Tang Mengran smiled bitterly. "Lingling, you are wrong. Even though I don't want to admit it, Xu Tingting is very smart. I was in the same junior high school as her. When she was in junior high school, she had been like this, always interested in boys who have good results, good looks, and good background. In short, she knows how to live by her wits. But even so, her grades have always been good. Think about it. She was admitted into class one and was appointed vice class monitor like Nan Nan. She is pretty capable."

"How did Xu Tingting do for the middle school examination? How much did she score to get into class one?" He Yun was interested as well. She had the impression that Xu Tingting was just a besotted fool. She did not know about her results.

"The second place in the class." Fang Fang adjusted her glasses and said, "However, there is a huge gap between her score and Qiao Nan's score."

Qiao Nan was the top scholar of middle school examination. Her results were way much higher than that of the student who came in second place in the province. Xu Tingting's results might be good, but she was still ranked behind the person who came in second place in the province. As such, there was a wide gap between Qiao Nan's and Xu Tingting's scores.

At the thought of this, Fang Fang only had one thought in her mind—abnormal!

Obviously, she was referring to Qiao Nan.

Tao Zhenqin smiled and said nothing. "One really couldn't tell that she is pretty smart."

Qiao Nan was taken aback as well. She was focused on her own studies and never bothered to know how her classmates did in their exams. It never crossed her mind to find out who was in second place and how their results were as compared to hers in the middle school examination.

It was only now that Qiao Nan found out that Xu Tingting was quite smart as well. "Okay, all the exams are over. It is time to go home. Be it good or bad, we cannot do anything about it. If we did not do well this time, let's work harder next time and strive for better results."

"Qiao Nan, you will definitely do well. Thus, you are not worried at all." Tao Zhenqin felt bitter. Some students like Xu Tingting and Qiao Nan were just different from the rest.

Xu Tingting chased after the boys every day. She did not seem to have any time for her studies, yet she did very well. As for Qiao Nan, the most annoying thing about her was that, she took her studies very seriously in the class, but once lessons were over, she would be very relaxed and would not be seen studying.

Take the monthly exams for instance. All of them in the dormitory would bring their books back to the dormitory and burn the midnight oil. However, Qiao Nan was the only exception. During the exam period, as soon as she returned to the dormitory, she would sleep right after she bathed.

While Tao Zhenqin revised for her exams late into the night, Qiao Nan would be sleeping soundly next to her. Tao Zhenqin would always feel bitter inside.


Tao Zhenqin sighed. It was exasperating and pointless to compare with others.

"Qiao Nan works hard every day. It is not surprising that she has good results." Fang Fang made pertinent comments about Qiao Nan's efforts. She noticed that Qiao Nan was an effective and efficient learner. When she was studying, she concentrated wholeheartedly. Whenever she was in the classroom, she would be fully focused on her studies.

She was very sure that Qiao Nan spent as much time, if not more than any of them, on her studies.

The only difference was that, Qiao Nan devoted her full attention to her studies when she was in class, while the rest of them would lose their focus and be side-tracked. As a result, they had to study during their rest time.

"Alright, let's go home. I am going to ask my mom to prepare something delicious for me. It is so tiring and exhausting after the exam. I cannot imagine how we are going to survive the three years in high school!" Tang Mengran screamed in agony and pressed her hands to her head.

"Let's go home now. Else, it will be too late," Zheng Lingling said nervously.

The six of them hurried back to their dormitory, packed their things, and went back home.

Luckily, this time around, Chen Jun did not wait for Qiao Nan on her way home. As soon as she entered the house, Qiao Nan saw someone whom she was surprised at seeing but had expected to see in her house.

Ding Jiayi had an unabashed look on her face. She wiped her wet hands on the apron. "Nan Nan, you are back. You must be tired. Put down your bag. I will pour you some tea. Dinner will be ready in a while. You have a hard time studying. You must have good food for nourishment."

This was the first time Ding Jiayi behaved in this way toward Qiao Nan.

Her words were familiar. This was what she would always say to Qiao Zijin. For this reason, Ding Jiayi did not find it awkward at all. But this was the first time she cared for Qiao Nan's well-being.

Qiao Nan put down her bag and scanned the house silently. She noticed that the house had become neat and tidy. Qiao Nan knew that her mother had come over when she went to school. "Is Sister coming today?"

Did it mean that her mother and Qiao Zijin decided not to stay at the comfortable house back at the quad but to move in with them in this new house?

"Your sister knows the directions. She will come here as soon as school is over," Ding Jiayi smiled and said nicely. Her attitude was vastly different from how she used to treat Qiao Nan in the past. She used to find Qiao Nan an eyesore and would always pick on her.

Qiao Nan pursed her mouth. This small quad was pretty small. In fact, it was not a small quad. Technically speaking, it was a one-story cottage. The dining area was located in the kitchen, and there were only two bedrooms. She could not say anything if her mother wanted to share a room with her father. However, if Qiao Zijin had to share a room with her, she would not accept it. Given Qiao Zijin's temper, it was likely that she would not agree as well.

"Nan Nan is back." Qiao Dongliang came back on a bicycle.

"Dad, you went to work? Did I not tell you to rest for another month?"

"I am fine. Look, I feel very good and healthy." Qiao Dongliang smiled and placed the bicycle properly. "This is your favorite small yellow croaker. Dad bought it specially for you. It's a special dish just for you. Ding Jiayi, cook it well. Cook it according to how Qiao Nan likes it to be. Do you know her preferences?"

"I… I know," Ding Jiayi said reluctantly. She had no idea what the wretched girl's preference was.

Anyway, her cooking was quite up to standard. Qiao Nan should not be so picky since she already got to eat her favorite small yellow croaker.

"Mom, I like to eat spicy food. You should put in more chilies. It would be good to braise the croaker." Qiao Nan knew that Ding Jiayi did not know her taste, so she hurried to make herself clear.

"But your sister doesn't eat…" spicy food.

Qiao Dongliang sneered. "As I have said, cook it according to Nan Nan's preference. I like it braised and spicy as well. You should cook it according to Nan Nan's wishes and put in more chilies. If you do not know how to cook it, I can do it. Let me change my shoes and wash my hands first."

Qiao Nan's taste was similar to Qiao Dongliang's. They liked spicy food, whereas Qiao Zijin and Ding Jiayi could hardly take in spicy food.

Qiao Zijin, particularly, due to her constitution, could not take in spicy food. In fact, she was even harder to please than Ding Jiayi.

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