Chapter 9

Chenle & Mark: Not a Love Story

“Have you found anything suspicious yet?” Jisung was talking to someone quietly on the phone.

 

“You do? Send everything to me now. Thank you.”

 

Jisung opened his email and found a video and an audio recording. He watched and listened to the files attentively making sure to not miss a single second.

 

He first watched the video recording. There was another guy that’s entering and leaving Mark’s place. He had never seen this guy before there, even during the time he dropped Mark off. He zoomed in on the video and paused to try and see it better.

 

He was surprised to see a familiar face. “Isn’t that, Karina’s son? He and Mark know each other?”

 

Jisung decided to listen to the audio recording. The first part was mostly casual conversation of two boys. Jisung was indeed right, the ‘new’ guy is Karina’s son, Jeno. He continued to listen to the conversation hoping to find more clues as to how the two are related to each other. He was caught off guard when suddenly Mark started explaining a certain robot to Jeno. A robot that sounded so familiar to him.

 

That’s when it hit Jisung. Mark is trying to steal and launch as his own, the robot behind NCT’s Dream Project.

 

“I knew it! Mark Lee you are so busted. And you plan on launching what you stole from us right before we do? I am not gonna let this happen.”

 

Jisung immediately called an emergency meeting with Chenle the following day after knowing about Mark’s plan.

 

“What is this about this time?” Chenle was annoyed with how early in the morning Jisung asked the meeting to happen.

 

“It’s about Mark.”

 

“Jisung, not again.”

 

“No no, Chenle. Listen to me, okay. Mark is stealing Dream Project.”

 

“What? Jisung, you are seriously out of your mind. Why will Mark steal our project?”

 

“He’s launching a startup before our own launch of Dream Project to the public. And he’s using the brain robot as his initial launch.”

 

“Look, Jisung, I don’t know where you got all of this but I am telling you to stop whatever this agenda against Mark of yours is.” Chenle was about to leave when Jisung said, “Mark is also in close contact with Karina’s son. Remember her? Karina. Lesa’s sister.”

 

“What did you say?” This time, Jisung also stood from his seat and went to Chenle, closing their gap as little as possible.

 

“You clearly heard what I said Chenle. Don’t make me repeat it. Whatever Mark is planning, I am sure of two things. One, he wants to take NCT down. And two, he’s connected in one way or another to Lesa. If you don’t want to believe me, watch and listen to these for yourself.”

 

Jisung took Chenle’s left hand and placed a flash drive on his palm before closing it to a fist. Chenle’s eyes never left Jisung’s face. He was burning red in anger at the taller.

 

Chenle threw on the floor the flash drive Jisung gave him and squished it with his foot. He grabbed Jisung’s collar and with a clear warning sound from his voice he said to his best friend, “Don’t you dare lay a finger on Mark or else I will end this whole project myself.”

 

Chenle pushed away Jisung and stormed out of the room.

 

Mark didn’t show up for work that day and it added to Chenle’s stress. He was so worried about the boy but he can only hope that Mark just got sick that day but will recover soon.

 

He has too many questions in his mind but he doesn’t know which one to start with.

 

Days passed by and he hasn’t heard from Mark still. None of the other team members could contact him. Chenle tried to contact him too but to no avail. He wanted to visit him at his place but he doesn’t know where the boy even lives.

 

“Jisung knows though,” but his pride is making it hard for him to approach his best friend and ask for help.

 

“Mr. Zhong” his secretary barged into his CEO office without knocking. “I’m sorry for not knocking first but I think we have an emergency.”

 

Chenle quickly went out of his office and followed his secretary. Jisung was already there.

 

Chenle couldn’t believe what he was seeing on the news.

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