The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 70

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

“Hold on. This is the price?”

While reviewing the interior design proposal handed to him by Kang Tae-han, Director Hwang openly displayed a look of confusion.

Tae-han, seeing his reaction, asked with a puzzled expression.

“Yes. Is there a problem?”

“No, it’s not a problem, it’s just…”

He said, gently placing the proposal on the table.

The proposal was from an interior designer, Hwang Yun-su, whom he had visited with Tae-han to see an empty store just recently.

There were three proposed ideas labeled as Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C in the estimate, along with perspective drawings for each simulated setup, and the expected costs for each.

“The price is too reasonable?”

Director Hwang’s consternation came not from negative reasons but rather the opposite.

The costs listed in the proposal were significantly lower than he had anticipated.

“With the middleman involved in this interior work, it would be tough to achieve these prices.”

While Director Hwang wasn’t an expert in interiors, he had enough experience to roughly estimate the cost, considering the size of the shop and the extent of the interior work involved.

Having experienced numerous new openings and renovations firsthand since his youth, and often engaging in business conversations with entrepreneurs due to his wide-ranging interests, he had naturally accumulated practical knowledge.

In this sense, the interior design proposal brought by Tae-han had been enough to take him aback.

He had thought ‘This will cost quite a bit’ looking at the concepts and perspectives, but the estimates revealed at the end were substantially lower.

‘It doesn’t seem shoddy either…’

The interiors were mainly composed of wood, giving off an Oriental vibe.

The space was designed to be spacious without any areas feeling unnecessary or empty.

Furthermore, it was evident that careful consideration had been given to detailed aspects relevant to the business, such as the line of sight for customers entering the store, the path from the lobby to the massage rooms, and the route for masseuses to the lounge.

Of course, one couldn’t be entirely assured until the interior was completed, but…

At least judging by the contents in the perspective drawings, it seemed like a flawless plan.

“So, it seems good?”

“Very good. Both the price and design.”

When opening a business, it’s not uncommon to regret after having spent a lot on unsatisfactory interiors compared to the investment.

In this regard, this proposal was excellent.

It showed an understanding of the relevant business sector, had great quality, and the price was unexpectedly reasonable.

“I’ve heard the interior industry is booming these days, to the point where you name your price. With this quality and price at this time, it’s really well done.”

Director Hwang, not only highly praising the work but also raised his thumb up in approval.

“With this kind of pricing, it’s like they aren’t even thinking about their profit. Where did you find such a person?”

“I was introduced by someone I know.”

“Aha…”

With Tae-han’s words, Director Hwang finally nodded in understanding.

No wonder, the estimated price was unbelievable if one were to make a calculation based on profit margins.

“Wasn’t it the son of someone you knew? Anyway, it seems like they took really good care of us.”

More precisely, it seemed like Hwang Yun-su had received a lot of work introductions from Joon-ho Shin during his tough times, Tae-han reaping the benefits now.

“Tae-han’s connections are impressive.”

“Are you talking about me?”

Director Hwang made this comment, and Tae-han tilted his head in confusion, not having thought much about connections, especially in the modern world, unlike his days in the martial world.

“Look at it now. You got a shop in a new building, secured investment funds, and were introduced to a good interior designer… That’s no joke.”

Director Hwang spoke playfully before lifting his cup of tea.

Meanwhile, with those words, Tae-han slowly nodded his head.

It surely wasn’t wrong upon reflection.

“Lucky to have good connections around me.”

“Luck has nothing to do with it. Tae-han, you’re well-regarded.”

At Tae-han’s words, Director Hwang shrugged his shoulders and spoke.

While it would be false to say that luck plays no role in networking, ultimately, nurturing and sustaining those relationships goes beyond just luck.

“Is that so?”

“That’s right. Whether it’s the masseuses or the staff, no one says anything bad about you, Tae-han.”

Director Hwang spoke not just to flatter Tae-han but stated an evident fact.

Though he credited as the main force behind the success of the massage parlor now, no negative words were spoken even when Tae-han was a newcomer sweeping up all the regular customers.

Of course, it wasn’t just because of Tae-han’s reputation, perhaps also influenced by an atmosphere that seemed inadvisable to turn against.

On that note, responding to Director Hwang’s words, Tae-han shrugged lightly and opened his mouth.

“Anyway, it’s because of having a good reputation that I can be friends with a talented man like the manager.”

“Uh… Why would you say that, to me?”

“You started it, manager.”

At Director Hwang’s aghast reaction, Tae-han snickered and took a sip of tea.

* * *

The opening preparations for the shop progressed extremely smoothly.

After all, massage parlors don’t require extensive preparations for opening, unlike a clinic that needs advanced medical equipment, or a restaurant that requires cooking and drainage facilities.

The only special equipment needed was the massage beds.

The rest were basic facilities like a counter and seating in the waiting area, electronics such as air purifiers and air conditioners, and interior decoration was all there was.

If there was anything that required special attention…

“Could you show me your masseuse certification?”

“Here it is.”

It would be the nationally accredited masseuse certification, but to Tae-han, who already had the certification, it posed no issue.

As the employee examined the business registration form and extended a hand, Tae-han pulled out his masseuse certification from his wallet and presented it.

Little did he know that a certificate he had obtained sixty years ago would be so helpful now.

When Kang Tae-han had just entered his freshman year in college, he was a bit disheartened by his seniors’ grumbling about how hard it is to find a job with a degree in sports medicine. However, upon reading an article that announced the eligibility of the masseur certification for the general public, he promptly began his preparations. It took Kang Tae-han around three years, including a break for military service deferral and a leave of absence from school, to acquire the certification. Although he had his doubts about the necessity of his actions, thanks to his efforts, he was now able to work as a masseur.

Achieving a nationally recognized certification required at least 2,000 hours of coursework. It would have been impossible for him to start working as a masseur immediately after returning to the modern world from the martial arts world. ‘If that was the case, Choi Seong-hyun would never have suggested massage work in the first place.’ Since Choi Seong-hyun had also secured his certification following Kang Tae-han, there wouldn’t have been the opportunity to start working as a masseur first or even recommend the job to Kang Tae-han.

What would have happened otherwise? He might have been in UFC or perhaps a professional athlete in another sport. If that were the case, his life would be completely different from now. ‘But it would have been boring.’ Even if he were fighting in martial arts, he couldn’t give it his all and always had to restrain his power, which would surely strip away the fun.

“Excuse me, what does this Chinese character written here mean?” asked an employee, examining Kang Tae-han’s certification and business registration form, pointing with a pen to the section with the business name written.

Kang Tae-han glanced down at the tip of the pen and replied in a low voice, “Cheonma Anma (天魔按摩).”

“Cheonma Anma. Ah, it’s the same business name you’ve written, just in Chinese characters.”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Cough. You write Chinese characters very impressively,” the employee remarked awkwardly and began to bustle about more than before. Kang Tae-han only responded with a slight smile.

“Your registration is complete, Mr. Kang Tae-han. We will contact you when the results are out.”

“Thank you.”

Kang Tae-han gave a light nod and got up from his seat. Just as he was about to leave, his phone began to ring. Right on cue, it was Director Hwang calling.

[Hey, Tae-han. How did the registration go?]

“It seems to have gone well.”

[You kept the name of the store as it is?]

After a pause, Director Hwang asked the question. He had previously suggested that naming the store in English might not be a bad idea considering the partnerships with the hotel below.

“Yes. I like it this way.”

Kang Tae-han’s response was calm yet firm.

Cheonma Anma.

Initially chosen without much thought, the name now seemed to encompass both his past as ‘Cheonma’ in the martial world and his present as a masseur. He had grown quite fond of it.

[Then we’ll go with what the boss wants, right?]

It was right for the owner to decide the name of the shop. Though Director Hwang had offered advice, he did not intend to interfere.

[Well, at least I can now tell our customers asking ‘Where is Teacher Kang going?’ the name of the shop.]

Questions that Director Hwang had been hearing several times a day lately prompted his relieved response.

* * *

“Coach, where are we going now?”

On a late Friday morning, a man seated in the back of a taxi gently asked the person sitting next to him, his voice still heavy with sleep.

“I told you we’re going to get a massage.”

Song Nam-seop in the passenger seat replied in an even tone. As the training coach for Daeseong Wales, he was taking two of his players to Kang Tae-han’s massage shop.

“Really? You woke me up for a massage?”

“Does the manager know about this?”

Being older and having declining physical abilities meant that maintaining condition was very difficult for Kim Ho-jeong and Choi Tae-gu, the leading battery combination of pitchers and catchers for Daeseong, who had played together for a long time and were still regularly selected as starters.

“I thought it was unlikely, coach. If we lose sleep like this, we won’t be able to play today.”

“Is the manager aware of this?”

Learning they had been roused early in the morning solely for a massage, the two players protested.

“The manager instructed it personally. And…”

Anticipating their reaction, Song Nam-seop continued calmly, though there was an unmistakable sense of grievance in his words.

“Just trust me and come along. It was hard to secure this chance.”

Today, with a game at Jamsil, Song Nam-seop and a few staff had to call the massage shop periodically at the manager’s direction, hoping for cancellations to make a reservation.

Miraculously, two spots opened up, one after the other in the morning, and after securing the reservation, the coaching staff went into a meeting to discuss which players would benefit most from the massage. As a result, the duo, Kim Ho-jeong and Choi Tae-gu, were selected.

“Well, if it’s the manager’s order, there’s nothing more to say.”

“We’re just surprised, but didn’t you ask earlier to go to a sauna? Wasn’t that it?”

“You’re right. I heard that too.”

“Just come and you’ll understand.”

Song Nam-seop replied wearily. He seemed to have a sense of déjà vu seeing the skeptical players.

‘It feels like I’ve become a massage evangelist…’

He had previously argued with Manager Shim Tae-yoon to persuade him. This situation felt similar to that time. Although he had gone into explanations back then, now Song Nam-seop chose to be quiet at the right moment. He knew from experience with Manager Shim Tae-yoon that no matter what he said, they wouldn’t believe him until they experienced it for themselves.



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