corners of her mouth.

‘It would have been a pity if I missed out.’

A situation where both concerns were resolved – her back felt better, and she was going to have a meal, catching both rabbits.

The fact that she had been embarrassingly talking in her sleep seemed a small price to pay for these good results.

“But then… can I now call him ‘brother’?”

Though she hadn’t yet asked his age, Kang Tae-han did not seem old enough to be called ‘uncle.’

There was a somehow oddly mature air about him, but that was it.

It felt limiting to place a boundary in the relationship, and she was pondering when to change how she addressed him… Unexpectedly, she had set that change in motion.

“Kang Tae-han, brother…”

Brother Tae-han. Brother Tae-han.

Somehow, the feeling was unusual.

Chae Eun-bi realized anew that she hadn’t often had the occasion to call someone ‘oppa’ and, practicing the pronunciation a few times to herself, picked up the teacup placed on the table.

“Eh, what’s this?”

It was surprisingly tasty.

Expecting it to taste like instant green tea, she was caught off guard by a sweet and slightly bitter flavor that clung pleasingly to her palate.

It had the distinct taste of something handmade, not mass-produced.

…Could it be this was also specially made for me?

Nah. Even so, that would be going too far.

Shaking her head lightly, Chae Eun-bi took another sip of tea.

* * *

“Hem-hem. Excuse me, mister…”

After clearing her throat needlessly, Chae Eun-bi called out to Kang Tae-han using the more formal ‘mister,’ as she had done originally.

She had previously thought, ‘Just call him oppa and be done with it,’ but when it came down to it, the words just wouldn’t leave her mouth.

“What’s up?”

“It’s nothing big… It’s just that you’re not really old enough to be called mister, right? Didn’t you say you were twenty-six?”

“That’s right. Twenty-six.”

“So, I was thinking… maybe there’s a better way to address you than mister. Don’t you think?”

While saying this, Chae Eun-bi glanced at Kang Tae-han, looking for his reaction.

Kang Tae-han once again had a puzzled expression.

It felt as if she was asking about something that was too obvious.

“Then just call me oppa.”

“That… right? Hehe. It’s just that I’m not used to calling someone oppa.”

“Why make a fuss over it? You already called me that earlier.”

“That was just in my sleep, you know. It’s different when I’m awake. Besides, I’m twenty, so just speak comfortably to me.”

“I don’t mind. Shall we do that then?”

Kang Tae-han smiled a slight smile.

The feeling of having a younger sister wasn’t too bad.

As naturally as if it had always been that way, he continued the conversation.

‘Ah, this is ridiculous.’

She hadn’t expected to feel so nervous over changing how she addressed someone.

Having achieved her goal, Chae Eun-bi let out a small sigh of relief.

“By the way, how’s your back?”

“Oh, it’s actually a lot better. It feels different, you know? If I had to make a comparison… it’s like swapping a generic golf club for a high-end one.”

Chae Eun-bi twisted her waist lightly from side to side as she spoke.

Her words might have been an exaggeration, but they weren’t untrue.

After all, her condition had improved significantly with the rearrangement of her acupuncture points, better than it had been when she was healthy.

However, she was still not fully healed.

Kang Tae-han, looking at her smiling, said, “Still, don’t overdo it for a while. Wait a sufficient recovery period before you play golf again.”

“Hmm… how many weeks should I wait?”

Seeing Chae Eun-bi’s face grow tense at Kang Tae-han’s seemingly strict tone, it was clear that she understood how delicate and sensitive the back could be, and how even minor injuries can take a long time to fully heal.

In cases like a slipped disc, it’s almost a lifelong commitment to manage it.

Although the current feeling in her back was very good, if not managed correctly, it could suddenly deteriorate or revert to its original state.

But she was aware of that risk already.

If it meant being able to return to being a professional golfer, she wouldn’t mind focusing solely on recovery for months or even years if necessary.

“Well, you should go to bed early for about three days.”

“…Three days?”

However, the period Kang Tae-han mentioned was astonishingly short, making all her seriousness seem unwarranted.

Chae Eun-bi couldn’t help but ask him again without realizing it.

“Why? Is there some TV show you need to watch at night? Even so, sufficient sleep is essential for recovery.”

“…Pfft.”

Hahahaha.

Unable to hold it in, Chae Eun-bi burst into laughter.

Seeing Kang Tae-han seriously speaking such ludicrous words, laughter just came bursting out.

“…If you laugh too much, it might put pressure on your back?”

“No, it’s just… hehe, it’s ridiculous. To think that three days will do it. Hahaha.”

Ignoring him, Chae Eun-bi continued to laugh, and a quietly watching Kang Tae-han extended a tissue to her with a soft smile.

Was it thanks to a wish being somehow fulfilled?

Tears began to flow endlessly from her eyes as she laughed.

* * *

“…What’s that?”

On a tropical island located off the coast of Thailand, Yoo Se-ah, who was waiting to shoot, suddenly turned her head at the sensation of a peculiar energy.

It was a chill down her spine, so to speak.

By chance, the direction in which Yoo Se-ah turned her head was toward her home country, Korea.

‘It feels like… there’s been a break-in at home.’

That cold, ominous premonition.

It was a feeling similar to when her younger sister had sneakily eaten the macarons she had hidden deep in the fridge.

“Um, Se-ah, miss?”

“…Yes?”

“Is something wrong? You look quite sharp.”

A nearby assistant director casually inquired.

Usually, she never snapped at the other actors, let alone the filming staff, but now her expression was rigid and her eyes carried a cold energy.

“Hmm… Really? I’m fine, though.”

But the next moment, Yoo Se-ah’s face relaxed and her eyes naturally curved into a tender arch.

Truly befitting of an actress, she managed her expression naturally.

“…Oh. Now that I see, it may have been my imagination?”

“Maybe your blood sugar dropped?”

“Ah, that could be it.”

The assistant director shaded his eyes from the sun with his hand as he looked up at the sky.

While the day was coming to an end, it had been hot, and it wasn’t unusual for someone to lose concentration due to dehydration or low blood sugar.

“Should I get you a snack or something?”

“Would that be okay to ask for?”

“Haha. If it’s for miss Se-ah, I’ll do anything.”

Waving his hand, the assistant director walked away. Once he was far enough, Yoo Se-ah turned her gaze once more towards the direction from which the ominous feeling was emanating.



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