Now that life was slightly peaceful in the Qiao family, why would there be a need to borrow money? Sure enough, Old Qiao was right. Ding Jiayi was used to splurging.

At the thought of that, the neighbor's expression changed. "Ding Jiayi, Old Qiao has two daughters. It is not easy to support the family of four. As his wife, you must learn to be thrifty in managing the household, earn more income, and cut down expenses to lighten Old Qiao's burden. However, you are only interested in spending his hard-earned money. It's no wonder that Old Qiao will be like this. Ding Jiayi, I don't know what to say about you."

Anyway, this troublesome shrew had nothing to do with him. No matter what, he would not lend any money to Ding Jiayi.

The neighbor did not care that Ding Jiayi was angry. He closed the door after finishing what he had to say.

Ding Jiayi was at a total loss. She walked back home and plopped down on the chair.

"Mom, that's fast. Have you borrowed the money? Give it to me now. I have to give it to Teacher Cen tomorrow." Qiao Zijin was surprised at the sight of Ding Jiayi. It was still early and her mother had already managed to borrow the money. Last time, when she was out borrowing money, she came back much later than today. "Mom, where's the money?"

"There isn't any money." Ding Jiayi sighed.

"There isn't any money? How can that be? Did you not borrow any money? That's impossible. You always told me that when Dad was in the army, he had a good relationship with his comrades. Didn't you manage to borrow money previously? Why is it that you couldn't borrow any this time? I don't believe it. Mom, did you do it on purpose?" Could it be that her mother wanted to stall for time and purposely not borrow the money, hoping that the police will return the bail money to Teacher Cen directly?

"On purpose? Zijin, what have I done on purpose? As your mom, I have given you everything and I regard you as my precious daughter. I tried to satisfy your every single request. Zijin, why did you say these words? Do you still have any conscience?"

Ding Jiayi had walked the whole day, enduring the sarcasm and cold treatment of others. When she returned home, she was misunderstood by Qiao Zijin, saying that she had done it on purpose. This was more hurtful than the words of rejection she had heard earlier.

"I… I don't mean that," Qiao Zijin said with a guilty conscience. "I am anxious. After all, Teacher Cen is my form teacher and I am in her class. I cannot afford to offend her. If I offend Teacher Cen because of the money, I will have a difficult life at school. Moreover, the money is indeed hers. We have to return it to her."

"Zijin, even if you are anxious, you can't make such hurtful remarks. I treat you so much better than that wretched girl. Because of this, your dad is angry at me. You may have advised me to treat that wretched girl better, but I know that if I do that, you will be unhappy with me. Did I not do all these for you?" Ding Jiayi vented all her frustrations on Qiao Zijin.


"I…" Qiao Zijin was lost for words. Talks were cheap. She did not really mean it when she told her mother to be better to Qiao Nan. She knew all along that Ding Jiayi would not do it as well. However, she had thought that it was because her mother hated Qiao Nan. She never knew that her mother was being considerate of her feelings.

"Mom, don't be angry. I am in the wrong. I didn't mean it. But now that it's like this… Mom, what shall we do next? I have to answer to Teacher Cen. Previously, when we went to the police station, Teacher Cen was already unhappy with me. If I do not return the bail money to her, I don't want to go to school anymore."

Ding Jiayi pulled a sullen face, "I am helpless as well. I spent all the money at home to send you to The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China. I have no idea where your dad is now and I have lost my job. We may not even have any money for our meals next month, let alone returning the bail money to your teacher. I…"

Ding Jiayi could not understand how her initially happy family ended up this way. She was so poor that she might have to go hungry.

"Don't worry, there must be a way. Mom, think about it again. Who else can we borrow money from? There must be someone who is willing to lend us money." Though Qiao Zijin reassured Ding Jiayi, telling her not to fret, in fact, Qiao Zijin was like a cat on a hot tin roof.

"Let me think about it." Ding Jiayi thought hard but she could not think of anyone who would lend them money. "It's useless. This time, your dad is really ruthless."

"What does this have to do with Dad?"

"If not for your dad, would I have such difficulties in borrowing money? Not only did he hide from us that he moved to a new place, but he also went to the neighbors when I was sick a few days ago and told them that I am not good at managing the household and that I am a spendthrift, reminding them not to lend me any money. Obviously, your dad came to the quad while I was sick, but he didn't even bother to drop by to check how I was doing. Even if I die in the house, he will not know."

Ding Jiayi felt that she had led an ill-fated and miserable life. She fell ill and was down with a fever all because of Qiao Dongliang, yet he was so heartless to her.

"How could Dad do this?! He will do us in. Didn't he know that you spent all the money on me? Besides, we did not squander the money but spent it wisely." Qiao Zijin was fuming. So it turned out that her father was the reason why they could not borrow any money.

"Mom, you must ask around again. I don't believe that Dad did not need any money to move house. Mom, we must find a way to find Dad. You are his wife. He should be the one who bailed you out when you were taken to the police station. Even though Teacher Cen helped bail you out, he should still pay for the bail money!"

Qiao Zijin decided that Qiao Dongliang had to be responsible for everything that happened.

"Where can we find your dad? How do we start searching?" It was easier said than done.

"I have a way!"

"Good morning, Dad." On the weekend morning, when Qiao Nan had just woken up, she noticed that Qiao Dongliang already had breakfast ready.

"Good morning, Nan Nan. Come and have the porridge." Qiao Dongliang finally had some peaceful days without Ding Jiayi around to create troubles.

Qiao Nan sat down and had the porridge. She noticed that Qiao Dongliang kept rubbing at his eyes. "Dad, what happened? What's wrong with your eyes?"

"I have no idea. Today, my left eyelid kept twitching. I felt very uncomfortable." With that, Qiao Dongliang could not help but rub at his eyes again. Unfortunately, it did not alleviate the situation.

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