The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 60

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

Exhaustion was evident in Park Ho-yeon’s voice, hinting at more than just physical overwork—it was the kind of weariness characteristic of someone lacking mental respite as well. But despite this, his explanation remained incomplete. After a brief pause, Kang Tae-han opened the conversation with a question.

“What exactly did you mean by your mother’s last wish?”

Park Ho-yeon spoke in as controlled a tone as he could manage. [About ten years ago, my father began to show signs of dementia, his mind becoming increasingly erratic. The symptoms worsened over time, and by last year, he stopped talking and could hardly move.]

He had asked his mother, during a brief improvement in her condition, if there was anything she wished for. That was when she expressed a desire to speak with his father again, just like old times. At the time, he had simply agreed, saying he wished for the same, but as her condition deteriorated, those words kept circling his thoughts.

Unfortunately, fulfilling such a wish was beyond his, or anyone’s, capabilities. No one could artificially restore a dementia patient’s consciousness—that was just common sense, the harsh reality.

However.

[That’s why, out of desperation, I am reaching out to you for help.]

His memory of that day was clear—how Kang Tae-han had brought his friend Shin Jun-ho back to consciousness from a comatose state. Maybe, just maybe, Kang Tae-han could restore his father’s mental state, if only temporarily. Clutching onto that slender hope, Park Ho-yeon had made his call.

“Understood.”

Kang Tae-han, who had been quietly listening, slowly nodded, replying in a calm voice.

“Once I’m finished with today’s schedule, I’ll head straight to the hospital.”

[Truly, you have my deepest gratitude.]

“It’s nothing, really. Just heading to Daejeon a day early.”

With that said, Kang Tae-han hung up the phone.

* * *

“I’ll be taking my leave now.”

“You worked hard again today, Tae-han.”

“As did you, Director.”

After wrapping up his last appointment, Kang Tae-han promptly set off for Daejeon.

Driving on the expressway, he reached his destination around 8:30 PM. After parking his car and stepping into the hospital, he encountered Park Ho-yeon waiting in the lobby.

“Thank you for coming.”

“Don’t mention it. But, Director, shouldn’t your presence in the lobby ease your staff?”

Kang Tae-han casually glanced around, teasing, which prompted a chuckle and a shrug from Park Ho-yeon.

“If my staff have difficulty with a family member standing in the ward lobby, then that speaks of a failure in their training, doesn’t it?”

“You’re not wrong.”

“And… it’ll be quicker for me to guide you myself than to have you wait. I’m somewhat impatient.”

Saying so, Park Ho-yeon gestured Kang Tae-han to follow, leading the way. They took the elevator, and Park Ho-yeon pressed the button for the highest floor, the seventh. Walking along the quiet hallway lined with patient rooms, they stopped in front of one.

“This is where my mother is staying.”

With those words, he opened the door and stepped aside, saying, “Please excuse me.”

Kang Tae-han bowed his head slightly and entered the room, immediately sensing the atmosphere.

‘This room… the end is near.’

Every person emits a unique energy, discernible enough to often recognize the individual. However, the energy emitted by someone nearing death is consistently similar—a desolate, grey hue.

The room was saturated with it, and the frail lady on the bed exuded no signs of vitality, only just enough to cling to life.

“My mother’s condition has worsened significantly since contracting pneumonia.”

At Park Ho-yeon’s words, Kang Tae-han slowly nodded and approached the elderly woman’s bedside.

“Yes, but…”

“It’s alright.”

The attending caregiver hesitated, seeking guidance, but stepped back at Park Ho-yeon’s nod.

‘Hmm.’

Standing by the lady, Kang Tae-han gently touched the nape of her neck, gauging her condition. His expression grew sorrowful.

‘There isn’t much that can be done.’

Humans have a finite life force, often referred to as ‘congenital true qi.’ Typically residing at the Mingmen acupoint, this energy can be preserved by proper internal practice, yet cannot be replenished or reversed. This woman’s congenital true qi had almost depleted.

In honesty, she was at the end of her life, barely sustained by modern medicine.

‘Although I could inject some vitality…’

This was largely meaningless as her meridians were too frail or disconnected for proper circulation. It was like pouring water into a broken jar—at best, a few droplets would stick to the shattered pieces, but the jar could no longer hold water.

“How does my mother appear to you?”

Kang Tae-han remained silent, simply shaking his head. He infused a small amount of vitality into her Mingmen acupoint, then slowly withdrew his hand.

“I see.”

Park Ho-yeon nodded slowly in response to Kang Tae-han’s silence, knowing full well the gravity of his mother’s condition as a doctor. His mother might have a few days left at most; even the prospects for the next day were uncertain. Nevertheless, he had held onto a thread of hope.

Just that much.

“What I wanted to ask of you was more on behalf of my father than my mother.”

Restoring my father’s consciousness, at least for a final farewell, that was the original purpose, so I couldn’t yet call it a failure.

Yet, despite that, it was inevitable his face tinged with a trace of sorrow.

* * *

“Father used to be on the 7th floor ward too.”

As they made their way back to the elevator through the corridor, Park Ho Yeon spoke in a subdued voice.

Kang Tae Han followed silently behind him.

“His health was in bad shape, not just mentally. He needed as much rest as possible. Of course, he was not in any state to move about. But then…”

He paused, a complex expression on his face, then continued.

“When mother was admitted to the room next door, he would visit her every day. Despite barely being able to move, he’d come dragging himself to sit silently by her side until a caregiver took him back.”

“Did his condition improve?”

“Not at all. His mind and body remained the same. He was just… pushing himself. That’s how he kept visiting mother every day.”

Their relationship had never been bad.

With that, Park Ho Yeon added a touch more with a melancholic smile.

Was it concern for mother that kept bringing him to her?

As a son, he wanted to respect his father’s intentions, but as a doctor, he couldn’t.

So, he had decided to move his father’s hospital room.

“That’s why father’s room is now on the 5th floor.”

Saying this, Park Ho Yeon pressed the 5th floor button in the elevator.

Shortly after, they arrived at the room where Park Jae Sung, Ho Yeon’s father, was.

“Dad, I’m here.”

As Park Ho Yeon opened the door and greeted him, the elderly man on the bed turned his head toward them.

Nothing more.

No other response was given.

“Since moving rooms, he stays like this all the time, besides when he’s sleeping. But sometimes…”

Park Ho Yeon’s face twisted momentarily as he talked.

He remembered his father’s proudest moments.

A father who was diligent and wise.

Watching from the sidelines as his father built his business up from a small shop.

After flourishing the business, in his old age, he had retained only as much wealth as he needed and returned the rest to society, retiring to applause.

A remarkable father, he was not only admirable as a son but also as an individual in society.

His father, who had lived so grandly, was now ending his years so meekly.

To see his father not recognizing his wife or son was heartbreaking.

He knew all too well that dementia was not something one could choose or prevent, but still, the world’s cruelty left a bitter taste in his heart.

“…Sorry. I got a bit emotional.”

Overwhelmed with emotion, Park Ho Yeon suddenly stopped speaking and apologized to Kang Tae Han.

Meanwhile, Kang Tae Han nodded his head in response to his words, then slowly approached Park Jae Sung sitting on the bed.

‘This place doesn’t feel too full of energy either…’

The distinctive grayish aura of a dying person.

The room, too, was filled with this bleak aura.

But within it, Tae Han could distinctly feel a small yet vivid energy.

“Ah, be careful. Father doesn’t like being touched…”

He might react poorly if touched.

Usually calm, but sometimes he would burst out angrily if someone touched him.

But before Park Ho Yeon could finish his thought, he trailed off.

As if anticipating, his father seemed to lean his neck forward when Kang Tae Han reached out to his nape.

As if he had been waiting.

After a while, Kang Tae Han spoke up.

“I think I can do it.”

“…What did you say?”

Tae Han’s voice was so calm and even-toned.

Just stating it was possible because it was.

Park Ho Yeon doubted his own hearing and unwittingly asked for confirmation.

“I can’t promise anything, and it will take some time, but I think I can honor your request, Director.”

Park Jae Sung was in bad shape.

Close to the end of his life, his body’s systems and meridians were nearly all dysfunctional.

The only difference was…

‘He had left a small vital energy for the very end.’

The tiny kernel of vital energy in his lower dantian shone like a faint candlelight.

Did he have an unfinished mission or a remaining promise?

Whatever it was, a fierce will was shielding this energy, bending even instinct to keep it intact.

“…Is that really possible?”

“Yes. It’s not impossible.”

At that, Park Ho Yeon couldn’t utter another word for a moment.

A swell of emotions overtook him.

During this, his smartphone in his pocket rang.

“…Hello?”

[Director, you might want to come to room 713. The patient’s condition is getting worse…]

It was a call from the nurse in charge of his mother.

They wouldn’t ask for th



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