The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 61

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“This movie is sadder than I thought.”

She remembered that day.

There was a time in the past when she had said that while watching a movie.

Though she couldn’t remember the title of the film, she could recall which scene it was.

It was the moment when a grandmother, who had been living alone after losing her husband, passed away in loneliness.

Perhaps it was because it was a period when she had been worrying about her old age or maybe she was just feeling more emotional than usual, but tears had unexpectedly started to flow during that scene.

“Don’t worry.”

Then, the man sitting next to her had said that.

Now she was at an age where she couldn’t properly remember the titles of the movies that had impressed her, but she could still vividly recall his facial expressions and voice from back then.

“When you die, I will surely be by your side.”

His expression at the time seemed quite out of place, overly serious, which made her laugh without realizing it.

They laughed for a long time, to the point that the sentimentality of the movie and her gloomy mood didn’t matter anymore.

It was just one of the countless memories they had stacked up over many years spent together.

But lately, she found herself frequently reminiscing about that day.

Certainly, he must remember it too.

Though he was the sort of person who would forget all sorts of special dates, he would always remember the promises he had made himself.

“…Ho-yeon?”

“Mother! Are you all right?”

Slowly opening her eyes in bed, she tried to survey her surroundings through her dim vision.

With cloudy eyes, it was tough to see anything clearly.

“Ho-yeon.”

“Yes. I’m right here.”

Park Ho-yeon moved closer, worrying she might miss her mother’s words.

Her mother’s voice was extremely weak, and she was also wearing an oxygen mask, making it hard to hear from a distance.

“…Your father?”

“Father is downstairs.”

“…I see.”

He’s always been terrible at keeping to the set time.

She slightly adjusted her head, which had been held up with some difficulty, and then rested it back on the pillow, gasping for breath.

Park Ho-yeon watched her mother quietly and then said in a calm voice,

“Don’t worry. He’ll be up soon.”

Her mother gave a faint but definite nod at Park Ho-yeon’s words.

It was as if to say she knew well.

Despite his issues with punctuality and hardly ever remembering anniversaries, he held true to the promises he made himself.

Even if it was a spur of the moment promise made to comfort a wife crying during a movie.

Her husband, Park Jae-sung, was that kind of man.

‘But this time, the wait seems a little hard…’

She thought that since she was late, he couldn’t complain about her taking a short nap.

She closed her eyes once more.

* * *

A body drained of vitality is like a tree planted in the desert.

Unable to draw sustenance because its roots are parched from the outset, it withers slowly, circulation failing.

The difference is, while a tree in the desert can be relocated or revived with water, there’s no such remedy for a human body.

The inherent vitality one is born with cannot be replenished; one can only slow its depletion.

Restoring the vitality of a dying elder is virtually impossible.

But if there is still some innate vitality left,

enough reserved against all instincts, it is entirely feasible to circulate it and temporarily restore the body’s condition.

‘The key is the individual’s will.’

No matter how much one tries to awaken it from outside, without the person’s willpower, even that is impossible.

But in this case, there seemed to be no need for concern.

As Kang Tae-han placed his hand over the man’s vital acupoint and spread energy through his body, he could feel the remaining vitality in the dantian respond, however weakly.

‘…I think I understand.’

During a moment of extreme weakness, the elder had instinctively separated some of the vitality from the mingmen acupoint, storing it in the lower dantian.

Though it was an incredible feat, he didn’t know how to use it and was just sitting with it.

Normally, one would just hold on in that state and gradually fade away, unnoticed…

If someone can clear the passageway to the upper dantian and lead the energy there, then it’s possible to fulfill one’s intentions spontaneously.

For Kang Tae-han, such a task was well within his capabilities.

He started to assess the condition of specific acupoints using the energy extended within the body.

After pinpointing the still-active acupoints, he mapped a conceptual line from the lower to the upper dantian, seeking ways to connect them.

Having found a possible approach, Kang Tae-han slowly nodded and removed his hand from the mingmen acupoint.

He then began to apply pressure to various points across the old man’s body, opening up pathways for the stagnant energy to escape.

“It might be a bit difficult for you, elder.”

Though his hands moved with unusual delicacy and caution.

Kang Tae-han’s massages usually assumed recovery as a baseline.

However, the elder’s body was frail to the point of brittleness, and its recovery was a challenging proposition, necessitating a change in the basic approach.

“…Huh.”

Fortunately, the effects were already…

He appeared almost immediately.

From the mouth of the old man sitting on the bed, Park Jaesung, a faint exclamation burst forth.

It might have been an exclamation instinctively emitted without rational thought, possibly even a cry of pain, but at the very least, it was evidence that his senses were reviving.

‘Things are progressing well.’

There was no doubt it was a positive sign.

After creating breathing spaces in the various meridians, Kang Taehan placed his hands on each one to extract the stagnant energy and then slowly rubbed the body to enhance the circulation of the blood flow, repeating the process.

This cycle of removing the stale energy and massaging the body was repeated twice, three times, perhaps six times.

‘…The path has been cleared.’

At some point, the color returned to the old man’s face, and a light began to sparkle in his previously dull and drooping eyes.

It was proof that the path from the lower danjeon to the upper danjeon had been opened, allowing vital energy to begin flowing into the upper danjeon.

After some time had passed while Kang Taehan was massaging his shoulders, a deep voice filled the room for the first time.

“…It feels refreshing.”

Kang Taehan stopped massaging and as he stepped forward, Park Jaesung looked at him with clear, sparkling eyes.

Just a couple of hours ago, he had been almost like ailing, with dull eyes lying in bed, but now his eyes were clear and even a sense of dignity that was not there before could be felt.

For a moment, silence flowed between them.

Park Jaesung quietly observed him and then slowly began to speak in a subdued voice.

“Young man… No, perhaps we are about the same age?”

“Let’s stick with young man for now. Elder.”

Kang Taehan replied with a smile, and Park Jaesung also held a faint smile on his lips.

“One way or another, it seems I owe you a great debt… Seems like I have a little more to ask of you.”

He gestured towards the door with his eyes.

“I have a promise to keep. It’s unusual to ask this upon first meeting, but could you take me to my wife?”

“Of course.”

Kang Taehan readily nodded and stooped his shoulders to match the height of the bed.

Shortly after, the old man, while supported by Kang Taehan, began to walk the hallway on his own feet.

* * *

“Director, I apologize, but…”

“Yes, I am aware.”

One might need to prepare himself mentally.

Park Hoyeon nodded slowly to the words the attending physician had not spoken out loud.

He was well aware of what the monitors beside the bed were indicating, so much that he wanted to turn away for a moment.

The mother had regained consciousness and had a brief conversation, which gave a glimmer of hope that the crisis was overcome, but it appeared to be false hope after all.

She had lost consciousness again not long after, and the machines began recording negative figures on the monitor.

‘No, maybe it’s fortunate to have had even a little conversation with Mother.’

Park Hoyeon looked down at his mother with a sorrowful gaze.

The attending physician quietly excused himself from the room.

It was appropriate to let the family have some time together during moments like these.

“Park Teacher.”

“Yes, Director.”

The young man called out to stop him, having something to ask.

“Could you please tell the nurses to bring my father here? I think it would be best to do so.”

The father kept coming to his wife’s hospital room, doing nothing but sitting idly due to the situation.

Park Hoyeon thought that surely his father would want to be by his wife’s side.

Of course, there was also the favor he asked of Kang Taehan, and he had not yet given up hope.

But things don’t always turn out as one expects.

“Understood. I will contact the nurse station immediately.”

“Thank you.”

The attending physician bowed and left the room, closing the door behind him.

For a moment, only the sound of the machinery filled the quiet hospital room.

“…Mother?”

Then slowly, the mother’s eyes began to open.

But since the monitor’s figures remained unchanged, Park Hoyeon couldn’t help but feel a bittersweet expression mixed within his happiness. He had an intuition that this was not a good sign.

“Di, Director.”

Amidst this, Park Teacher, who had just left the room earlier, came back inside.

His voice was quiet, appropriate for a hospital room, but he seemed to be immensely flustered for some reason.

However, Park Hoyeon soon understood why the teacher was so panicked.

From the corridor into the hospital room…

An old man walked in on his own two feet.

“…Father?”

That old man, Park Jaesung, crossed the room walking with straightened back and shoulders, just as his son remembered him from before.

“Honey.”

He stood beside the bed where his wife laid.

He knelt on one knee to be at eye level with his wife.

“I’m here.”

His voice was calm and stoic.

At that, a faint smile appeared on the lips of his wife, Shin Mikyung, who was lying on the bed.

“…I guess I’m not too late after all.”

“It’s only because you waited for me, dear.”

Her smile drew a smile from him as well.

He took his wife’s hand in both of his and said,

“I’ve been happy because of you. I love you very much.”

At his words, she slowly nodded her head.

“I know your heart. But still, hearing it from your face and words feels truly good.”

Then she smiled even more brightly.

Like a young girl’s, such an innocent smile.

She quietly watched her husband for a while and then softly began to speak.

“But next time, come as you always do, even if you’re late… No matter how delayed, I won’t be angry.”

You understand?

She faintly moved her lips as if to speak, then slowly closed her eyes.

Park Jaesung watched his wife silently for a while before gently laying down the hand he had been holding.



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