"Your mom—"

"Don't bring up my mom! She has gone out. Dad, you must have noticed that whenever the Qiu family comes to our house, Mom will go outside to hide for a day. Dad, don't tell me you haven't noticed it? In fact, Mom doesn't like the people from the Qiu family at all, and she doesn't like Qiu Chenxi as well."

"This… but your mom, she…" Zhai Yaohui knitted his eyebrows. Was it like what Zhai Hua had said? That Miao Jing did not like Qiu Chenxi?

To be honest, Zhai Hua was exasperated by Miao Jing's attitude.

As her daughter, Zhai Hua could tell that her mother didn't like Qiu Chenxi at all, and that she disliked everyone in the Qiu family. However, she never objected to the engagement between Zhai Sheng and Qiu Chenxi. On the contrary, she was very supportive of it, more so than anyone.

It had been going on for many years. Zhai Hua did not understand what was on her mother's mind.

Since she disliked Qiu Chenxi, why did she agree to the engagement? Why did she torture herself like this?

"I can't be bothered to explain to you. When it comes to the Qiu family, both of you act strangely." Zhai Hua sighed. It was worrying to have such parents. They were lovey-dovey, but when it came to the Qiu family, tension would arise between the two of them.

Her mother spent more time with her father than with her children.

Her mother would always accompany her father everywhere he went, but there would be times when her mother would act strangely and stay outside by herself for the whole day. More often than not, it was usually when the Qiu family came to visit them.

Zhai Hua rubbed her forehead in exasperation. She did not know what to do with such complicated and contradictory parents.

Someone knocked on the door.

Qiao Nan, who was busy tidying at home, heard sounds at the door. She straightened and realized that her back was aching from her work. She wiped her perspiration and thought to herself that today must be a special day. She sure had a lot of visitors. "Excuse me. May I know who it is at the door?"

"I…"

A faint sound could be heard from the other side of the door. It was the voice of a woman. But she could not tell who it was from her voice. Qiao Nan shot a disdainful look at the door. The visitor's reply was not indicative of who she was at all.

Since it was broad daylight and it might be her neighbors, Qiao Nan went to open the door. "You… Auntie Miao?"

Qiao Nan was stunned. "Is it…" Could it be that when Brother Zhai and Sister Zhai Hua left just now, they had forgotten to bring their stuff with them and so Auntie Miao made the trip herself?

Qiao Nan was stopped mid-sentence as Miao Jing strode into the house, not bothering to acknowledge Qiao Nan nor giving Qiao Nan any chance to stop her.

By the time Qiao Nan came to her senses, Miao Jing had already sat down in the house.


Qiao Nan was left with no choice. She closed the door and returned to her house. She poured a cup of tea for Miao Jing. "Auntie Miao, what brings you here?"

"Am I not welcome?" Miao Jing took a sip of the tea and looked around the house. "The environment is quite good. Besides the quad, one can't find a better courtyard house other than this in Ping Cheng."

Qiao Nan sat down and there was an uneasy silence. Did Auntie Miao come all the way just to look at her house?

"I am lucky that the school is very good to me."

"Yes, you are lucky, but you need to be outstanding enough as well. Otherwise, which school will have so many houses to lend to their students? Besides, not even the teachers may have such privileges." Miao Jing made a pertinent comment about Qiao Nan's abilities. Qiao Nan was worthy of using their Zhai's storeroom for the past one year.

"Others may be good to you, but it is useless if you are unworthy of it." Qiao Nan gave a humble, but not arrogant, reply.

"Yes, that's right. Others may be good to you, but it is useless if you are unworthy of it." Miao Jing, who kept a straight face, slumped in the chair when she heard what Qiao Nan said. It was as if her life had been sucked out of her. She leaned back against the chair, looking listless. Gone was her dignified and noble aura.

Qiao Nan was stunned at the transformation of Miao Jing. It was as if she had changed into another person.

"Don't be so surprised. Before I married Zhai Yaohui, I was a country girl who was uneducated and illiterate." Since she was uneducated, she did not know the rules and propriety either. Back then, she would run around barefoot in the neighborhood like a hoyden.

"Your generation is really fortunate. You don't have to go through the days where you have to work on the fields. But you will not have those beautiful memories that we have. Do you know that when it's spring and it's time to plant rice seedlings, we will go barefoot onto the soft and sticky mud field? One can feel the fine mud being squeezed through their toes. That feeling is amazing!" While Miao Jing reminisced about her childhood memories, she no longer carried the burden of being the wife of the chief. Her eyes shone with excitement instead. She was just like a child who gesticulated with her arms and feet, simply enjoying the moment.

She was vastly different from the Miao Jing Qiao Nan saw for the 'first time' at the quad. Previously, there was an air of indifference and aloofness about her. She was dignified and lady-like, but distant and detached. It was as if they were two separate individuals.

If not for the fact that Miao Jing was sound and clear-minded, Qiao Nan would have thought that she had schizophrenia.

Qiao Nan sat by her side and listened to her recounting her childhood memories. Two hours passed in a blink of an eye.

After talking for a long time, Miao Jing felt thirsty. She drank a big mouthful of the tea that had turned cold and said in slight contempt, "The tea does not taste good."

Qiao Nan smiled bitterly. "Auntie Miao, our tea certainly can't compare with the tea at the Zhai's residence." What was Auntie Miao's purpose in coming here today?

Miao Jing turned serious. She straightened her back, tucked down her chin, and leveled her gaze. Then, she stood up gracefully and slowly, taking on a dignified posture that was befitting of the wife of the chief. "Since you do not have good tea at home, you must not puff yourself up at your own cost."

Qiao Nan curled her lips and laughed.

When did she puff herself up at her own cost? Besides, no one invited Auntie Miao over today. And most importantly, why did she come to her house today?

The key had already been returned to her. If Auntie Miao wanted to 'repay her kindness', was telling her about her childhood memories be considered as repaying her kindness?

It was so odd.

In the end, why was she here today?

"Alright, you don't have to walk me to the door. Since you do not have good tea, I will not mind if you serve me water the next time I am here." With that, Miao Jing walked out of the house in her high heels.

Qiao Nan stared blankly as Miao Jing left the house. She gaped in shock, panic flashed in her eyes. Did she mean that she would be coming over again?

Furthermore, Miao Jing said that she would not mind if she served her water. It was so exasperating of her to have said that.

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