"Men are very concerned about whether women have many past relationships. If you are labeled as a loose woman, it will be difficult for you to marry a good husband."

Anyone who had money and influence would not be willing to accept 'second-hand goods'.

"Mom, what nonsense are you talking about? I am not someone who is licentious with no self-respect," Qiao Zijin said with a red face. Even though she had a lot of admirers at school and many wanted to have a closer relationship with her, she was not stupid. She would not act so rashly or behave in such a way.

"Mom, times are different now…"

Qiao Zijin had wanted to explain further but she was interrupted by Ding Jiayi. "No matter what age we are in, girls should have self-respect. Otherwise, nobody will cherish them." Even for people like Old Qiao, he was concerned whether it was her first time on the first night of their marriage.

She did not believe that men would not have the same concerns twenty years since then.

"Mom, it's not the same as it used to be. The school has taught us about relationships between men and women. It's normal that I have some knowledge on this subject. It's good that I know so that I will not be easily fooled or bullied by others. I learned whatever I know from the books. Mom, don't let your imagination run wild and call me names like what you do to Qiao Nan. If others are to hear what you said just now, I will not be able to hold my head up high."

"I see." Ding Jiayi felt assured. "Zijin, don't be angry. Mom is worried about you. Do you know why I insisted to bring you home today? You may feel that I only have eyes for your dad, but you are the only one I am most concerned about. Look at what I have here with me." Ding Jiayi took out a bag. It seemed to contain some soup.

"It's still warm. What is this smell? Small yellow croakers?!" Qiao Zijin was thrilled.

"Silly girl. I will never make you suffer. You don't understand me at all. The weather is very warm now, so the food will turn bad easily if it's kept till the next day. If we do not hurry home, the small yellow croakers will turn bad. Hurry, you can have them when we get home."

She could not bear to see that Zijin merely had rice and vegetables for dinner just now.

Old Qiao was so heartless toward Zijin and her. Since there were so many small yellow croakers, he should have allowed her to cook them in two separate ways so that the four of them could enjoy the food. If that had been the case, she would not have needed to make more food specially for Zijin.

"Mom, let's hurry home. The small yellow croakers are still warm." Qiao Zijin felt energized at the thought of the small yellow croakers. She rushed home at the fastest speed.

Qiao Zijin got her chopsticks ready and was full of anticipation as Ding Jiayi placed the small yellow croakers in a bowl. "There're only two of them?" Qiao Nan had at least three or four of them today.

"I could only get two of them. Your dad only bought a few of them today. He did not have much to eat and left most of it for Qiao Nan. It's not that easy to get these two small yellow croakers. If your dad finds out about it, he will not let me into the house next week," Ding Jiayi said sulkily.

Old Qiao had only bought a few small yellow croakers. It was already good enough that she managed to hide two of them.

In fact, Ding Jiayi had decided to prepare it separately for Qiao Zijin right from the beginning. She would definitely save some of the small yellow croakers for Qiao Zijin. Initially, she had set aside three small yellow croakers for Qiao Zijin and cooked them without adding any chili.

But when she saw that there were only a few left for Qiao Dongliang, Ding Jiayi had a guilty conscience. She took the smallest one out of the three and put it back into the dish with chilies.

This was the one which Qiao Nan had referred to as not as 'delicious' as the rest.

No one knew that when Qiao Nan said that it did not taste the same as the rest, Ding Jiayi was scared out of her wits.

Old Qiao had not forgiven her and she had to watch her behavior during this period of time. If something went wrong, her good behavior and efforts for the past half a month would be completely in vain.

"Besides, among the small yellow croakers that your dad bought, these two are the largest. I will always save the best for you."

"I know that Mom is the best. Mom is the best in the world. A child with a mother is treated like a treasure!" Qiao Zijin felt satisfied. She had the two biggest croakers. In other words, whatever Qiao Nan had, were her leftovers.

This was the right way!

In this house, Qiao Nan could only take whatever she did not want.

"Okay, you should dig in. I will boil some water for your bath. Have a bath and sleep early. You must be tired after a long day."

"Well, thank you, Mom." Qiao Zijin ate the small yellow croakers happily, not giving much thought to her mother. Ding Jiayi, who had worked for the whole day and was tired, still had to prepare the bath for her daughter as if she was her nanny. Both Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin did not feel that there was a problem. One was enjoying the food with a peace of mind while the other was willing to wait on the daughter like a servant.

Both were willing parties. It was destined that they were mother and daughter.

"Mom, we have been divided into the science and the humanities and arts classes. When you have the chance, you must tell Dad to persuade Qiao Nan to study in the sciences classes. Just tell him that 'if one learned their mathematics and sciences, one would fear nothing'." Qiao Zijin wore the pajamas that Ding Jiayi made for her and yawned loudly.

"That's Qiao Nan's business. Why do I need to bother myself with it? Which class did you choose?"

"I choose the humanities and arts class."

"Isn't the science class better?"

"Mom, think about it. If the science class was that good, I would not advise Qiao Nan to pick it. Recently, I heard that most of the girls who used to do well will lag behind in the science class. The boys in the class usually will perform better than them. Mom, one cannot have a smooth sailing life. Otherwise, one will not be able to deal with challenges in life. In my opinion, it's time that Qiao Nan suffers from some setbacks. This is so that she will know that her standard is not that high."

It was a pity that this would happen a year later. She could not see it right at this moment.

"I see. Okay, I will tell your dad. But he may not listen to what I say. Besides, Qiao Nan has a mind of her own. Will she listen to what your dad says? Your dad may listen to her instead," Ding Jiayi said tartly.

In the past, when their relationship was going well, he had never been that good to her either. Yet, he had been so caring toward Qiao Nan. She was his wife. He should be nice to her.

"What's there to be afraid of? There's still a year to go. This time, you truly 'care' for Qiao Nan. Dad has heard of this saying as well, and he will understand. As long as it is for the 'interests' of Qiao Nan, Dad will agree."



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