After confirming that the visitor was not entirely a stranger, Qiao Nan opened the door. "You are…" Looking at the man before her, Qiao Nan paused for a moment "Officer Zhu?"

"If you do not mind, you can call me Uncle Zhu." Zhu Chengqi was subtly sizing up Qiao Nan with a few glances. "Can we go in and talk?"

Zhu Chengqi just came back from the army, and he had not changed out of his military attire. Wearing the cold and crisp military uniform, Zhu Chengqi exuded a feeling of aloofness that kept people away.

"Come in." Qiao Nan could not bring herself to call him 'Uncle'. "Do you have any matter for today's visit?"

"It is regarding Baoguo. I already know about it. First, as a father, I would like to thank you for the positive influence on Baoguo. As for what happened during his middle school examination, I have clarified the matter." Since Zhu Chengqi's sitting posture was very prim and proper, people around him also felt obliged to sit upright in a serious manner.

"You have clarified the matter?"

"Yes, I have," Zhu Chengqi said. He seemed to be deep in thoughts as he glanced at Qiao Nan. He did not expect that the most cool-headed person in this matter was not his son, sister or father; it was someone who did not belong to the Zhu family—a classmate of his son.

"Good that it has been clarified." Qiao Nan nodded with relief. "There is one matter which was not convenient for me to speak about in the residence of the Zhu family at that time. However, I feel that, as Zhu Baoguo's father, you should know about this."

"What is it?"

"Around the beginning of this year, Wang Yang once led a group of people to round up on me. As for the reason, I believe you should know by now without the need for me to explain. Wang Yang harbored a sense of enmity toward Zhu Baoguo. Regarding the incident where Zhu Baoguo was so badly beaten, not finding out the truth of the matter indicates that you failed to fulfill your responsibility as Zhu Baoguo's father."

Elder Zhu was quite good to Wang Yang, his maternal grandson. Zhu Qin would definitely side with her own son.

Qiao Nan knew that if she revealed the matter about Wang Yang rounding her up at that time, Zhu Baoguo would be furious to the point of losing his sanity and make a fuss about it. That would cause the situation to go out of control and become unfavorable to Zhu Baoguo. There was no advantage in doing that.

Zhu Baoguo was like a little calf. As long as he saw something red, his eyes would burn with anger, and he would lose his mind easily.

Wang Yang drugged Zhu Baoguo and nearly caused him to miss the middle school examination. However, neither Elder Zhu nor Zhu Qin believed it. If she were to reveal that Wang Yang was the mastermind behind the previous incident where Zhu Baoguo was nearly killed by the hooligans, would Elder Zhu and Zhu Qin believe her?

Zhu Chengqi was shocked. He did not expect the matter Qiao Nan was referring to was actually this. "Really?"

"I do not have the need to lie," Qiao Nan replied very calmly.

"Alright, I know." Zhu Chengqi looked at Qiao Nan. "No matter what, you have been a great help to Zhu family this time. Is there anything you want?"

The matter about Wang Yang aside, Qiao Nan had been indispensable in helping Zhu Baoguo with his middle school examination. The Zhu family did not have the habit of owing others a favor.

After hearing what Zhu Chengqi said, Qiao Nan's expression changed.

Zhu Chengqi said directly, "You do not need to feel burdened by this. Everyone has their own ways of doing things. Even if you accept my gratitude, you can still continue to be friends to Baoguo. I will not stop you, and I also do not have the intention of looking down on you."

"You think too much." Qiao Nan shook her head. The discomfort she felt earlier eased immediately.

Since ancient times, people are particular about whether a married couple comes from equal family background and social status. Sometimes, the same goes for befriending someone.

The situation of the Qiao family could not be compared to that of the Zhu family's. Because of Zhu Baoguo, the Zhu family owed her a big favor, and this favor had to be repaid. Rather than waiting for the Qiao family to ask for the sky, Zhu Chengqi would rather take the initiative to return the favor they owed first.

Qiao Nan stood up quietly and returned to her own bedroom. She took out a set of English books, tapes, and sound recorder. "These are the gifts from Zhu Baoguo. The Zhu family does not owe me anything. Zhu Baoguo and I also have an innocent relationship."

"So these things bought by Baoguo previously were for you." Zhu Chengqi was clearly aware that the things in Qiao Nan's hands were not things the Qiao family could afford.

Looking at those things, Zhu Chengqi nodded. "Alright, then this will do. As the father of Zhu Baoguo, I still want to say a word of thanks to you."

"Xiao Qiao!" Just when Zhu Chengqi and Qiao Nan's conversation was coming to an end, the voice of Zhu Baoguo could be heard from outside. "Xiao Qiao!"

"Yes?" Qiao Nan knitted her brows and let Zhu Baoguo in.

"I heard that my dad came to look for you. What did he tell you? No, no matter what he told you, don't take it to heart. My dad doesn't even like me, his own son; of course he won't like my friends too. So, whatever he tells you are untrue. He is him, I am me. Don't mistake his words for my attitude."

Zhu Chengqi, who was walking out, knitted his brows. "One should always stand and sit in proper manners. What did I normally teach you?"

"Have you ever taught me? Don't put up a fatherly front every time you appear. I don't buy your tactics!" Zhu Baoguo's eyes became still and his tone was defiant.

"If both of you want to quarrel and bond with each other, go back to the Zhu family. This is the Qiao family." Qiao Nan curled the corners of her mouth. They looked as if they were about to quarrel at the entrance of her house.

"Who is bonding with him!"

"Sorry to disturb."

Zhu Baoguo gave Zhu Chengqi a stare. "There are 365 days in a year. For how many days are you at home? You only see me a few times a year. Let me tell you. Don't interfere in Xiao Qiao's and my matters. My auntie is crazy. Do you want to follow in her steps? Xiao Qiao is my sister; we are not in the messy relationship she mentioned. She did not even admit to her son's wrongdoing and still acted innocent. Damn, yours truly—your father, was the one being harmed. She still had the cheek to say Wang Yang was wronged!"

"Whose father are you?"

"Whose father are you?"

At this juncture, Zhu Chengqi and Qiao Nan had the same expression as they shouted at Zhu Baoguo.

Zhu Baoguo gave Zhu Chengqi a defiant stare. Nevertheless, because Qiao Nan also said the same thing, Zhu Baoguo did not reply with uglier words in the end.

"I seemed to have heard something else just now. Should Officer Zhu give me an explanation on this?" Qiao Nan's face turned stiff. She looked at Zhu Chengqi without any reservation. She could not choose her next-of-kin and was unable to escape the constant bullying from her mother and Qiao Zijin. However, the same saying still applied. She would not allow anyone outside the family to bully her easily regardless.

"It was just a false guess. You do not need to take it to heart." Zhu Chengqi was not flustered.

"Rumors—it is all a matter of perspective. But you must know. If you say a false thing a thousand times, someone will believe it. If the rumors affect me negatively, who will be responsible? Officer Zhu, don't you think you made it sound too simple?" Qiao Nan became solemn. "I do not wish to get into trouble. Officer Zhu, are you forcing me to state my stand?"



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