The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 5

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“Did I Use Too Much Strength?”

After his first customer, Nam Woo-hyun, had left the room, Kang Tae-han tidied up and thought back to what had just happened. “I must have concentrated without realizing it.” Originally, he intended to do the job casually, following the initial manual he was taught. However, as soon as he saw the man’s condition upon entering, his body moved on its own. Where the problem was, how and where to look.

The overall picture moved roughly, and his hands moved with it. So focused was he on this that he stopped paying attention to his tone of speech from the middle of the session. No, not from the middle—it had been that way from the beginning.

This would usually be an easy task for him, but it seemed his concentration had declined alongside his returning physical strength. “I could get a claim if I’m not careful.” It was not acceptable for a service provider to be using informal language with a client, and Kang Tae-han, despite having lived in the martial arts world for sixty years, remembered this common knowledge.

“Just a moment, Tae-han ssi!” As he emerged from the room after tidying up, Manager Hwang from the lobby called him over. At first glance, her expression was hard to read.

“Is something the matter?” Kang Tae-han asked.

“Something the matter? Of course, there is! Hahaha.” But the next moment, the corners of Manager Hwang’s mouth curled up into a hearty laugh. “Tae-han ssi, your skills are no joke, eh? The customer from earlier was asking for your name and even took our business card, saying they’d definitely become a regular!”

Taking the shop’s business card and asking for the masseur’s name are both signs of a high probability of a return visit, and indicators of extremely high satisfaction with the service provided.

To be frank, this is a massage shop attached to a sauna. Most customers come after using the sauna, and securing regular visitors can be quite difficult. That’s why leaving a good impression on the first visit is crucial, and this positive response was beyond expectations. “Honestly, I was a bit worried, but it seems my worries were unfounded. Please keep doing this.”

“Understood.” Kang Tae-han, too, smiled lightly. He had been worried, but it felt good to hear things had gone well. It also meant he had maintained the honor of Choi Seong-hyun, who recommended him.

“Oh. I shouldn’t keep someone who’s tired standing around. Go on in and rest.”

Manager Hwang suddenly apologized, seemingly just remembering that Kang Tae-han had just finished his work. “Then, I’ll head inside.”


Kang Tae-han bowed politely and headed to the break room. Manager Hwang quietly watched his departing figure, then softly exclaimed in admiration. “Is he really the same age as Seong-hyun? He doesn’t seem like a student.”

When you work in a sauna, you see many people, and naturally, you develop a skill for reading them. Manager Hwang could generally gauge what someone was like after a brief conversation, but Kang Tae-han, this student—defining him was difficult. Was it that he had a different depth, or was his atmosphere unusually significant? Either way, he certainly did not have the impression of an ordinary university student.

* * *


Meanwhile, Kang Tae-han, having entered the break room, sat down on a chair inside the dressing area and leaned back. This was the least populated spot inside.

“I should start releasing it slowly.”

Kang Tae-han crossed his legs in a lotus position on the chair. His hands rested lightly on his knees, his eyes slowly closing like feathers settling down, his consciousness focused inward.

The excessive life energy (生氣) that had clogged Nam Woo-hyun’s lower abdomen (下丹田) had now moved into Kang Tae-han’s own dantian. The Absorbing Stars Great Method (吸星大法) was a martial art technique that could draw the energy from others—it was the first fortuitous martial arts technique Kang Tae-han had learned in the martial world, and it had helped him survive many desperate situations.

“I never thought I’d use it again.”

The Absorbing Stars Great Method can be used without internal strength; in fact, it’s easier to use when one lacks it. The principle relies on emptying one’s own dantian and using the resulting pressure differential to absorb the opponent’s energy. However, it only absorbs the energy; turning it into one’s own requires a separate process. If the absorbed energy is embraced as is, it may cause trouble, and if the compatibility is extremely poor, it can lead to demonic possession, thus careful management is necessary.

Well, it was something Kang Tae-han had experienced frequently at one time.

He slowly lifted his hands. He then flowed the energy within his body through his hands. In his right hand, he placed the internal strength he had stored in his middle dantian. In his left, the life energy he had absorbed from Nam Woo-hyun’s lower dantian. Once he felt both hands filled with energy, he made a large arc with each, drawing a yin-yang pattern and brought them together at the center, naturally forming a gesture of prayer.

The Taoist Clear Heart Method (太清心功) from the Wudang sect and the Muscle Change Classic (易筋經) from the Shaolin Temple were principles Kang Tae-han utilized to create a new method of managing internal strength and storing it orderly within the body.

The twin energies in his hands achieved harmony through the Clear Heart Method principle, were ordered properly in the body’s center via the mysteries of the Muscle Change Classic, and were united as one through the prayer gesture.

The reorganized internal energy was then returned to the dantian…

Letting it pass, it’s over.

Kang Tae-han slowly opened his eyes, which he had kept closed until that moment.


Kang Tae-han let out a long breath.

At most, two minutes.

That’s all the time that had passed, yet Kang Tae-han’s whole body was drenched in sweat, and his energy was depleted.

Had he absorbed even twice the amount, he would have certainly collapsed from exhaustion midway.

‘Still… it’s not a bad result.’

The energy he absorbed from Nam Woo-hyun.

Of course, it was meager compared to his time in the Murim, comparable to a single grain of sand.

However, to the current Kang Tae-han, this was nothing short of a feast.

Vigor that not only filled his dantian but also influenced his blood flow.

An ordinary person’s dantian could only be so large, but the amount he now held was roughly 1.5 times his own internal energy.

Of course, there were losses during the absorption process, and the energy, having stagnated for a long time, had become turbid, but still, Kang Tae-han’s internal power had nearly doubled in an instant.

“Hmm, it might not be as bad as I thought.”

Modern times are filled with nutrition and where dieting is a virtue.

Although clients like the one he just had will not be the norm, they won’t be rare either.

If so, there will be plenty of opportunities to amass internal energy.

Earning money while building internal power — it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

“Hey, Tae-han! What are you doing here?”

Just then, Choi Seong-hyun appeared, opening the door to the changing room.

He must have finished his massage too, judging by his absence from the break room a moment ago.

“Just taking a break.”

“It’s cool outside, why don’t you rest out there instead of staying here?”

“I left my smartphone in my clothes when I came out.”

Kang Tae-han said, shaking the smartphone he picked up.

It was an excuse that came to his mind just now, not a bad one at that.


The part-time job went as Choi Seong-hyun said; it wasn’t bad.

He sat in the break room to pass the time and occasionally helped with minor chores, and when his turn came due to the influx of clients, he went out to massage and then returned.

It was a cycle.

“Teacher, will you always be here? I would definitely like to visit again then…”

“That was the best massage out of all I’ve received so far.”

Kang Tae-han had taken on two more clients afterward, and the general satisfaction seemed to be quite decent, even though their tones gradually changed to a more respectful one during the process.

‘I felt like their attitude changed subtly before and after the massage.’

Perhaps it was because he looked young for a masseur?

When Kang Tae-han first entered, there was a client who seemed dissatisfied.

But after the massage, they naturally began addressing him with honorifics like ‘teacher’.

Not just that one — all three clients appeared slightly more respectful after their massages.

‘Well… no complaints were made, so I guess it doesn’t matter.’

In any case, it ended without an issue.

Kang Tae-han shrugged and changed clothes to head out, as it was time to finish his shift.

“Good work today, Seong-hyun.”

“Haha, did work a bit hard today, didn’t I?”

“A lot of clients today. So, shall we hit the evening shift to celebrate?”

“Eh… that’s not it.”

Choi Seong-hyun immediately brushed off Manager Hwang’s comment with a laugh.

Manager Hwang chuckled at his reaction.

“How about you, Tae-han? Not thinking about the evening shift?”

“I have a place to go to.”

“Hmm… If you stay for dinner, I could raise your hourly wage.”


“Not you.”

“Ah… Why though!”

Choi Seong-hyun attempted to sneak in a deal, but he ended up being the only one caught, not Kang Tae-han.

Kang Tae-han just offered a slight smile.

“Thank you, but I really have some business today. Let’s talk again tomorrow.”

“Understood. You worked hard today… Here, this is your performance bonus for the day.”

Manager Hwang said as he pulled an envelope from his pocket.

“Are you giving it to me in cash right away?”

“Haha. We normally give the first day’s performance bonus this way. It’s meant to motivate us to do well together.”

Kang Tae-han bowed slightly and accepted the envelope.

The performance bonus seemed substantial; he could feel its thickness in his hand.

‘This turned out well.’

His funds were running low, even for public transport, so receiving cash immediately was more than welcome.

“How did you find the work?”

“It wasn’t bad. I’m glad I came.”

Kang Tae-han sincerely responded to Choi Seong-hyun’s question as they left.

“Haha, right? I knew it would suit you. Manager Hwang seemed a bit anxious at first, but now it seems you’ve completely won him over.”

Choi Seong-hyun chuckled, looking pleased as if it were his own business, and Kang Tae-han smiled as well.

“Hey? Aren’t you going home?”

“I’m going to stop by somewhere first.”

At the fork where the subway lines split, Choi Seong-hyun finally remembered upon hearing Kang Tae-han’s response.

“Oh right, you mentioned having something to do.”

“Thought I was just bluffing?”

“People usually say that because they want a break. Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Choi Seong-hyun waved his hand and entered the subway.

Kang Tae-han waved a couple of times at his retreating back, then turned around.

A glance at the subway map caught his eye.

‘The express bus terminal… It’s this way.’

He was unsure if this was the right way, but looking at the map, thankfully, his memory seemed correct.

‘I hope all is well… or rather, nothing has changed.’

Despite his internal worries, time hadn’t passed much here, though for Kang Tae-han, it was his first time in sixty years going to visit his father.

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