Zhai Sheng turned serious, clasped his hands and placed them on his knees. He asked Qiao Nan in a serious manner, "Is there anything strange with me reading in my own house?"

"No, absolutely no!" Qiao Nan stiffened her spine and stood straight like a soldier at attention, shaking her head continuously. She who was not a member of Zhai family could be allowed entrance to the storeroom, Brother Zhai had the right to be there.

But, was there something strange?

Qiao Nan was in awe of Zhai Sheng. Gone was the calm and alert Qiao Nan, instead she could not think properly and was slow in reacting.

"Since there isn't any problem, come over here to read." Zhai Sheng slightly pushed at the chair beside him and motioned for Qiao Nan to take a seat.

Under Zhai Sheng's gaze, Qiao Nan was a bundle of nerves. Her body stiffened and she walked awkwardly over to the chair.

When Qiao Nan finally came to her senses and realized that she had made a fool of herself in front of Prince Charming, her face blushed red as an apple.

Qiao Nan stole a quick glance at Zhai Sheng. She heaved a sigh of relief when she noticed that he had gone back to reading his books. She quickly regained her composure and sat down at the speed of light, lest she make a fool of herself again.

But she had only sat down for a while before she realized that there were more awkward moments to come.

Her chair and Zhai Sheng's chair were placed side by side. Though it was winter now and Qiao Nan was bundled up in clothes, she could sense Zhai Sheng right beside her and felt the warmth radiating from his thigh. She felt uneasy.

Qiao Nan stole a glance at Brother Zhai. He looked cold and aloof yet his body temperature was so high. His wife would not have to worry that the warm water bag was not warm enough for the winter, he himself was a natural human warm water bag.

That aside, Qiao Nan still felt uncomfortable.

In her previous life, even though Qiao Nan was no longer young, till the day she died she was still a maiden. She did not have much experience in getting along with the opposite gender, let alone being so close to them.

Even with her first love Chen Jun, they only held hands. But Qiao Nan felt embarrassed to be seen holding hands by others, so in the end she shook off his hands.

The warmth radiating from Zhai Sheng gave Qiao Nan the false impression that they were sitting thigh to thigh. She felt uncomfortable, and awkward, and could not wait to get out of the room.

"If you want to read then sit properly, do you have needles on your bottom? Stop fidgeting." Zhai Sheng said in a slightly cold and stern tone. Qiao Nan paled at his words, she straightened her back and flipped open a book. With the pen in hand, she started to do her sums, not daring to move half an inch.

She put her concentration into her studies and eventually forgot about the awkwardness.

As a result she did not catch the glint in Zhai Sheng's eyes, nor the upward lift of the corners of his mouth. Zhai Sheng glanced at Qiao Nan's knees that had touched his. He could not help but feel comfortable in this position, hence he did not move his feet but remained in that position.

When Qiao Nan went back to Qiao family residence, Zhai Sheng also left the storeroom. He took his book and went back to the main building of his house, pouring himself a cup of tea.

Zhai Hua who just came out of her bath dripping wet saw her brother and said, "I have turned into a mud man in this current mission. I couldn't imagine the clumps of mud that I just scraped off myself."

It was just a bath, but Zhai Hua felt as if she was alive again.

"As a soldier, if you are not mentally prepared and readied, you had better tell Dad that you want to discharge from the army."

"Come on, I am not discharging from the army. it was just a simple remark, can't I complain for a bit?" Zhai Sheng rolled his eyes. Children of the Zhai family were born to lead a soldier's life, though she was a lady, the love for army life was in her blood, she could never change her personality in this life. "By the way Zhai Sheng, where have you been just now? You weren't at home when I came back?"

She was still wondering where Zhai Sheng was since he came home earlier than her. He was not someone who liked to spend his time outside.

"Nothing much, I was doing some reading in a quiet place."

"A quiet place? Is there a noisy place in our house?" Zhai Hua rolled her eyes. "You have emptied out your study room and moved everything to the storeroom, where else can you go to do some reading? Besides, I have already said that I am seldom at home, if you are willing, you can use my study room. " Zhai Hua gave Zhai Sheng a generous pat on the shoulder. "No matter what, I am your elder sister."

Zhai Sheng shot Zhai Hua a cold stare. "You can keep your study room to yourself, I don't want to spot things that I should not see in your study room. I would be in a difficult position in front of Mom and Dad. You do not have to worry about me, I know what to do."

"Oh, what do you mean? Where have you been doing your reading? Care to tell me?" Zhai Hua raised her voice at Zhai Sheng who was leaving. "I have been to your study room, you are not there. You young brat!"

Zhai Hua was infuriated. Despite all her prying, Zhai Sheng refused to tell her.

Zhai Hua felt that Zhai Sheng had a big part to play for her bad temper as well as her impatient and tomboyish personality. If not for a spoilt brat brother like Zhai Sheng, she would not have turned out like this.

Back at his room, Zhai Sheng took off his clothes, getting ready for a hot bath.

He could not give an answer to Zhai Hua's questions as he was clueless as well. Without him realizing, he had taken his book and sat down in the storeroom. This was not the first time that he had done this.

Since Zhai Sheng liked going to the storeroom, he did not bother to find out the reason. He just followed his heart.

"Nan Nan, what's wrong with you?" Today was Qiao Dongliang's last day of work in the year. When he reached home he noticed that Qiao Nan seemed to be limping on her way back home. "Have you sprained your leg? Is it serious? Let me take a look. I will boil some hot water for you. Don't worry about the hot water, have a soak, after which I will rub your feet with some medicine. I promise you will be able to run in no time."

Qiao Dongliang knelt down, thinking to take off Qiao Nan's shoes to take a closer look at her feet. But Qiao Nan shifted to one side.

Qiao Nan was not used to be in such close proximity to Zhai Sheng. She felt uneasy to be this close to her biological father as well. "Dad, don't worry, it may be that I was too engrossed in doing my sums that I remained in the same position without moving my legs. It's only numbness in the leg. I will be fine when the numbness subsides."

Qiao Nan's words was laced with truths and lies. She did not forget to move her legs, in fact, she was frightened out of her wits, she was so nervous that she stayed in that same position all along.



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