The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage chapter 9

The Heavenly Demon Receives A Massage

*Sigh…*

Returning home, Kang Taehan laid his body on the bed.

It was 8 PM now.

Since he had started work at 7 AM, he had roughly been working for about twelve hours before finally returning home.

He had been leading this lifestyle for approximately three weeks now.

Excluding Sundays, he had been diligently working every week which could be considered quite an effort.

However, this didn’t mean his body showed any signs of fatigue.

In fact, on the contrary, his energy had increased more than when he first returned to this world.

It was all thanks to the inner power he absorbed while administering massages from time to time.

“Uh-cha.”

Since he wasn’t tired, there was no need to lie down for long.

Kang Taehan sat up, crossed his legs, and concentrated on the energy center below his navel for a moment.

‘Not bad progress at all.’

It was faint, but he could feel it.

What was once an empty space now had the inner power settled at the bottom like spring water, and he could distinctly sense it.

There was no use hiding it.

The inner power there was all gathered by the Absorbing Stars Great Law.

Of course, he’d never been greedy for personal gain—it was all extracted as part of the treatment and only as much as necessary. Still, the fact that it was a significant harvest did not change.

‘For this short period, it’s a great harvest indeed.’

In the martial world, the base standard for a master was a “kapja” (甲子).

Kapja, as the name implies, refers to the average amount of inner power that an ordinary martial artist would accumulate after practicing for 60 years.

Of course, the rate at which it accumulates varies greatly depending on the individual’s talent and effort, and again by manifold depending on the efficiency of the practice method and mental technique…

But still, amassing kapja worth of inner power is no simple feat, and it is the benchmark of a master.

By that standard, the amount of inner power Kang Taehan had gathered was about a year to a year and a half’s worth.

Though it was still a meager quantity, considering the small amount of time it had taken—less than a month—it was an incredible harvest.

Moreover, considering that the density of Qi (氣) in this world was far lower compared to that of the martial world, the pace of his growth was unbelievably fast.

‘And speaking of which… it’s clear now, there really are quite a few overweight people here.’

Munchungsaenggidok (滿充生氣毒).

The symptom where an excess of vitality in the body acts like a poison.

In the world of martial arts, it was an occasional sight among high-ranking bureaucrats and powerful noble families, but here, while varying in degree, it was a condition many clients possessed.

And most of them were overweight.

It was only natural.

Consuming high-calorie food led to the accumulation of more vitality than necessary and a lack of exercise meant that this accumulated life force couldn’t circulate properly, resulting in build-up.

There might be many nuances to it, but there was a significant amount of overlap between these two conditions.

‘Well… it’s a part that serves to my benefit for now.’

After all, Kang Taehan was in a position to benefit from it.

The surplus inner power had become his own, so the amount he could gather in such a period was all thanks to this fact.

“Hmm?”

*Ka-talk!*

As a clear alert sound rang, Kang Taehan checked his ChaosTalk. There was a message from Director Hwang.

[ Taehan, are you busy right now? ]

[ No. I’m just resting at home. ]

[ Could we meet for a quick talk? Let me know where it’s convenient for you, and I’ll come to you. ]

‘What could it be?’

They had become somewhat close and had a few meals together, but even so, he wasn’t someone to trouble with personal matters.

This must be related to business then.

[ Where are you right now? ]

[ Just getting off work. ]

[ Hold on, let me check for a suitable cafe. ]

Kang Taehan switched to the map app on his phone.

* * *

“Over here.”

Located in Sillim-dong, it was a tea house.

Kang Taehan raised his hand as Director Hwang, who had just arrived, embarrassedly approached with a smile.

“Sorry for calling you out after work. You must be quite tired.”

“It’s okay. Today was not very tough.”

Kang Taehan spoke nonchalantly.

Apparently finding it extraordinary, Director Hwang stared at him for a moment.

The number of clients Kang Taehan had seen today was into the double digits.

It was a workload enough to cause severe strain.

Honestly, if Kang Taehan himself hadn’t been adamant that he could handle it all, the appointments would have been cut in half, regardless of whether the clients were high-profile or not.

‘…He really looks okay?’

Director Hwang originated from a bathhouse background.

He learned a bit about massage by watching over the shoulders of others, which was enough to tell, though not in great detail, whether someone’s condition was excellent, average, or poor.

And Kang Taehan, right now, was in excellent shape.

It was as if he hadn’t been giving massages for over ten hours but rather like he had been the one receiving a massage.

“What will you have?”

“I’ll just have something sweet, like coffee… Oh, no coffee?”

In the tea house, true to its name, the menu listed only tea, not coffee.

Moreover, there was a surprisingly wide array of tea leaves.

“For Director Hwang… I think this one should suit you.”

From the list, Kang Taehan chose one special type of tea…

It reignited.

A tea leaf that sounded like a proverb, one I had never heard of before.

“Lu’an Melon Slice? What is that?”

“It’s a type of green tea from China. It should suit your taste and be good for your body.”

“Really?”

Well, that doesn’t matter.

Since he had come to talk, not to drink tea, Director Hwang ordered the Lu’an Melon Slice without much thought.

“So, what brings you here?”

“It’s nothing bad.”

Director Hwang scratched his head in response to Kang Taehan’s direct question.

“I was thinking that compared to your skills, your pay seems a little low.”

“Hmm…”

Kang Taehan pondered Director Hwang’s words.

Currently, Kang Taehan’s hourly wage was 8,800 won.

And if he handled an hour-long appointment, he would get an additional performance fee of 18,000 won.

If you do the math, that’s between 8,800 won and 26,800 won per hour.

For someone like Kang Taehan, it was essentially like taking home 30,000 won per hour, plus additional benefits in internal power.

Could he find a better job right now?

It wasn’t impossible, but undoubtedly tough.

“It does feel a bit insufficient.”

But when it comes to money, more is always better!

If they’re saying that the pay seems weak, there’s no need to argue that it’s not.

“Is that so?”

As if he expected this reply, Director Hwang nodded.

Kang Taehan just faintly smiled.

“To be honest, a lot of customers came looking for you today. But you had to turn some away.”

“It looked like that earlier on.”

“It’s been three weeks since Taehan started working here, and if it’s already like this… more people will definitely come as the word spreads. Rumors tend to gather momentum.”

Director Hwang was not exaggerating.

Some customers today had even offered to pay extra to move up their turn.

The number of people seeking Kang Taehan might exceed tens of arrivals per day.

But Kang Taehan only had one body to offer.

So then.

“That’s why I’m thinking about creating a special course to increase your pay. What do you think?”

“A course? What kind of course?”

“Well, simply put, a premium service. The boss also seems to have reacted positively.”

The so-called Premium Intensive Management Course.

Though the name was set as such, it was a course designed for a massage by Kang Taehan himself.

It would be priced at 90,000 won per hour, a 30,000 won increase from the regular price.

“Then the performance fee would go up to 27,000 won.”

“Not exactly. If that was the case, I wouldn’t be showing off about it.”

Director Hwang shook his head and then showed five fingers, indicating half.

“A clean 50%.”

“You mean to say you’re raising the proportion of the performance fee?”

That would effectively mean 45,000 won.

Simply in terms of the performance fee, it was nearly double what he currently received.

“Right. I considered raising the hourly wage, but it’s easier to convince the boss by increasing the performance part. Isn’t this better for you?”

Director Hwang was still a middle manager.

He wanted to raise the pay but couldn’t do so without discussing it with the boss.

The hourly wage is a fixed expenditure regardless of revenue.

In contrast, a performance fee needs not be paid if there’s no revenue.

When persuading the boss, it’s easier to secure better conditions by increasing the performance fee than the hourly wage.

Of course, if no sales were made, it would be pointless, but Director Hwang was confident that with Kang Taehan, revenue would surely increase.

‘If we’re doing this, let’s do it more efficiently, and I’ll provide as much as possible… That’s what he’s saying.’

At least, it wasn’t bad news for Kang Taehan.

If what he said was true, he would be able to take home more money.

It was effectively like getting a raise.

“Will there be any changes to my duties?”

“None. Just setting up a larger space for premium service… maybe a change in your uniform. Ah, and you’ll have to sign a new contract.”

Kang Taehan quietly looked into Director Hwang’s eyes.

An unbothered gaze met his.

Even while discussing, no particular reaction was shown.

At least there was no sense of something hidden or dubious.

“It doesn’t seem like a bad deal.”

“That’s what I thought. Honestly, I want to keep Taehan here for a long time, hence the initiative.”

Kang Taehan’s response led Director Hwang to speak frankly.

An increase in regulars meant an increase in the massage parlor’s popularity.

In fact, since Kang Taehan’s arrival, the daily revenue had been steadily increasing.

“So, what do you say? Need to think about it?”

“I need to see the detailed contract, and we’ll need to negotiate times. Even though I’ll be a senior, I should finish my studies after the new term starts.”

“Of course. I’ll try to accommodate your schedule as much as possible. Don’t worry. And, it’s reservation-based.”

“Then that’s fine with me.”

‘I’m grateful,’ Kang Taehan thought to himself.



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