The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 66

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“…This amount is too large,” said Kang Tae-han with a troubled voice. At first, he thought the check might be for a million won, but upon a closer look, he realized that the number in front of the second decimal wasn’t 1 but 10. It was thirty million won, ten times the already substantial sum of three million. Although more money is always better, suddenly being presented with such a large amount can still be disconcerting.

“We owe Tae-han a lot,” said Chae Seo-yoon as she noticed Kang Tae-han’s slightly uncomfortable reaction and shook her head. “Regardless of everything else, I had resigned myself to live with joint pain for life. No amount of money would have cured it, as there seemingly was no solution.”

Medical establishments could only temporarily ease her joint pain; there was no permanent cure. This was the conclusion she and her husband had reached after seeking out the best-known hospitals across the country. But to experience such an improvement from just one massage session—it was nothing short of miraculous. What else could it be, if not a miracle, when the impossible happens?

“Moreover, that’s just my story. My husband’s matters are separate,” Chae Seo-yoon continued. “So, please don’t feel burdened and just accept this as a token of our appreciation.”

The thirty million won was a meager amount compared to the help they had received. It wasn’t about repaying in full; it was just to express their gratitude. Shin Jun-ho and Chae Seo-yoon truly believed so.

“Or how about thinking of it as a crazy person leaving a tip before taking off? Is that less burdensome?” she playfully suggested.

“If a complete stranger gave a tip of thirty million won, I’d have to suspect some ulterior motive,” replied Kang Tae-han with a slight chuckle. He slipped the check back into its envelope, carefully ensuring it didn’t crumple, and placed it in his pocket.

“I gratefully accept, ma’am,” he said with a nod.

“I’m glad to hear that. Honestly, I was worried about what to do if you insisted on returning it,” Chae Seo-yoon replied with a satisfied smile as Kang Tae-han bowed his head in thanks.

“People generally don’t turn down money. Who doesn’t like having more?” Money was inherently good when abundant, and Kang Tae-han had never refused it. Nor did he ever treat customers differently based on the tip they gave.

“Hehe, Tae-han, you are indeed reliable,” Chae Seo-yoon said, chuckling.

“Is that so? Why’s that?”

“I personally think that those who claim to dislike money are the least trustworthy people in the world.”

“Hmm… That’s not entirely wrong.”

Kang Tae-han nodded in mock seriousness, eliciting laughter from Chae Seo-yoon. “By the way, do you have anything else to tell me or anything to give to me?”

“Hmm… Not really, why?”

“It’s time for you to rest.”

While Chae Seo-yoon was still puzzled by his words, Kang Tae-han placed his hands on her shoulders and pressed on a point on her back. In the next moment, her eyelids gently closed, and she laid her head on the pillow with the support of his hand.

‘I almost missed the perfect timing.’ In every task, timing is essential. After a muscle and pressure point massage session, there’s a prime time for maximizing rest and recovery. Despite the warm atmosphere and the hefty sum he had received, the most important task for a masseur like him was focusing on the massage.

“I’ll go get some exercise and then come back.”

After checking the time, Kang Tae-han adjusted the temperature of the massage bed, pulled out a blanket to cover up to her neck, turned off the lights, and left the room.

* * *

Several days later at a public bathhouse’s hot spring, a middle-aged man spoke to another man with a sigh. “Really… I still can’t be sure this is right,” he mumbled, shaking his head from side to side.

“Director, I’m telling you it’s true. At worst, you’re just taking a bath and getting a massage, right?”

The irritated man beside him answered. It seemed he had repeated the same assurances multiple times. He was Song Nam-seop, the training coach of the professional baseball team, Daesung Whales. The middle-aged man puzzling over the situation was Shim Tae-yoon, the director of Daesung Whales.

“So, you’re saying there is nothing special, just take a bath and get a massage, and that’s it?”

“No, that’s not what I mean. Even in the worst-case scenario, Director, there’s not much for you to lose, so don’t worry. Though I doubt anything bad will happen.”

Pressed for an explanation, Song Nam-seop waved his hands and responded, his voice laced with frustration. They had come all the way to Seoul and entered this bathhouse for a simple reason: to uncover the secret behind Hanha’s sudden improvement in performance through direct experience.

“Just try it, and you’ll understand.”

After his last massage, Song Nam-seop could feel an incredible difference. It was more than a mere loosening of his body; it was as though his entire being was surging with energy. For several days after the massage, he felt so vibrant that he joked about being fit for a marathon. As someone whose job revolved around sports, he knew the effects he experienced were implausible and could have a tremendous impact on athletic performance.

I could gauge the potential impact quite well.

If this is nothing, then doping is nothing either.

Bluntly put, its effects were arguably better than most doping practices.

‘It’s nonsensical to turn retiring athletes back to their prime.’

With that in mind, it’s understandable why the coach couldn’t believe it and had such a reaction.

Sometimes there are things in the world that you just can’t believe until you experience them firsthand.

Song Nam-seop himself had his doubts until he came here and received the massage.

“I still think there’s more to it than just a massage. How else could Hanha have kept winning like that?”

Shim Tae-yoon said, pondering with his arms crossed after washing his face.

Although Hanha’s early to mid-season performance was so poor that his limits were clear,

the rise from last place to sixth place in an instant was truly exceptional.

What if the next season started just like this?

It wasn’t entirely outlandish to imagine Hanha dominating the season from start to finish.

It was a scenario out of a parallel universe, yet it was entirely possible.

And to think it was all thanks to the massage skills of one masseur.

The thought just didn’t connect in Shim Tae-yoon’s head.

“We have our own masseur, right? Coach Song is pretty skilled at sports massage too.”

“Enough, it’s almost time for your massage. Let’s talk after you get it.”

Song Nam-seop glanced at his watch, then stood up from the bath.

There’s a saying that seeing is believing, after all.

It seemed that only an actual experience would further the conversation.

“So, summarizing what I’ve heard…”

Choi Seong-hyun, who had been deep in thought with his head tilted to the left, spoke.

“So you’re opening your own shop, right?”

“That’s right,” Kang Tae-han answered with a nod after Seong-hyun’s questioning.

“But it’s so big it takes up a third of a floor, meaning you have to hire other masseurs. And you think it’d be good for me to work there too, right?”

“You got it.”

Kang Tae-han nodded again.

“No, but this is just…”

Choi Seong-hyun scoffed in disbelief.

“How did all this happen? Won the lottery?”

“It feels like I did get that kind of luck.”

Kang Tae-han shirked modestly.

After all, the reward for a good deed depends on luck.

Sometimes a small deed brings a huge return, and sometimes no return at all, despite substantial kindness.

That’s why Kang Tae-han likened it to fortune, a point that had its reasoning.

“It’s hard to believe even after hearing it.”

“So, what will you do?”

“What choice do I have? Like you followed me here, now it’s my turn to go there with you.”

Choi Seong-hyun shrugged, suggesting his decision.

“Actually, Director Hwang agreed to come too.”

“Oh, really? I thought so. I noticed he seemed happier these past few days.”

Seong-hyun finally seemed convinced by Kang Tae-han’s words.

He, always keen, knew there had been some issue between the boss and Director Hwang.

“So now should I call you President Kang?”

“Just call me as you always do.”

Kang Tae-han frowned at the formality after hearing Director Hwang mention it earlier.

“Mr. Tae-han, your client is waiting in room 2.”

“Alright, I’ll be right there.”

As they talked, Director Hwang called out to Kang Tae-han from the waiting room’s door.

Anticipating this, Tae-han got up to leave.

“Take care, President Kang.”

“Yeah, you work hard too, Choi.”

Choi Seong-hyun intended to keep up the act of reluctance.

Without any hint of panic, Kang Tae-han responded with feigned solemnity.

“…Eh, tsk.”

Seong-hyun clicked his tongue in distaste, while Kang Tae-han smirked and strode out towards the hallway.

‘Room 2, he said.’

Kang Tae-han entered, only to find a client in sunglasses staring intently at him.

‘…What’s this déjà vu?’

It recalled a similar situation from the past.

‘It’s Director Oh Jae-yoon of Hanha Hawks.’

He also wore sunglasses in the room, looking this way.

Remembering him, Tae-han immediately recognized this client.

‘It’s Director Shim Tae-yun of the Dae-sung Whales.’

It wasn’t hard to recognize him.

Director Oh usually didn’t wear sunglasses, but…

Director Shim often wore them, even to the extent that it would’ve been harder to identify him without them.

‘He would be less recognizable without the sunglasses.’

As he thought this, Kang Tae-han greeted the client. After all, his job was to provide a massage, the client’s identity was unimportant.

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