Nan Nan was obviously more sensible than Zijin. Whenever Zijin received new clothes, she would think of the type of new clothes to buy next. On the other hand, Nan Nan always spared a thought for the family.

To think that he used to consider Zijin more filial than Nan Nan, he wondered if any of the nerves in his brain had gone hay-wired back then.

Qiao Dongliang was fatherly and Qiao Na was filial. Qiao Zijin's face turned black at the sight of this. It was as if the caring and sensible Qiao Nan was the only good daughter in the world, whereas she was the bad one. She felt that she had underestimated Qiao Nan all this while. Qiao Nan was better than her at currying favor and being goody-two-shoes.

She did not believe that Qiao Nan did it for the sake of the family when she refused to buy any more new clothes. If Qiao Nan did not bother, then why must she yield the two new dresses to her!

No matter how angry Qiao Zijin felt, she could only endure it at this moment.

In her bad mood, Qiao Zijin used too much strength and damaged some of the handiwork materials. Ding Jiayi's heart ached at the sight of it. "Zijin, be more careful. Don't use too much strength. We have to pay for damaged materials."

The ten handiworks made by Zijin were not even enough to pay for one set of materials.

If Zijin continued to damage the items, she would be doing this work for nothing.

"!" Qiao Zijin glared as she stomached the anger. She wished that she could immediately throw away all the handiwork materials in her hands and stop working at once. However, at the thought of school reopening in no time, she dared not throw a fit. Although she was unhappy, she could only continue with the work abidingly.

It was only when Qiao Zijin made an effort to complete the handiwork did she realize how hard it had been on her mother last year when the latter worked until one or two o'clock in the wee hours every day to save up her tuition fees.

Four hours later, around ten o'clock at night, Qiao Zijin finally completed a few pieces of handiwork. Her waist felt so stiff that she could hardly straighten it, and her eyes were so dry that they were tearing.

Qiao Zijin, who had been pampered for eighteen years, could not endure the hard work. It was only half a day and she could barely tolerate it. "Mom, when I am older and step into society, I must find ways and means to earn a lot of money. Even if I can't, I'll find a husband that's able to do so!"

"It's not that easy." Ding Jiayi sighed. "Furthermore, you don't intend to study in college, right? Look at Qiao Nan. Her studies are good. Although she's only a student, she's able to earn money so easily now. When you graduate from high school, you'll be considered lucky if you can find a stable job. Earning big bucks will be difficult."

Qiao Zijin gritted her teeth. "Since it's not good to be a high school graduate, I'll be a college graduate, then. Mom, I have decided. I will continue with my studies. You're right. Isn't Dad so good to Qiao Nan because her grades are better than mine? I don't believe I can't surpass Qiao Nan in her studies if I study hard!"

In the past, she did not put any effort into her studies as she felt that the purpose of education was just to 'package' herself.

Nevertheless, if knowledge could change her future, there was no reason that she should not work hard for her own future.

"…" Seeing that Qiao Zijin was full of confidence, Ding Jiayi said after some thoughts, "Zijin, actually, you're better than Qiao Zijin in many other ways. Learning requires a lot of efforts, so don't be too hard on yourself."

"Mom, what do you mean?" Qiao Zijin, who was already burning with anger, almost exploded when she heard Ding Jiayi's words.

Was her mother saying that she was making things difficult for herself by studying hard and competing with Qiao Nan's grades?

Did her mother also feel that Qiao Nan was smarter than her, and her grades would definitely not surpass that of Qiao Nan?

After hearing Qiao Zijin's angry response, Ding Jiayi felt unappreciated. She did not want Zijin to work so hard and achieve nothing in return. "Forget it, do as you wish. Mom is glad that you're willing to study hard. In Mom's heart, you're always the best child in the world."

"Wait and see. I will prove to all of you that I'm not worse than Qiao Nan. I'm more outstanding than her!"

That night, Qiao Zijin continued working until midnight before stopping and going to bed.

The next morning, it was already eight o'clock when she woke up. "Dad, Mom has gone to work. Is Nan Nan also not at home?" At this moment, there were only Qiao Dongliang and Qiao Zijin at home.

"Yes, Nan Nan went out to read books." Qiao Dongliang replied and continued to work on his accounts.

Qiao Dongliang was quite good in Mathematics. He occasionally helped the factory's accountant when the latter was overwhelmed during the busy periods of account-closing.

This month was the account-closing period for the first half of the year. Although the accountant was not overwhelmed with work this time, he fell sick. Shortly after Qiao Dongliang was discharged from the hospital, the accountant was admitted.

When the factory manager knew about the situation, he simply asked his man to send the accounts to the Qiao family's residence for Qiao Dongliang to work on. He considered this as an extra job and would pay Qiao Dongliang additional income.

Qiao Dongliang was a grown-up man and could not possibly stay at home all day. If he did so, there would only be expenses and no income. Thus, he had no reason to decline this opportunity and started working as soon as he received it.

After Qiao Zijin brushed her teeth and washed her face, she scooped a bowl of porridge, sat down, and drank it. As she looked down, there was a gleam of cunningness in her eyes. She pretended to ask casually, "Dad, it's almost been a year. Do you know where Nan Nan has been reading her books?"

"Not sure." Qiao Dongliang did not even look up.

"Oh." So, Qiao Nan even kept it from her father. She did not tell him where she had been studying all this while. Did she also keep all her books and money there?

Qiao Zijin knew that after such a din happened, Qiao Nan would guard against her mother and her even more.

For almost a year, she did not know how Qiao Nan managed to do it. She did not bring home more than two books. She must have also put away the three hundred yuan in the same place. If she could find out where this place was…

She was curious as to what kind of place would let Qiao Nan feel so assured of keeping all her important items there.

Qiao Zijin fell silent. Qiao Dongliang then lifted his head and looked at Qiao Zijin. "Why?"

"Nothing. Putting aside the days that we're studying, I just feel that Nan Nan and I don't have much time to bond with each other since she's not at home most of the days even though it's the vacation. I know I have a bad temper and can be annoying at times. I wish to change too, really. But I never had a chance to have a good heart-to-heart talk with Nan Nan. Sometimes, even if I want to change, I don't know where to start. Dad, can you help me?"

Wouldn't her father be glad to see her relationship with Qiao Nan improve—that the two sisters would be close to each other?

She felt that her father should be quite happy to hear that.

Unexpectedly, Qiao Dongliang did not appear too enthusiastic. He pursed his lips. "This is a matter between the two of you. I can't interfere. If you really feel that you have not done well in certain areas, you should reflect on yourself. In fact, you don't need to ask Nan Nan."



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