Qiao Zijin could not have spicy food. If she had them, she would have acne on her face and her back.

In the past, when Ding Jiayi was in charge of the meals, she usually cooked the meals according to Qiao Zijin's preference. Qiao Dongliang, who had to have spicy food to go with his rice, had to quit this habit of his. Occasionally, when he craved for spicy food, he would have them outside.

The reason why Qiao Dongliang did not say anything was that he thought that Qiao Nan did not like spicy food as well. At least, that was what Ding Jiayi told him.

But her lies were exposed today.

"No, I can do it. But there isn't any chili at home." Ding Jiayi tried to put up the last fight. If she added chili to the small yellow croaker, it was almost impossible for Zijin to eat them.

"Don't worry. I will go buy some." Qiao Dongliang put down his briefcase and cycled off.

Since Qiao Dongliang was so determined, there was no way that Ding Jiayi could stop him.

As soon as Qiao Dongliang left, Ding Jiayi pulled a long face and looked at Qiao Nan as if she was her enemy. "Aren't you happy now?! You should at least take into account that I gave birth to you. I am your biological mom! Why will you do me harm? You insist on sowing discord between your dad and me. Are you bent on seeing us both go our separate ways? Why are you so evil and heartless? Do you not treat your sister and me as your family? Don't you care about your dad? How can you leave him alone and go to school? Your dad is nursing his injuries. If you care for him, you should know what to do!"

Qiao Nan ignored Ding Jiayi, poured a cup of water for herself, and sat down. "Mom, you should save all the troubles. No matter what you say, it is useless. You should know clearly whether I truly sowed discord between Dad and you or whether it is you who are bent on picking on me and siding with Sister. Dad can tell as well. Now that Dad and you have ended up this way, I am not at fault. You only have yourself to blame."

"You…" Ding Jiayi had not expected Qiao Nan to say this. She had been close to begging Qiao Nan to stop making things difficult for her, yet Qiao Nan said these words to her.

She was the one at fault?

That wretched girl and her nonsense!

"Mom, don't try to use Dad as an excuse. I didn't persuade him to go back for his own good. What good is it to Dad for him to go back to you? Dad likes to eat spicy food, but are you willing to cook spicy food for Dad despite knowing Sister cannot eat them? My dad was injured, but were you able to fork out the money for his medical fees? Do you understand what is on Dad's mind? Are you able to make him happy every day? Can you promise that he will not be unhappy like how he used to be in the past?"

"Don't be too proud of yourself! Is this how you talk to your mom? This is the adults' affairs. You do not know anything! Couples will occasionally quarrel. This is normal!" Ding Jiayi refused to admit that she was wrong—that she was too domineering and had disregarded Qiao Dongliang's feelings. "Don't think too highly of yourself just because you managed to borrow money for your dad's medical fees! You are his daughter. It's only right that you take care of him!"

"Yes, that is my duty. But what about my sister's and your duties to dad? He is your husband, my sister's dad. Is it my responsibility alone to take care of him while both of you simply watch from the side? If that's the case, then all the more reasons I should not persuade him to go back. If he goes back with you, he will have to work his guts out and give all his pay to you—which, in return, will be spent by you on my sister. If he falls sick, he will have no money to pay for his medical fees. But if he stays with me, that will not happen. Mom, are you really being nice to Dad, or do you just want Dad to work his guts out for the both of you?"

It was unreasonable. She was the only one who cared for Qiao Dongliang, but he had to make sacrifices for both Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin.

In the end, both her mother and Qiao Zijin stood to gain.

Ding Jiayi's face turned bright red. She raised her hand in a bid to hit Qiao Nan. "Qiao Nan, you have the audacity to speak to me in this manner. Your dad must have spoiled you! I am going to teach you a lesson today! Otherwise, you will not know who is in charge here!"

"Mom, I advise you to think twice. If you slap me right here, how are you going to answer to Dad when he is back? Believe it or not, if you dare to raise your hand against me, I will tell Dad what happened. From then on, you will not be able to enter this house!" Qiao Nan stared coldly at Ding Jiayi, her tone firm and strong.

Ever since she went through rebirth, her mother had raised her hand against her for more than once. In one instance, she was beaten until her ears were bleeding. It had become a habit of hers!

"You!" Ding Jiayi raised her hand but stopped in mid-air. What Qiao Nan said was true. As early as a few months ago, Qiao Dongliang had warned her that Qiao Nan was his daughter. If she dared to do anything to Qiao Nan, he would let her have a taste of her own medicine!

Ding Jiayi stomped her foot, covered her face with her hands, and cried loudly. "Qiao Nan, I am so disappointed in you. I am your mom! Everything I do is for your own good. I hope that you will have a bright future. Why can't you understand my efforts and treat me as an enemy instead? You are still young, so you don't understand. But you can't repay kindness with ingratitude and sow discord between your Dad and me. When you become a mother, you will understand that everything I do is for your own good."

"I never blamed you for moving out with your dad, but what you said is very hurtful. Nan Nan, you used to be a well-behaved child. What caused the change in you? Is anyone leading you astray? Nan Nan, you must not trust those outsiders. I am your mom. I am the only one in this world who will not do you any harm. Whatever others tell you, they are all lies. They are trying to mislead you and disrupt the harmony in our family. Don't be fooled by those people."

Qiao Nan was rendered speechless. She lifted her head and looked upward silently. She then looked at Ding Jiayi and asked her in a mocking tone, "Mom, maybe I am young, and thus don't understand anything. Can you tell me why you and my sister insisted that I was a thief even though Auntie Zhai had said that all their belongings were intact? Why were you so persistent even though Sister Zhai Hua had said that she was the one who gave me the keys?"



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