The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 67

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

When Shim Tae-yoon made eye contact with Kang Tae-han, he felt a sense of bafflement wash over him.

It’s often said that first impressions are crucial in judging someone.

The reason for this isn’t just that first impressions are hard to change, but also because they can tell us a lot about a person.

The look in their eyes, the set of their shoulders, their posture, and the aura they carry—all these things can give insights into what kind of life a person has led and what kind of person they might be.

While these are not absolute measures, they typically offer a good sense of who someone is.

Especially for Shim Tae-yoon, who prided himself on his ability to judge people.

As the manager of a professional baseball team, he needed many skills, but his talent for evaluating people was particularly exceptional.

‘I can’t gauge the depth.’

But his first impression of this masseur was ‘unreadable.’

All he could immediately tell was that, relative to the maturity and presence the masseur exuded, his appearance was surprisingly youthful.

“Please lie face down to start.”

“Ah, yes.”

For a while, he had been staring, lost in thought.

After Kang Tae-han gestured towards the bed and spoke first, Shim Tae-yoon nodded, lay down, then lifted his head again to remove his sunglasses.

He had inadvertently laid down still wearing them in his daze.

“Now, is there any specific place that’s bothering you?”

“Bothering me? Hmm…”

Shim Tae-yoon thought for a moment before realizing it might seem odd that he was pondering what was wrong with him after he came to pay for a massage.

It was akin to someone going to a hospital without knowing what was wrong, an absurd proposition.

“The shoulders… both sides are quite bad.”

Eventually, he mentioned the part of his body that frequently troubled him.

After all, it was true that he suffered from shoulder discomfort.

“When I lift my hands as if raising them in a cheer, my shoulders start to hurt as if being jabbed with something.”

The diagnosis from the hospital was frozen shoulder.

They suggested it wasn’t from lack of exercise, but rather a natural consequence of aging.

It was treatable but had been a chronic issue for a long time without much progress.

Though now he wondered if he’d been too vague in mentioning a symptom so common it was almost unavoidable.

“Hm, the shoulders.”

Kang Tae-han responded with a light tone, nodding.

It wasn’t so much lack of care in his voice—rather, it conveyed a foundational confidence that it wasn’t a big deal.

“Let’s take a look then.”

With that, Kang Tae-han placed his hands on Shim Tae-yoon’s back.

It seemed like a light touch, but to Shim Tae-yoon underneath, it felt completely different.

‘Indeed, the touch of a true craftsman is different even in the smallest details.’

The weight on his back brought a heavy, grounding sensation, spreading a warm energy throughout his body.

Even this brief contact was soothing, and he was already feeling drowsy from the relaxing effects—it seemed like the massage hadn’t even properly started yet.

‘Maybe Coach Song didn’t exaggerate after all.’

With this alone feeling so good, he couldn’t help but wonder how pleasant the full massage would be, and a smile began to creep across Shim Tae-yoon’s lips.

“There definitely seems to be an issue with the shoulder area.”

Having assessed the condition, Kang Tae-han withdrew the energy from his hands and removed them from Shim Tae-yoon’s back.

He then positioned his thumbs on the shenyu points on either side of the spine.

“This might hurt a bit.”

The next moment Kang Tae-han’s thumbs pressed into the shenyu points, following up the spine and penetrating several meridians in sequence.

“Augh?!”

Relaxed and unwound, Shim Tae-yoon found himself involuntarily straightening his back, emitting a startled cry filled with shock.

* * *

‘The meridians need to be unblocked first.’

After evaluating Shim Tae-yoon’s physical condition, that was Kang Tae-han’s assessment.

The pain was primarily due to stiff shoulder muscles and joint inflammation, but the fundamental issue lay in the blocked meridians.

The major pathways connected to the governing vessel were clear, but the finer branches spreading from them were almost withering away.

‘Daily life won’t be much affected.’

Muscles used frequently develop, while those that aren’t deteriorate over time.

Neglect in managing the body always leads back to its former state—that’s why.

The same principle applies to the meridians.

Frequent muscle use encourages blood flow and clear meridians, but neglect leads to stasis, accumulating stagnation, eventually causing issues within the meridian itself.

While stagnation in a major pathway does not cause blockage, finer branches can completely wither away if left untreated, potentially severing the flow of energy.

It might not hinder everyday life, but neglect could worsen the condition, spreading to other meridians, eventually reaching a critical level.

‘Let’s activate the meridians for now.’

Having pierced through the backbone meridians to create pathways, it was time to encourage flow within them.

Kang Tae-han drew a bit of vital energy with his left index finger to the mingmen point, then swept his closed right fist from the lower back to the neck in one motion.

“Ugh!”

The aim was to strongly stimulate the meridians, awakening them swiftly, and then carry the stagnant energy through the dry meridians with that momentum.

To Shim Tae-yoon, it felt as though a heavy roller was flattening his back—a chilling pain paired with immense relief.

Simultaneously, tingling currents seemed to radiate from his spine throughout his body.

Caught between external and internal sensations, Shim Tae-yoon’s relaxed expectations for the session had vanished long ago.

No, like a clean slate burned white, his mind was utterly devoid of thought.

I struggled with heavy, gasping breaths, my voice mingling with screams of pain.

But humans are creatures of adaptation.

Gradually, my ragged breathing stabilized, and as I grew accustomed to the pain of the acupressure, the sensations of relief and pleasure began to outweigh the discomfort.

‘Haah… It feels like I’m getting a massage down to my very bones.’

It was more than just loosening my muscles; it felt like every part of my body, even the deepest places, were being unwound.

Of course, there are no sensory cells in the bones themselves, so it was merely an illusion, but it was so refreshing that the corners of my mouth, which had been screaming in pain, began to turn up without me realizing it.

“Ah… this is so good.”

I had initially come here to check the truth of Coach Song’s words, but in the end, I, Shim Taeyoon, had forgotten my original purpose and was fully focused on the massage.

“Does it feel refreshing?”

“Yes. My blood is flowing so freely now, and it feels like all the muscles in my shoulder have been completely relaxed.”

Shim Taeyoon, no longer screaming, kept exclaiming in wonder.

I hadn’t yet moved my shoulder, but just the slightest shrug made me feel how much smoother my joints and muscles had become.

“The muscles in your shoulder?”

“Yes. Wow, that’s some skill you’ve got.”

“We’ve just begun the shoulder massage.”

Kang Taehan lightly shrugged his shoulders as he spoke.

Then, he grasped my right shoulder with his left hand and began to press down on it with his right elbow.

“What? What’s this? Ahhh!”

The pain surged anew!

Just when I thought I had fully adapted to Kang Taehan’s massage, it turned out that he had just been loosening my body and stimulating blood circulation.

‘Wait, that means…’

Of course, humans have two shoulders.

One on the left and one on the right.

This meant that the pain I was experiencing—and that which was to continue—would have to be endured again on the opposite side.

Despite feeling exhilarated thanks to the refreshing sensation after the pain, a vague fear crept up on me.

But this thought didn’t last long.

“Ugh, ugh…”

Shim Taeyoon, the director of Daesung Whales, who had never shown weakness in front of his players, was now lying face down on the bed, breathless and weak, unaware that drool was leaking from the corner of his mouth.

* * *

“Excuse me, Taehan.”

“Yes?”

While browsing internet news in the waiting room, another masseur working there spoke to Kang Taehan.

“Is it true that you’re moving the store?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

With nothing to hide, Kang Taehan nodded.

It was natural for the conversation to spread among colleagues once the customers were aware.

“Ah… so it’s finally happening.”

The other masseur sighed heavily and smacked his forehead.

It was evident to everyone, not just Chief Hwang, that Kang Taehan was too talented to stay in one place.

“Thanks to you, Taehan, I’ve had a lot of patronage recently… But I guess that’s going to end here.”

“It looks like you’ve had an increase in regular customers yourself lately.”

In fact, due to the influx of customers, all the masseurs had been much busier than usual.

Skilled masseurs saw their bookings increase, while the lesser ones fell behind.

And this masseur, Hwang Taejin, was one of the skilled ones.

The increase in clientele was undoubtedly due to Kang Taehan, but securing repeat customers was a testament to Hwang’s abilities.

“Well, that’s all thanks to you, Taehan.”

He scratched his head, looking somewhat embarrassed.

His tone seemed sincere, filled with gratitude towards Kang Taehan.

‘I wish I could bring him along to the shop.’

Kang Taehan had this fleeting thought but since the hiring of masseurs was left to Chief Hwang, it remained just a thought.

When the time was right, Chief Hwang would handle it accordingly.

“Is Taehan here?”

Just then, as if he couldn’t stand politeness, Chief Hwang walked into the waiting room.

“I’m right here.”

“Do you have a moment? There’s a customer waiting for you in the office.”

Kang Taehan glanced at his watch as Chief Hwang spoke.

Sure enough, it was just after Director Shim Taeyoon had woken up.

‘I knew it would come to this.’

He had an idea why he was being sought, having kept a professional distance.

“Should I head straight to the office?”

“Yeah. Should I ask the next customer for a little patience?”

“No, it shouldn’t take long.”

He had anticipated this, so he had his response ready.

Kang Taehan waved Chief Hwang off and walked towards the office.

Entering the office, he heard,

“Ah, teacher! It’s good to see you again.”

As expected, it was Director Shim Taeyoon waiting for him.

Removing his sunglasses, Taeyoon stood up and nodded slightly in greeting.

“I’m glad to see you too, Director.”

“Ah.. did you already know who I was?”

Shim Taeyoon asked, feeling awkward as he fumbled for his business card, since Kang Taehan hadn’t shown any sign that he recognized him.

“That being the case… you also know why I wanted to see you.”

“Well, there’s only one thing that comes to mind.”

“Understood. I won’t waste much of your time, so let’s get right to the point.”

Shim Taeyoon started the conversation straightforwardly.

“Could you come to Daesung Whales? Of course, to offer a massage.”

At that, Kang Taehan offered a faint smile and slowly shook his head from side to side.

“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to decline.”

“Is that so…”

Shim Taeyoon paused briefly, then with a soft voice responded, disappointment evident in his expression.

“May I ask why?”

After a moment’s hesitation, Shim Taeyoon asked, clearly finding it hard to let go after experiencing the massage.

“I’ve started getting into baseball recently.”

Watching players he’d worked on performing in games and contributing to their team’s victories provided a different perspective than that of regular fans. Still, lately, Kang Taehan had been quite interested in the sport.

He even watched highlight reels when he got the chance after his day’s work and medicinal remedies.



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