The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 58

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

Kang Taehan glanced down at the signature on the table before picking it up again, looking at it with interest as if it intrigued him. The signature was dynamic, filled with strength, giving off an impression of fluid power. Below it, along with today’s date, was a sentence saying, ‘Wishing you, Mr. Kang Ho-yeon, a life full of good fortune.’

“Thank you. My father will be delighted.”

“I hope he is,” said Kang Taehan with a light smile, and Jo Chanyeok nodded with pride, feeling the sincerity in Kang Taehan’s words.

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Perhaps he may want five more autographs, or a picture together, or maybe a note under the signature saying ‘Truly refreshing. Highly recommended.’ Jo Chanyeok recalled the usual requests he received when someone recognized him in the store. For some reason, store owners seemed to view his photo or signature as some sort of talisman for business prosperity. Although he felt a little burdened when asked for such favors, he was willing to oblige if Kang Taehan wanted it.

“No, I couldn’t possibly disturb you further on your break.”

With a firm tone, Kang Taehan gracefully declined, got up with the signed paper in hand, and gave a polite bow.

“All the formalities are done; have some tea, relax, and feel free to leave whenever you’re comfortable.”

With that, Kang Taehan left those words behind, opened the door, and stepped back outside. He had only requested a single autograph and left with just that.

‘It seems he doesn’t think much of this.’

Having been saved from losing consciousness on the street and gifted perfect relaxation like this, one could argue that Kang Taehan had the right to show off a bit more, or to ask for more favors. It was a situation where even an ordinary person could flaunt such an experience…

Though he wouldn’t admit it himself, he was relatively famous and wealthy, after all.

Someone else might think, ‘Let’s take advantage of the situation!’ But Kang Taehan only asked for one autograph and nothing more, as if he had merely done his job.

Considering he even said the autograph was for his father, it seemed Kang Taehan truly treated Jo Chanyeok as just another client, and himself as solely a massage therapist.

“…He’s truly an admirable person.”

Whether to call it professional integrity or a sign of a great character, Jo Chanyeok felt the urge to share a meal with him if the opportunity arose.

With this thought, he quietly picked up a cup of arrowroot tea from the table.

* * *

Screech.

“Ah, he’s coming out, he’s coming out!”

“Act natural, act natural!”

As the door to the inner room opened and Jo Chanyeok came out, a massage therapist quickly tidied up their appearance and stood at attention.

‘The autographed paper… It’s over there.’

A glance was stealthily thrown to the corner of the counter to check on the paper prepared after a trip down to the stationery store.

As the guest stepped out of the room into the corridor, the massage therapist, Choi Seonghyun, greeted him respectfully with hands folded and a bow.

“Did you enjoy the massage?”

The greeting was reminiscent of a high-end restaurant’s waiter… or perhaps a mimicry of one.

“Ah… Yes, it was very good.”

“I’m glad you had a pleasant time,” the smooth transition by Manager Hwang at the counter seemed almost scripted. With years of refining his smile, he lightly bowed in greeting.

“Would you like a candy, perhaps?”

“Candy… you say?”

“Yes. After a massage, when the body tires and needs sugar, we always keep candies ready for our customers.”

Manager Hwang gestured towards a small basket next to the card signing machine, filled with an assortment of inexpensive candies like strawberry, green grape, and mint.

‘Why are they acting like this…’

A seasoned actor, Jo Chanyeok could immediately spot an awkward or overacted performance.

Sensing something amiss, he scanned his surroundings and spotted several autographed papers tucked away in the corner of the counter, quickly grasping the situation.

“Do you need an autograph?”

“Hahaha… Yes.”

Choi Seonghyun, still standing like a waiter, laughed awkwardly and then quickly nodded affirmatively.

Seeing this, Jo Chanyeok let out a chuckle.

“You could have just asked.”

Known for his kindness to fans, Jo Chanyeok wasn’t always averse to giving autographs…

Especially if he felt as good as he did at the moment, he was more than willing to oblige.

“What’s your name?”

“Hehe, Choi Seonghyun.”

“Hmm, hmm. I’m Hwang Jaehwan.”

“Choi Seonghyun and… Hwang Jaehwan.”

With a grin, Jo Chanyeok moved the pen to complete the signatures.

“Is that… Jo Chanyeok there?”

“What? Why would he be here… Oh?”

“It doesn’t just look like him.”

Observing this were a few clients who had come for a late massage after 8 o’clock.

“Wow, this must be the massage parlor Jo Chanyeok visits?”

“I knew it had good reviews, but to this extent? This is crazy!”

A celebrity’s chosen shop!

The magic contained in that phrase was far from trivial, especially when it pertained to Jo Chanyeok.

A noticeable change was apparent in the eyes of the clients surveying the shop.

“This… The signature is impressive.”

As the signature reached completion, Manager Hwang examined it from different angles, almost as if it were a piece of art. Choi Seonghyun wore a similar expression.

Jo Chanyeok watched them both with a mild smile when suddenly, he noticed a menu for massages lying next to him and asked a question.

“Excuse me, but is it true that Mr. Kang only works until 7 pm?”

The question arose from the time table listed on the menu, which showed Kang Taehan’s Artisan Course was only available until 7 pm, yet Jo Chanyeok had arrived slightly after that time.

“Yes, it’s always been like that.”

“…I see.”

It seemed that Kang Taehan had given him special treatment, as he had said he’d make an exception. Gratitude for Kang Taehan welled up within Jo Chanyeok.

“I’d like to make a reservation, if possible.”

Gratitude aside, the immediate thought that crossed his mind was, ‘I should book now for the next time.’ He had only just finished a massage session, yet he was already looking forward to the next.

“Yes, of course…”

“Shall we take a look at the booking chart first?”

Let’s see.

Cho Chan-hyuk received the chart that Director Hwang had pulled out.

Days that were fully booked were marked with an X on the chart…

“Is this, by any chance, fully booked until the week after next?”

“For now, yes. Sometimes there are cancellations.”

The Xs were marked without exception, except for Wednesdays and Thursdays up to two weeks later.

Even on days without an X, the prime time slots were nearly filled.

Weekends, in particular, were hard to book even three weeks in advance.

Realizing that he hadn’t just received special treatment, but rather exceptionally special treatment, Cho Chan-hyuk said,

“…Director, by any chance.”

Then, Cho Chan-hyuk subtly slid a business card across the counter.

“If a spot opens up due to cancellation, could you let me know?”

“That’s not possible.”

A firm answer, quite different from moments ago!

While saying this, Director Hwang carelessly hid the signed business card behind his back.

Although he didn’t expect Cho to ask for it back, he hid it just in case.

“I see it’s not possible…”

Cho Chan-hyuk sighed softly with a look of disappointment.

Then, he started checking his schedule on his smartphone for three weeks later.

“It seems Cho Chan-hyuk has to book like everyone else…”

“Wow, no way around it.”

Meanwhile, as the customers observed this scene, the trust and reputation of the establishment continued to rise.

* * *

A golf course located in Taean.

The grass was excellently maintained, the terrain was diverse, offering satisfactory distances, making it a venue for both small and big tournaments.

“Ah, it’s been a while.”

Standing on the grass, Chae Eun-bi adjusted the angle of her sun cap and stretched briefly.

She twisted her waist just slightly to see if everything felt all right and then confidently swung from side to side.

‘Who would’ve thought three days would be enough.’

Remembering the massage she received from Kang Tae-han, Chae Eun-bi laughed to herself.

‘I should golf only after a sufficient recovery period.’

‘How many weeks do you suggest?’

‘Let’s see. It would be best if you went to bed early for about three days.’

She had laughed at the time, but to be honest, she had her doubts.

How could the injury that almost ended her professional career heal in just three days?

However, Kang Tae-han’s words were not false.

Chae Eun-bi cautiously began her rehabilitation exercises three days later, finding her condition better than expected, and she soon started swinging her golf clubs again the following week.

Perhaps it was because she was still young, or maybe because she never stopped mentally practicing her swings, but her lost touch returned quickly, and she was soon ready to return to the green.

And now.

“Attention, contestants for the regular member selection preliminaries, please proceed to your holes.”

She was here participating in the Women’s Professional Golf Association’s pro test, the selection tournament for regular members, which takes place in the second half of the year.

It was a must-pass exam to become an official professional golfer, equivalent to the tour pro selection event for female golfers.

Chae Eun-bi had previously obtained provisional member status, but due to her injury and her inability to swing properly, she hadn’t had the courage to partake in the selection tournament.

Having given up on her dream and tried to forget, she had now returned to the starting line.

She had been resting for a while, and although her aim was to regain her feel for tournaments, she was overwhelmed with emotion just by being there.

“Now, please check your order and we will start.”

Following the guide, Chae Eun-bi had reached the tee box, and she lightly checked the field and the wind conditions.

It had been a long time, and she felt a flutter of excitement.

“Oh my, Eun-bi!”

While waiting her turn, a voice called her from behind.

She turned her head and saw a familiar face.

“It’s been a long time! Hey, come here! Eun-bi, Eun-bi!”

“Really? Why is she here?”

The familiar face appeared as she waved and called.

The two had happy expressions, but one corner of their lips was slightly raised in a mocking smile.

“Didn’t think we’d see you again. Can you swing now?”

“Is your back all healed? Anyway, it’s good to see you.”

“But no news from anywhere… Oh, maybe you’ve been active in the amateur league? I guess that’s possible.”

Though they seemed to be greeting a long-time acquaintance, their condescending tone was unmistakable.

Meanwhile, Chae Eun-bi scrutinized their faces and shook her head.

“Sorry. I can’t remember your names.”

“What?”

“Sorry, I said. It’s been a while since I left the field.”

She remembered their faces.

They were competitors who often failed to win because their results were always below hers.

She even recalled the qualifying event for provisional members where she had narrowly advanced and the two of them had failed.

At the time, their rivalry had been cumbersome, so she remembered their faces.

But still, their names did not come to mind.

“You know, we are older than you.”

“Ah… is that so? I’m really sorry.”

Chae Eun-bi shrugged and apologized again before continuing on her way.

She didn’t want to waste time on unimportant people, especially not when she was excited about her first tournament in a while.

‘Now then…’

It was her turn.

Though it was her first tournament in a long time, she felt an unusual absence of nervousness.

Instead of worry, there was excitement; rather than tension, there was exhilaration.

‘Ah-ha.’

She realized that she wasn’t worried about the outcome of the tournament, but rather she was simply enjoying the moment.

The breeze was nice, the field was open and refreshing, and her back felt as if it had been oiled, smooth and supple.

Then, the next moment.

Bang!

Her golf club struck the ball cleanly, following a neat trajectory.

The ball, which disappeared with a crisp sound, drew a large arc in the sky and landed on the green, rolling towards the flag and slipping into the hole.

“…An eagle on the first try?”

“A hole-in-one right off the bat?”

It was an unprecedented intimidation.

The surrounding crowd buzzed.

Especially the expressions of the two who had quarreled earlier worsened noticeably.

“I’m on a roll today!”

No matter what others thought, Chae Eun-bi laughed heartily, clenching her right fist tightly.

If she could, she’d love to show Kang Tae-han that last shot.



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