Ding Jiayi did not mutter a word after she was scolded by Qiao Zijin because she could not refute her. However, she would definitely not agree to plead for Qiao Nan's forgiveness.

"Didn't you say that you're unwell? How are you?" Qiao Zijin had no choice too as Ding Jiayi was unwilling to say anything.

"I've taken the medicine but am still a little feverish. It's not as serious as a couple of days ago."

"Since you're still feverish, lie down on the bed to rest. There's medicine at home. I'll boil you some water."

"There's no more medicine."

"Then, give me the money. I'll help you buy them."

"No need. Anyway, the fever temperature is not high. I'll most probably recover after I cover myself with a blanket and sweat it out." Ding Jiayi could not bear to spend money to buy the medicine.

Qiao Zijin agreed immediately as she was not willing to make the trip too. "Alright, then lie down on the bed and sleep. It's quite late. I'll go and buy two lunch boxes with the money that you gave me."

"It would be better to buy some groceries with the money instead. That will last us two to three meals." Ding Jiayi was not willing to part with the money. "Why don't we do this? I'll give you some money and you go to buy some fresh vegetables back." Ding Jiayi was embarrassed to say that she was not feeling well and it was healthier to have some fresh vegetables.

"Buying vegetables is not a problem, but who's going to cook them afterward?"

"You, of course!"

Qiao Zijin laughed. "Mom, you must be kidding. You know that I'm not good at this. Since a young age, I don't know how to do manual work such as frying vegetables. What if my hands become rough? What if the oil spurts onto my hands and they become blistered like Qiao Nan's and yours? It's not that you don't know. My skin is not as good as Qiao Nan. Blisters on her hands will disappear without leaving a scar in less than a month's time, but it will take me two to three months to recover from a scar. It's too ugly. I don't want this."

Ding Jiayi was stunned. "Then, do you expect me to get up and cook for you?"

"Of course, you're my mother. You should do all this work." Qiao Zijin sounded bold and righteous.

"But I'm unwell. Can't I rest for one—no, a mealtime?" Ding Jiayi said stubbornly.

For the past two days, Zijin was still at school and could not take care of her as she was not by her side. Although she had a fever, she had to force herself to get up, take medicine, and have meals. Now that Zijin was back, couldn't she enjoy a little privilege as a patient?

At the thought of Qiao Nan taking such good and proper care of Qiao Dongliang when he was hospitalized due to the car accident, Ding Jiayi was full of envy.

Zijin was spoiled by her. Would she not know how capable she was? She did not need Zijin to serve her the same way as that wretched girl did to Old Qiao. However, she should at least take care of her and make her feel loved, shouldn't she?


"Mom, I think you're confused by the illness. Forget it. I'll just take the money and simply buy two lunch boxes." Clutching the money in her hands, Qiao Zijin ran off to buy food without even waiting for Ding Jiayi's reaction.

Although the lunch boxes were a little more expensive than cooking by themselves, there were both meat and vegetables in them.

With this little sum of money, they could get a lot of vegetables but definitely no meat. Furthermore, she had to cook. She was not so stupid as to agree to her mother's brainless request.

"Zijin… Do all of them want to drive me to my grave?" Ding Jiayi could not stop Qiao Zijin from running off to buy the lunch boxes.

Ding Jiayi hit her chest and went back to her bedroom listlessly. She then dropped herself onto the bed and covered herself with the blanket. She thought about how she went looking for Qiao Nan to discuss the matter of Qiao Dongliang moving house despite having not fully recovered but ended up being sent to the police station by the school. She had to endure suffering that she had never experienced before. Ding Jiayi could not help but cry again.

Ding Jiayi cried to sleep by the time Qiao Zijin was back.

At the sight of Ding Jiayi sleeping peacefully and no sign of waking up anytime soon, Qiao Zijin simply finished her lunch box and left Ding Jiayi's share on a stool beside her bed.

When the sleeping time came, Qiao Zijin yawned and went to bed.

Ding Jiayi was awakened in the middle of the night because of thirst and hunger. She sat up and turned on the lights. When she saw the cold lunch box sitting on the stool by the bedside, tears welled up in her eyes. Both were parents, but when Old Qiao was hospitalized, he was not only served hot meals but also good soup.

Why was she not given hot food to eat and good soup to drink when she was sick?

Ding Jiayi took small mouthfuls of the cold rice slowly. She actually tasted a bit of bitterness in the rice that was meant to be sweet.

When Old Qiao was hospitalized, the wretched girl took such good care of him. Now, it's her turn to fall sick. The wretched girl did not even treat her like a mother. The wretched girl was still the same. It did not occur to her how tough it was to give birth to her in the past.

"Alright, I know. Thank you." Qiao Nan only found out on Friday, the day after Ding Jiayi came looking for her at school.

When she heard from the security guard that Ding Jiayi ended up in the police station, Qiao Nan could not help but sigh. She did not know what to say.

Her father was overseas and would definitely not bail her mother out. She was just a student and had not even reached eighteen years old. She was penniless and could not afford the bail. Hence, she could not help even if she wanted to.

"Are you okay?" The security guard asked with concerned when he saw Qiao Nan leaving."

"I'm fine."

"But that's her biological mother."

"She shouldn't do that although she's the biological mother. Alright, there shouldn't be any issue. Didn't she say thanks? Didn't you see her forced expression when she said thank you?"

"I didn't see that."

"It's good that you didn't. Hurry up. It's school dismissal time. Be on your guard."

"Okay."

Qiao Nan was holding the key from Teacher Liu. She found the place with the address given by Teacher Liu. When she saw the new small quad, she was surprised. This quad was a good place. It was worth a lot of money even at the end of the 20th century. In the 21st century, within a few years, the quad would fetch a high price.

The school was too generous to lend them such a good place to stay.

This was the first time she knew that there was such benefit for the top student of the school.

Qiao Dongliang reached shortly after Qiao Nan. When he saw that the door of the quad was opened, he directly called, "Nan Nan?"

"Dad, you're back?" Qiao Nan put away her schoolbag. "Dad, where have you been for the past few days? Why did you only come back now? Is your body taking it well?"

"Look at Dad. Do I look like I'm not well?" Qiao Dongliang smiled.

"Not really. You seem to look much better. Right, Dad, I have something to tell you…" Qiao Nan wanted to bring up the matter regarding Ding Jiayi.

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