"Thief? Mom, what do you mean?"

"Think about it. If Qiao Nan was given the key by the Zhai family, why did the Zhai family not give her the key to the front door, but the key to the back door instead? If Qiao Nan enters the Zhai's residence with the permission of the Zhai family, why can't Qiao Nan have a drink at their house? I suppose the Zhai family does not know that Qiao Nan has been going to their house. Qiao Nan, that wretched girl, must have found the keys and has been sneaking into their house every day since. If the Zhai family knows about this, do you think they will let us off? This wretched girl, she is determined to create havoc and drag us down with her! If the Zhai family wants to settle scores with us, won't the four of us be sued by them?"

Initially, Ding Jiayi had been excited that she had seized upon the chinks in Qiao Nan's armor. But when she thought of how powerful the Zhai family was, Ding Jiayi's face turned ashen.

The people from the Zhai family could easily make life worse than hell for them. Ding Jiayi had to keep this a secret for Qiao Nan. Nobody must find out about her secret place.

"Zijin, listen to me. Let's put a stop to this matter. I will deal with Qiao Nan, but we can never let others know that Qiao Nan stole the key to the Zhai's residence and has been sneaking into their house every day since. Otherwise, that will be the end of the Qiao family. We will never be able to stay in the quad!"

At first, Qiao Zijin had a big fright. She did not expect that the consequences would be so serious. But then, her eyes blinked brightly. She had thought of a brilliant method. "Mom, don't be afraid. Listen to me, tomorrow you will…"

"Is it feasible? Forget it. We must not take the risk. We can't afford to offend the Zhai family!" Ding Jiayi shook her head. She had dared to create a din in front of Old Qiao, but she did not dare to be unruly in front of the Zhai family.

She was not that daring!

Her knees might go weak on her when she faced the people from the Zhai family.

"Mom, you have to do it. I believe you can do it. Mom, think about it again. Ever since Dad reported to the police, what have the neighbors' impressions of you been? We are so disgraced from that incident. However, if this matter is handled properly, you can rebuild your reputation in the quad, and you will be able to hold your head up high again. You must let everyone in the quad know that Qiao Nan is indeed suspicious. The reason why you took the three hundred yuan from Qiao Nan was for her sake. You were afraid that Qiao Nan would learn the wrong way and act rashly. The people in the entire quad will understand that you are a kind mother to Qiao Nan. Mom, this is a good opportunity!"

Qiao Zijin tried her best to convince Ding Jiayi. "Mom, I know that the Zhai family will be at home tomorrow. Tomorrow is the best chance. Mom, don't worry. As long as you follow what I said, rest assured that they will not find faults with us. Even if they are really furious, their target will be Qiao Nan, and they will know that you are a loving mother with good intentions. Mom, you can't hesitate. If you do not do this now, Qiao Nan's secrets will be discovered sooner or later. By that time, things will go out of control. The entire Qiao family will be shamed and we will not be able to stay in the quad anymore!"

Qiao Zijin was anxious as well.

She was really worried that Qiao Nan would drag them down with her.

She no longer cared if she could tarnish Qiao Nan's reputation tomorrow. The most important thing was that the Qiao family could not afford to offend the Zhai family.

The Zhai family was powerful and influential. They were very established in Ping Cheng.

Qiao Zijin had to make plans for her future. If she wanted to marry well and be successful, she could not afford to offend the Zhai family. If someone with a good background in Ping Cheng took a liking to her and wanted to marry her, after knowing that the Qiao family had offended the Zhai family in the past, they might be fearful of Zhai family's power and status and decided against marrying her.

She could not sacrifice her happiness for her heartless sister, Qiao Nan. She was not worth it at all!

"Mom! Don't hesitate anymore. If this is discovered by others, it will not take long before everyone in Ping Cheng knows that we have a thief in our house and that I am the sister of the said thief. Qiao Nan is careless and foolish. She even dared to offend the Zhai family. Mom, I don't want to be dragged down by Qiao Nan. I don't want to end up having to leave the quad and Ping Cheng. Mom!!"

Ding Jiayi was flustered and out of her wits at Qiao Zijin's constant coaxing. In the end, she gritted her teeth and said, "Qiao Nan created troubles for herself. There is no reason for our family to suffer with her. Zijin, rest assured. Mom will never let Qiao Nan ruin you."

"Mom, although Qiao Nan's English is good, could she possibly earn three hundred yuan with only a few days of hard work? Mom, do you think that the three hundred yuan Qiao Nan had…" It was no wonder that Qiao Nan refused her suggestion when Qiao Zijin said that she wanted to take up the translation job as well. The money could have been stolen as well. It was not Qiao Nan's hard-earned money!

"Don't bring it up. I have the same sentiments too. This wretched girl, I can't wait to take a knife and chop off both her hands. Why must she steal? She is so shameless!"

"Mom, you have to be composed. Do not give yourself away in front of Qiao Nan later. You must not let Dad find out about your plan. Dad is biased toward Qiao Nan. He is confounded, unable to distinguish right from wrong, and he would side with her. He may even take the rap for Qiao Nan and blame it on us as well. Besides, Qiao Nan is very smart. If she notices anything amiss, she will make arrangements in advance. We may end up being her scapegoats." Qiao Zijin took a deep breath and calmed herself down.

This time, it was Qiao Nan who did herself in. She had nothing to do with it.

From tomorrow onward, everyone would only remember that Qiao Zijin, the elder daughter of the Qiao family, had good character and good looks, whereas Qiao Nan would be remembered as the shame and blemish in their family and the quad.

"She will not dare to do that!" Ding Jiayi widened her eyes, baring her teeth.

"Qiao Nan has not been close with both of us. We don't know what things she is capable of doing in order to protect herself. There's the saying that goes 'Every man for himself', isn't there? Qiao Nan did not think about our interests when she did all these. Anyway, we must be careful, lest Qiao Nan finds out about our plan."

If Qiao Nan noticed anything amiss and destroyed all the evidence, all their efforts would be wasted.

"You are right. Since she dared to do those sneaky things, it goes to show that she is heartless and no longer treats us as her family or consider our interests. We must be careful."



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