Seeing that Qiao Dongliang did not respond to her words, Qiao Zijin shot a glance at Ding Jiayi. Ding Jiayi hinted at Qiao Zijin to carry on, and so she did. "Nan Nan is still young. She cannot stay up through the night. It's normal for her to rest more. Actually, I do not find it tiring at all. My biological dad is injured, and I am so anxious that I could not even sleep. I am glad that I could stay behind to take care of you. Dad, Nan Nan cares for you as well. When you went for the surgery, Nan Nan and I donated some blood to you."

"Alright, your dad has just woken up and is tired. Let him rest more. When he recovers, both of you will have lots of chances to chat." Ding Jiayi interrupted with a smile on her face. "Old Qiao, would you like to sleep for a while?"

"…" Qiao Dongliang made some movements as if he was sighing. He closed his eyes without casting another glance at Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin.

Qiao Zijin walked to stand by Ding Jiayi's side. "Mom, what's with Dad?" What did this attitude of his mean?

"Shush, don't disturb your dad. He needs to rest. Whatever it is you want to say, say it outside." After covering Qiao Dongliang with a blanket lest he caught a cold, Ding Jiayi pulled Qiao Zijin out of the ward. "Don't think too much about it. Your dad suffered such serious injuries, and he underwent two surgeries. He is very weak now and didn't mean anything by that. He is just too weak to say anything, so you should not worry. After this incident, your dad will realize who is more filial to him between Qiao Nan and you."

"You're right." Qiao Zijin smiled. "But Mom, Qiao Nan borrowed such a huge sum of money. Even though you said that whoever borrowed the money would have to repay it, can she even repay them? If the debtors make a fuss in the future, will Dad learn that Qiao Nan was the one who borrowed the money for his surgery?"

"I have already thought of this. Even if someone is to come to our house and demand payment for the loan, we will tell your dad that Qiao Nan borrowed the money for other purposes—that it has nothing to do with your dad. I believe Qiao Nan did not mention your dad when she went to borrow the money. Alright, I will handle this. Now that your dad has woken up, you should make use of these few days to look after him. After all, he is still the one with the final say at home."

After working to pay for Qiao Zijin's school fees for a year and borrowing it from Qiao Dongliang's comrades to pay for the school fees for the second semester, Ding Jiayi realized that it was too tiring to finance a child through school.

It would be so much easier if they only had one child going to school.

"Qiao Nan wants to continue with her studies. I am worried that she might not be willing."

"She has no say in this matter at all. You are not going to continue with your studies after the third year, and she has no right to study as well. If your dad has any objections, I would say that we should be fair to all." Old Qiao had always said that one must be fair. If Zijin quit school, why should they waste money to send Qiao Nan to school?

"Alright." Qiao Zijin nodded.

Her sister Qiao Nan had good results. If Qiao Zijin stopped her studies after she graduated from high school while Qiao Nan still performed well in high school, Qiao Zijin, as her sister, would be disgraced. Everyone would say that Qiao Nan was very bright, and no one would remember Qiao Zijin.

It would be all the better if both she and Qiao Nan stopped their studies together.

"Mom, what's on your mind?" Qiao Zijin found it strange that Ding Jiayi kept her silence.

"I am wondering where Qiao Nan borrowed such a huge sum of money from. Do you know how much remaining money does Qiao Nan have? I would not allow her to squander away the money that could save your dad's life. She is just a child. It would not be good to keep so much money with her. She wouldn't use it anyway." Given Old Qiao's condition, it would take a few months before he could go back to work.

Everything at home would need money.

Most importantly, Old Qiao was injured. She had to think of ways to make some tonics for Old Qiao.

With her meager salary, she could not even provide for Zijin, let alone for a family of four.

If Qiao Nan still had some money with her, then it would be a different story if she could get her hands on the money.

Since Qiao Nan also had a part in piling up the expenses at home, it was only right for her to pool the money into the house fund.

Qiao Zijin's eyes sparkled. "That's true. But it is still the same story, Mom. Qiao Nan is very smart now. I tried ways and means to get the money from Qiao Nan to no avail. I feel that Qiao Nan would be way more stingy than before. Just look at what happened this time. She did not hand the money for Dad's surgery to you and paid the money to the hospital by herself instead. Qiao Nan did not plan to let you keep the money at all."

"That wretched girl!" Ding Jiayi boiled with anger at the mention of the surgery fees. "If not for your dad's colleagues who sided with her, I would have dealt with her. We are in such a dire situation now, yet she gave empty promises that she would return them the money. Where would we have the money? This won't do. I have to get the money from her lest she squanders it away. You stay here and look after your dad. I will make a trip home."

Why did she forget to do a body search on Qiao Nan just now?!

If Qiao Nan had the money on her, there was no way she could hide it from her during the body search.

"Don't worry, Mom. I will not fall asleep this time." Qiao Zijin felt energized after a good night sleep yesterday. She would not commit yesterday's mistake again.

"Alright." Ding Jiayi entrusted the task of looking after Qiao Dongliang to Qiao Zijin. Afterward, she dashed back home to deal with Qiao Nan.

Back at home, Ding Jiayi grabbed the door handle to Qiao Nan's room and tried to turn the handle. She realized there was no way that she could open the door. "You wretched girl, you have the audacity to lock the door? Open it right now!"

Qiao Nan, who was woken up by Ding Jiayi, had only slept for less than two hours. With a sullen expression on her face, she spoke to her mother from the other side of the door, not making any move to open the door. "Mom, what is the matter?"

"What else but…" Ding Jiayi was about to launch into a tirade, but she remembered that Qiao Nan had the money with her. She calmed down and said, "Your dad is injured and could not work. We have a lot of expenses at home. You are still young; it is not convenient for you to keep the money with you. Besides, you have no idea what the expenses are. Qiao Nan, listen to me and give me the money. I will buy some tonics to nurture your dad."

"Mom, to tell you the truth, I have used all the money I borrowed to pay for Dad's medical fees and to repay the money we owed Dad's comrades."

"What? You… We are in such a dire situation here, why would you repay the money we owed? Do you want your dad to die?!" Ding Jiayi was so angry that she almost vomited blood. She had borrowed a total of four to five hundred yuan.

"If I wanted Dad dead, would I still borrow the money? Mom, you could not come up with the money as well! Mom, don't try to have any designs on me. Rather than questioning me about the money you borrowed from Dad's comrades, you should worry about how you are going to explain to Dad when he recovers from his injuries!" Qiao Nan smiled coldly. It seemed like she did the right thing when she locked her door as soon as she reached home. It was not groundless worries at all.



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