The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 7

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“The most important thing right now…,” Gang Tae-han started, his hands placed upon the shoulders of his father.

The clientele he had encountered back in Seoul were distinct. While differing in extent, each of the three he had met was plagued with an excess of vitality, or Qi (生氣), that had accumulated and stagnated to detrimental effect. In layman’s terms, their bodies were greasy and full of impurities. In such cases, it was more efficient to use a robust force to break through the clogged Qi and directly stimulate and awaken the stiff muscles.

However, Kang Ho-yeon’s condition was unlike the others. His body contained a minimal level of vitality. His muscles were responsive, but his overall resilience and energy were diminished due to the lack of vitality. If one were to draw a comparison, his body was akin to a dry branch; applying too much force could cause damage or even breakage, rather than loosening it up.

“Especially considering his age.”

In such circumstances, the priority was to gently relax the stiff body. Tae-han removed the force from his hands and began to gently knead his father’s shoulders, starting from the outside. Although he softened his touch, this was far from a hasty effort. On the contrary, it was a more challenging and meticulous task—as the focus shifted from strength to pure skill.

First, he targeted key acupressure points: the outer shoulders at Jingjing (肩井) and Jianyu (肩髃), the inner part at Dazhu (大杼) and Quyuan (曲垣), including other important areas in between. With the ten fingers moving in concert, he pressed, pushed, and massaged each spot with appropriate force.

“Huh?” Kang Ho-yeon tilted his head, puzzled.

“Does it hurt?” Tae-han inquired.

“It’s not that… Hmm.”

Kang Ho-yeon trailed off suddenly, not because he was at a loss for words, but because the feeling spreading from his relaxed shoulder drew a groan of relief.

‘What is this sensation?’ he briefly wondered, feeling the blood flowing freely into his shoulder. It was an odd consideration since it implied that before, his shoulders hadn’t had proper circulation. Yet, no other phrase seemed apt to describe this sensation.

The feeling extended from his shoulder through his forearm to his wrist and hand. It was just the sensation of blood flow, but it alone provided a pleasurable stimulation to the nerves.

And it wasn’t just the shoulders. Neck, back, waist—all seemed to melt away fluidly as Tae-han’s hands moved along the spine.

“Feel better?” Gang Tae-han gently asked.

“Yes… It’s relieving…” Kang Ho-yeon replied in a pleasantly languid tone, now lying face-down on the table.


Having finished with the lower back, Tae-han reassessed the overall condition of the body. Remarkably rejuvenated, the body was brimming with vitality and flexibility—a stark contrast to its prior state.

‘But this is only a temporary fix.’

The muscles were relaxed, the meridians cleared, yet it was but a temporary measure. If Qi remained as depleted as it was, the body would soon revert to its original status. Replenishing vitality wasn’t quick; it required proper nutrition and ample rest, and in cases where the deficiency was as severe as this, it would take even longer.

However, Tae-han had another method at his disposal. He carried spare inner strength, or Qi, which he had absorbed from previous clients.

‘It was a good decision to work part-time. Although it’s just a small amount of inner strength…’

It might be modest, but it was enough to breathe vitality back into a single person’s body, even though Tae-han’s own reservoirs were far from abundant, and even these small reserves were precious.

Yet he didn’t hesitate.

‘As natural as possible… Pure in nature,’ he thought.

He drew up just enough inner strength from the lower dantian to the middle dantian, refining it to a pure state. Since they were blood relatives, the risk of rejection due to different natures was minimal. Still, one can never be overly cautious.


With the preparations complete, Gang Tae-han placed his hand ever so carefully over the Shinju (身株) acupoint on Kang Ho-yeon’s back—a critical point associated closely with the lungs due to its position near the chest height.

The introduction of Qi into the body begins fundamentally with breathing. Thus, when transferring Qi to another person, the least resistant approach involves infusing it through the lungs.

Gang Tae-han proceeded to gently blow Qi into his father’s meridians. Adjusting delicately to prevent strain, he slowly channeled the energy.

“Ah, ah…” Kang Ho-yeon could only utter incoherent sounds, overwhelmed by the sensation.

The qi that flowed into Shinjuhyeol gathered briefly at the danjeon before transforming into vitality and spreading throughout the body. Life energy flowed into every part of the body along the meridians, bringing with it a sense of moistening that had been dry, a feeling most aptly described by the word ‘pleasure’.


A long breath escaped. Strength drained from the entire body, as if sighs accumulated in the chest were melting and seeping out. But this feeling of weakness was only that—a sensation. The skin that had lost its luster gradually regained elasticity, and the muscles that had been dried and devoid of strength were now filled with vitality. Though the scale was small, if one were to exaggerate, it was like witnessing a scene of rejuvenation.

‘And now, what remains is.’

The right shoulder. That spot that had stiffened with the sequelae of an operation.

However, now the muscles were relaxed, and vitality was sufficiently flowing through the meridians. The preparation was more than enough. Gang Taehan pressed his thumbs into the meridian points on both sides of the surgical scar with precision. He then applied force and vigorously stimulated both sides.


Suddenly, Kang Ho-yeon flinched and lifted his head.

“Does it hurt?”

“No, I was just startled…”

Kang Ho-yeon couldn’t quite admit that it was painful. Gang Taehan scratched his head awkwardly.

“I must’ve pressed something strange. I’ll be more careful.”

Of course, that was a lie.

The right shoulder that twitched and rose naturally was a sign that things were proceeding just as Gang Taehan had thought.

‘It probably won’t show immediate results today…’

But he was sure that if one slept and woke up tomorrow, there would be a noticeable effect. Gang Taehan smiled slyly.

* * *

The next day, father and son left home together for the first time in a long while. Kang Ho-yeon was off to work at his store, while Gang Taehan headed to the bus terminal. Their destinations were different, but the path they walked together was the same for a while.

“It’s really incredible.”

During the walk, Kang Ho-yeon kept moving his body from side to side. Just yesterday, he had felt heavy and tired, but upon waking up this morning, he felt as light as if he could fly. Not only that. Unlike usual, his right arm naturally lifted up to his shoulder. This chronic condition had been a constant companion since his shoulder surgery. Before, he had to clench his teeth and move slowly to barely raise it, but now, his arm swung up easily.

“My body feels incredibly light, as if I’ve grown younger.”

“That’s great.”

“Was massage supposed to be this effective? Or is it something different that you learn in university?”

“Maybe you have the type of body that responds well to massages.”

Gang Taehan replied with a laugh. He was simply happy to see his father’s brightened complexion.

“But, have you thought about making hand-pulled noodles again?”

“…Hand-pulled noodles?”

“Yesterday, I noticed you still had an empty spot where you used to make them.”

The kitchen had a large glass window facing the entrance of the store. Kang Ho-yeon used to make hand-pulled noodles there. It was quite a spectacle to behold, and it had drawn in customers just by witnessing the event. Of course, that was all in the past and the words ‘Hand-pulled Noodles’ were removed from the sign… Still, the kneading board remained and only the window where it stood was kept spotlessly clean. It seemed that some reluctance lingered.

After all, hand-pulled noodles were the pride of Taehan’s Restaurant, no, they were the pride of the Chinese chef Kang Ho-yeon.

“I’d really like to make them again. But…”

“Try making them just once today.”

“…Wouldn’t it be too much fuss?”

“What’s wrong with making a fuss? When I saw yesterday, there weren’t many customers at the store anyway.”

“That lad… Well, you’re right.”

Pretending to be annoyed, Kang Ho-yeon’s voice trailed off into a chuckle. Just as Gang Taehan said, the number of customers had decreased significantly, and it was time to try something new. Besides, he did want to try making them again. It was hand-pulled noodles, once his most confident skill.

“Well then, I’m going. Father.”

“Yeah. Come by again.”

At the crossroads where they had arrived, Gang Taehan was the first to offer parting words, and Kang Ho-yeon patted his shoulder as he spoke. Just one day passed, and the relationship between father and son had grown closer than before.

“I’ll come back to massage your shoulder again.”

“Take care on your way.”

Gang Taehan took the lead, and Kang Ho-yeon stood in place, watching his son’s retreating figure. After some time had passed…


Gang Taehan, who had walked a bit away, turned back and called out.

“Stay healthy for a long, long time!”

“Ha-ha, just go on, boy.”

Kang Ho-yeon waved his hand as if to hurry his son on his way. But the corners of his mouth were lifted high and would not come down. Perhaps it was because of the improved complexion.

To Gang Taehan, of all the times he had seen his father, this was the happiest he looked.

‘This moment alone is enough.’

This satisfaction alone justified his trip to the martial world.

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