Elder Lee must have heard about Qiao Nan's situation from Zhu Baoguo, hence he specially went to the Qiao family's residence today.

With Elder Lee's words just now, unless she decided to quit school on her own accord, even if her father had to work his guts out, he would have to let her continue with her studies regardless of what excuses her mother came up with.

At least there was one thing Qiao Nan was sure of.

Even if she had a conflict with Qiao Zijin one day and either of them had to quit school, she would not be the one who would be forced to quit school.



Qiao Dongliang was too happy that he was in complete bewilderment. On the other hand, Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin were so furious that they were in shock, particularly Qiao Zijin who had turned green from anger.

After the merry-making today, everyone now knew that Qiao Dongliang had a capable daughter who came in first in the middle school exams, and her name was Qiao Nan. Nobody remembered Qiao Zijin, the elder daughter of the Qiao family.

"Mom, I don't feel well, so I won't be going to work today!" Nobody knew if her father would use her hard-earned money on Qiao Nan in the future.

She changed her mind in an instant and no longer wanted to quit her studies to work.

If she did not study, all the savings would be used on Qiao Nan. She could not take it lying down. Since her father wanted her to stay with the family and would take in a husband for her, everything in the Qiao family belonged to her and had nothing to do with Qiao Nan. She had no right to use her money!

Why should she work while Qiao Nan spent the money they earned? "Mom, I find it boring to work, so I don't want to work anymore. Should I just resign today?"

"Fine." Ding Jiayi agreed without much thought. "I have said long ago that you are still young, and the most important thing is to study hard. It is too tiring to work."

"No!" Qiao Dongliang's face darkened. "How could you pamper your child to this extent? One should not give up halfway. Zijin, since you have started to work, why would you want to stop working now? Zijin, according to your nominal age, you are already eighteen years old this year and could already apply for your identity card. Why are you still so unreliable? Nan Nan is younger than you by two years. Don't you find it shameful for me to tell you to learn from her? Regarding what happened at the beginning of this year, although I kept quiet, it doesn't mean what your mom and you did were right. I just couldn't be bothered to lecture both of you. I have no idea where your mom got your school fees from. Did she tell you? Why would you waste all her efforts? You have been working for the past two months, and the pay could at least help cover half of the school fees. You could help lighten your mom's load in this way, but why don't you think in behalf of your mom?

"Don't reprimand Zijin. She cares a lot about me. She said that when she receives her pay, she will get me a gift. We have an agreement. I will be in charge of Zijin, and you are in charge of Nan Nan. You have no right to lecture her or take her matters into your hand. I will take care of Zijin. She is very good to me. Everything that I have done is of my own accord. I am more than willing to work my guts out for her. From the way you lectured Zijin, I don't think Qiao Nan is any better!" Ding Jiayi was displeased; she defended Zijin and sided with her.

"What's wrong with Nan Nan? She can enroll in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, but she decided to go to Ping Cheng High School to lighten my load. She even managed to get a scholarship. Isn't that good enough? At the very least, she did not squander all the money we had at home!" Qiao Dongliang laughed coldly. "Fine. Since you are willing, I won't say anything and won't meddle anymore. I only have one question for you. Where did you get Zijin's school fees from at the start of the year?"

"Why do you have to care where I get it from? I did not steal, rob, or go against the law. You just have to look after your Qiao Nan." A flash of panic could be seen in Ding Jiayi's eyes. She did not give a direct answer to Qiao Dongliang's question. "Alright, it's not early. I have to work to earn money for Zijin's school fees for this semester. Will this do? Zijin, if you don't feel well, you should take a break today. You do not have to worry about working. You are still a student. The most important thing is to study hard. Don't listen to what your dad said. If you don't feel like going, just resign. No matter what, Mom will find a way to obtain your school fees. I won't let you owe school fees."

"Alright, I will listen to Mom." With Ding Jiayi's backing, Qiao Zijin really decided not to go. She turned and headed to her room to sleep in.

"Obtain?" Qiao Nan puzzled over Ding Jiayi's choice of words. She could not help but feel uneasy at this word.

It was similar to the uneasy feeling she had when her mother spent all the money they had at home and asked Elder Lee to pull strings for her.

Qiao Nan narrowed her eyes. "Mom, where did you 'obtain' sister's school fees for this semester?"

"You don't have to care!" Ding Jiayi did not even tell Qiao Dongliang when he asked her, so how could she possibly tell Qiao Nan. She wrung the water off the towel, wiped her face slovenly, and left without eating her breakfast.

"Dad, I can't help but worry at the way Mom puts it. My sister is in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China. The school fee is higher than other high schools. Where could Mom obtain the school fees from?" Qiao Nan walked to stand by Qiao Dongliang.

Qiao Dongliang pushed out his bicycle; he was in a hurry to get to work. "Don't worry. Your mom is a grown-up. It would be alright. Nan Nan, I am going off to work. You stay at home."

Qiao Dongliang did not know that Qiao Nan knew Ding Jiayi better than him. Never would he have imagined that the issue with Qiao Zijin's school fees would cause an upheaval at home. When the problem finally arose, the Qiao family was going through the most difficult times and was faced with the biggest challenge. It was one disaster after another for the Qiao family, and it almost became the last straw that broke the camel's back.

Over at the Zhai family's residence, Zhai Sheng's father was rubbing his forehead. He could not sleep a wink last night, and he was woken up early in the morning by the din outside. "Which house created such a ruckus?"

"Who else could it be if not the young lady who always comes to our house to study?" Zhai Hua bit on an apple, her eyes staring at the newspapers.

"What happened?"

"The young lady came in first in the middle school exams; the Lee family celebrated her good results. I heard that the good-for-nothing grandson of the Zhu family had changed for the better under her influence and done well in the exams." Even though Zhai Hua rarely went out when she was in the quad, nothing in the quad could escape her eyes.

"Are you referring to the maternal grandson from the Lee family, Zhu Baoguo, who always engages in fights?" Zhai Sheng's father had some impression of Zhu Baoguo. "No wonder it is bustling with noise and excitement. It's just that they celebrated it too early. If they are in high school and have such results, then it would be worth the celebrations." But no one can deny the fact that the young lady had done pretty well.

It seemed like the young lady who always dropped by their house to use the storeroom was serious about studying; she was not scheming or up to no good. "Where is Zhai Sheng?"

"Where else could he be? Dad, Zhai Sheng is already twenty-one years old, yet he stays in the army all day long. When could he get a sister-in-law for me? Dad, don't you want to have a grandchild?" Her brother had grown up in the army, but there was no woman in the army.

Recently, Zhai Hua heard that man and man could… Anyway, she was anxious. Her brother must not be led astray!

But Zhai Hua could only keep her thoughts to herself. To the men in the Zhai family, the army was a solemn and sacred place.



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