The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 47

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“Seonghyeon, take this.”

“What is this?”

Choi Seonghyeon accepted the box-shaped bundle that Kang Taehan handed over.

The cloth covering it was soft, and with occasional embroidery, it appeared to be quite valuable.

“It’s what you said you needed last time.”

“So, what is it?”

Son, why would he get something like this?

Choi Seonghyeon, with a slight expression of anticipation, unwrapped the bundle.

The knot looked complicated but unraveled smoothly with a pull on the end.

From inside emerged… a ginseng extract gift set.

“Why all of a sudden?”

Choi Seonghyeon’s face subtly wrinkled as if he had already taken a spoonful of the ginseng extract.

There’s a certain expectation people have about gifts, and this one was definitely outside the norm.

Surely not something friends in their twenties would typically exchange.

“You said you were lacking energy the other day.”

“So, what’s the real intention here?”

“I received quite a bit of gifts recently. I can’t finish them all by myself.”

Gifts sent by players of Hanha.

Not only from players who had massages and saw the benefits, but even those who hadn’t yet received massages were sending gifts, asking if they could ‘perhaps get one a bit sooner.’

Furthermore, it seemed there was a guideline within the club, as each gift was invariably either Korean beef or ginseng.

And so, the gifts of beef and ginseng piled up in the KakaoTalk gift box.

Beef had storage issues, so he thought better of bringing it, and since there was enough ginseng, he decided to share it with people around him.

“No wonder.”

At Kang Taehan’s words, Choi Seonghyeon let out a snicker as if he had expected as much.

Even for someone as unperceptive as this guy, suddenly giving ginseng as a gift was just odd.

“But is it okay to just eat this? I heard you shouldn’t take ginseng lightly if it doesn’t suit your constitution.”

“You’re on the more compatible side so it should be fine.”

“Really?”

Choi Seonghyeon, who normally wouldn’t have, somehow found Kang Taehan’s words credible lately.

Especially when it came to health-related matters.

Choi Seonghyeon gave a light shrug.

“If I’ve received it, I should enjoy it. Thanks.”

Choi Seonghyeon opened the cabinet where he kept his clothing and placed the gift set inside.

“And there’s also this gift.”

“Another one? After ginseng, what’s next—mountain ginseng? …Ah?”

Choi Seonghyeon turned around, chuckling.

However, his expression immediately brightened upon seeing what Kang Taehan was holding.

A baseball, with an autograph written across it.

“Is this really a Choi Taejoon signed ball?”

“Oh… You recognized it right away?”

“Hey, thanks!”

His reaction was completely different from when he received the ginseng!

Choi Seonghyeon admired the signed baseball from all angles, grinning from ear to ear, while Kang Taehan chuckled softly, feeling a sense of satisfaction.

“Is Taehan here by any chance?”

During this exchange, Manager Hwang entered the locker room.

Kang Taehan brightened up as he had a gift for Manager Hwang as well.

“Perfect timing, Manager. I have something for you.”

“Oh, really? What is it?”

Kang Taehan took another bundle out of the cabinet.

Manager Hwang’s face showed a mix of complex emotions upon receiving the bundle.

“Uh… Have you made a decision?”

Ginseng is known as a high-value gift that demonstrates sincerity, along with Korean beef.

Such a gift suddenly presented could indicate something… like a gracious or an apologetic gift.

“I believe you’ll do well wherever you go, Taehan. But make sure to let me know where you’re heading to so I can book in advance.”

Manager Hwang patted Kang Taehan’s shoulder, smiling warmly yet with a hint of sadness in his eyes.

“What? What are you talking about?”

Kang Taehan, utterly perplexed and unaware of the manager’s thoughts, just replied in disbelief.

“What… You’re not moving to another shop, are you?”

“No, it’s just a ginseng gift.”

A moment of silence ensued.

Manager Hwang, standing there dumbfounded, looked back and forth between Kang Taehan and the bundle and then, with an embarrassed cough, spoke.

“Hem hem. I’ll enjoy it, thank you, Taehan. But the customers will be here soon, so I need to go to the counter.”

When embarrassed, it’s not a bad strategy to escape the situation.

Manager Hwang, holding the ginseng extract set, hurried out of the locker room.

* * *

‘Ah… Something’s missing.’

Webtoon artist Lee Byungho lay in bed, deep in thought.

He was in a room at the massage parlor he had booked, but his mind was fully occupied with the plot of the episode and the new character he had come up with at the bathhouse.

He was on the verge of wrapping things up, but something still felt incomplete.

‘That person’s vibe was just right.’

The person he had encountered at the bathhouse.

When he saw him, Lee Byungho immediately thought, ‘Isn’t that just the vibe of a young man who has been through half-returning portals?’

However, staring at someone in a bathhouse wasn’t the most polite thing to do, so he had averted his gaze, which seemed to have put a damper on his inspiration.

“After all, should I really be coming up with a new character now?”

His main storyboarding wasn’t even completed yet.

Lee Byungho sighed bitterly.

Knock knock.

At that moment, someone knocked on the door.

When Lee Byungho responded to the knock, the door opened, and a massage therapist entered the room.

“…Wow.”

Lee Byungho gasped for a moment when he saw the face of the masseur.

It was none other than Kang Taehan, the person he had seen in the bathhouse.

“Is there a problem?”

“No… No, there isn’t.”

Lee Byungho shook his head, but his gaze stayed on Kang Taehan.

It would be odd to say, but he sensed an aura of a martial artist coming from him.

“Hmm… The body’s vitality seems to be waning.”

Kang Taehan, who had been examining him, lightly stroked his chin and spoke.

“You’ve been sitting for long periods… And it looks like you’ve been living a routine of sleeping in the morning and waking up in the day for the past few months, haven’t you?”

“…Yes, that’s correct.”.

It was eerily accurate.

Lee Byungho puzzled over whether he had ever conducted a survey or anything similar but came up empty; no such memory existed.

“First, lay down on your stomach.”

“Understood.”

Initially, there was only a sense of mystery, but due to the recent question and answer session, an element of trust had compounded that feeling.

Byungho obediently followed the instruction and lay face down on the bed.

“Ugh…”

And at the moment Kang Taehan’s hand touched his back,

Byungho involuntarily took a short breath.

A heavy weight spread warmth throughout his body.

It felt like he was being overpowered by just one hand; yet at the same time, there was a soothing heat that seemed to relieve tension from every corner of his body—two opposing sensations existing simultaneously.

‘Is this what it feels like to be taught a secret technique by a master in the novels…?’

Lost in the strange sensation, Byungho was reminded of a scene from his own writing.

The genre of the novel he was serializing was fusion martial arts.

It was just a hand on his back, yet it inspired an outpouring of inspiration, as if his creativity was being ignited.

“Hmm… Your strength has definitely weakened a lot.”

Meanwhile, Kang Taehan, examining Byungho’s condition, displayed a somewhat ambiguous expression.

His vital and energy levels were nearly depleted.

Additionally, his muscles appeared to have lost their power from lack of exercise.

Whatever his occupation may be, his reversed day-night schedule seemed to have significantly impacted him.

“The state of your wrists is particularly worrying.”

“Eh? Oh… yes. Due to work.”

While Byungho responded, a question arose in his mind.

Did this man check my wrists?

No, he just placed a hand on my back.

It was an incredible occurrence.

‘Like something out of a martial arts master…?’

However, Byungho’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted.

“AAARGH!”

The moment Kang Taehan finished his diagnosis and began to stimulate the wing bones at the back of Byungho’s shoulders, a scream akin to the death throes of a third-rate villain burst out.

“Does it hurt?”

“Yes, yes!”

Byungho spoke in a rushed voice.

He had intended to move his arms, but they wouldn’t respond, presumably due to the acupressure.

“At least that’s a relief. In truly serious cases, you wouldn’t even feel pain.”

“Then maybe it would be better to have it when it’s serious… URGH!”

Perhaps undergoing treatment during a severe condition might have been preferable?

Byungho tried to voice this thought, but once more, his words were cut short.

The sensation of his knotted muscles being unraveled was enough to whitewash his mind.

“Gasp, gasp…”

Initially, he writhed with each application of pressure, but as time passed, he simply lay exhausted, gasping for air.

After loosening the shoulders, moving down the spine to the waist, and then to the calves…

As Kang Taehan released the tension from various muscles, Byungho’s complexion began to brighten.

‘What, what’s this?’

After a full massage, his body felt torn and sore all over, yet there was also a fresh sensation bubbling up from various areas.

It gradually spread throughout, like water seeping into a freshly ploughed field.

A feeling of purification swept over his entire body.

The pained panting eventually gave way to breaths tinged with faint pleasure.

‘Almost as if… all the meridians in my body are open.’

As his consciousness returned, Byungho connected this experience with scenes from the martial arts novels.

However, there was one crucial misconception.

‘Since the muscles are done, it’s about time to start working on the meridians.’

Until now, Kang Taehan had only loosened the muscles; he hadn’t even begun to truly address the vital acupressure points.

Starting from the spine and opening the meridians, creating avenues for stagnant energy to escape and invigorating the Qi pooled at the dantian.

Byungho was oblivious to the fact that his body was undergoing this process.

The muscle relaxation was merely a preliminary step leading to the main event.

Eventually, Byungho could form coherent thoughts only after Kang Taehan had finished the entire massage.

* * *

As the afternoon was about to begin,

“Ah, Mr. Taehan! The ginseng was excellent.”

“Thank you. I feel somewhat rejuvenated.”

Kang Taehan entered the break room, where other masseurs thanked him.

Although he had given gift sets only to Cho Seonghyun and Director Hwang, it seemed unfair to only give to two when others were around.

He had none of it for himself, so he brought some sets that could be shared individually, placing them in the break room for the other masseurs to take as they wished.

“Don’t mention it.”

Kang Taehan lightly smiled and replied to their gratitude.

It wasn’t an act done for thanks, but the appreciation didn’t feel bad.

‘…Oh right.’

Suddenly remembering he had business with Director Hwang, Taehan stepped out of the break room…

“Sir!”

Someone in the lobby, who had been waiting for him, approached Kang Taehan with quick steps.

‘The client from three sessions ago.’

Webtoon artist Lee Byungho—he wasn’t someone Taehan knew personally, but not an unfamiliar face either.

Taehan casually inquired,

“Is there something you need?”

“Sir, I was wondering… could I possibly ask you for a favor?”

The man asked with a desperate look in his eyes.

It didn’t seem to be a simple request for more massages or an inquiry about getting an earlier booking.

“Let’s hear it first.”

As Taehan nodded, Byungho immediately bowed 90 degrees and said,

“Please, teach me the way!”

“…Excuse me?”

For a moment, Taehan reflexively scanned the surroundings.

Sure enough, a few customers had turned their gazes toward them.

An expression as if to say ‘what on earth is happening?’

“…Sorry, I’m not that kind of person.”

Even though in the martial world he had once been the leader of an evil sect… at least in the modern era, he had no connections with any suspicious religious groups nor the intention to affiliate.

Though he seemed composed at a glance, Taehan waived his hands and spoke with the most flustered expression since returning to the modern world.



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