Just like she and Qiao Nan, Qiao Nan might seem to have the upper hand, but it would not last long. She would be the one who had the last laugh.

"Let's hurry back. Wrap your clothes tightly around you. You don't want to catch a cold." Ding Jiayi put the topic of Wang Yang aside. Anyway, Wang Yang was not her son. It did not matter to her whether he was successful or not.

When they finally went back to the Qiao family's residence at the quad, the first thing Ding Jiayi did was to boil hot water for Qiao Zijin's foot bath so that she could warm her body.

While Ding Jiayi was busy boiling the water, Qiao Zijin went back to her room quietly. She took out a book and a pen, and wrote down a few English words on the book.

If Qiao Nan was there, she would realize that the few words that Qiao Zijin memorized were none other than the title of the book that Zhu Chengqi gave her at the dining table.

After checking through several times to make sure that she did not spell it wrong, she closed the book and decided to ask around when school reopened next year. She wanted to know what book that was, and why was Qiao Nan so interested in the book that she asked a favor of Uncle Zhu and Zhu Baoguo to find it for her.

If it was just an ordinary book, it meant that what Qiao Nan did at the dining table today was deliberate, and her purpose was to embarrass her.

Qiao Zijin only had a few chances to look at the book, but in such a short period of time, she managed to memorize the title of the book correctly. It showed that Qiao Zijin was smart, but she never used her intelligence in the right places.

"What are you doing? Come and soak your feet before going to bed. If you want to read, do it tomorrow." Ding Jiayi could not help but sigh when she thought of Qiao Nan's transcript that recorded her good results and Qiao Zijin's transcript that paled in comparison.

Since a young age, Qiao Zijin was smarter than Qiao Nan. Why was it that Qiao Nan would always surpass her in terms of studies?

When she was pregnant with Zijin, Old Qiao always said that he hoped for a son who was smart and had good academic performance. Besides not being a boy, Qiao Nan matched Old Qiao's description of a perfect son.

If only Qiao Zijin's results were as good as Qiao Nan's, then it would be good.

That way, even if she had any conflicts with Old Qiao, Old Qiao would give in to her and treat her well on account that Qiao Zijin was closer to her mother.

Qiao Nan, that wretched girl, did not see her as her mother at all. Now that Old Qiao had moved out with Qiao Nan, Qiao Nan might be happy that there was one less person to keep a check on her.

"Mom, why do you keep sighing?" Qiao Zijin pulled a long face. When she was at the Zhu family's residence, she was not that unhappy as compared to now. "Why did you have that expression and use that tone on me when you brought up the topic of me reading a book?"

"I didn't mean anything by it. I just feel that you are too hard on yourself. Don't tire yourself out. In the past six months, I can tell that you have put in a lot of effort. Look at you, your face is getting smaller. Zijin, as long as you have done your best, you shouldn't be too hard on yourself."

Actually, Ding Jiayi felt very depressed. For the past half a year, she could tell that Qiao Zijin had studied very hard. But in the end, her results did not show much improvement.

Qiao Nan scored so well even though she was never seen studying at home. Why was it that when Qiao Zijin put her efforts into her studies, she still ended up with average results?

If Qiao Zijin was not as hardworking, then Ding Jiayi could comfort herself that Qiao Zijin was actually smarter than Qiao Nan. It was just that she did not put in any effort. But right now, Ding Jiayi felt frustrated that the daughter she had always doted on was, in fact, not as smart as Qiao Nan, that wretched girl.

When they were young, Qiao Zijin was clever and bright. She was well-liked by everyone. On the other hand, Qiao Nan was slow and dull. She did not even know to greet people.

She had always believed that Qiao Nan was foolish and slow. Hence, two years ago, she went into a serious argument with Old Qiao, insisting that Qiao Nan quit school and worked so that she could help finance Qiao Zijin through college. She felt that since Qiao Nan was not good in her studies, she should not waste time or money on it. It would be better for her to work in the factory and start contributing to the family.

However, it turned out that Ding Jiayi was wrong. In terms of studies, Qiao Nan fared much better than Qiao Zijin.

Now that Qiao Dongliang was angry with Ding Jiayi, she could no longer use the excuse that what she did was for the family.

"Really?" Qiao Zijin did not believe it.

"Of course. My little master, now that your feet are warm and comfortable, you should go to bed."

"Mom, get me a hot water bag as well. I am afraid that I will feel cold later." Qiao Zijin was afraid of the cold. Her limbs, in particular, would feel very cold during wintertime.

"I have prepared it for you. Get under the blanket now. I will bring it to you." Ding Jiayi made loud sounds as she walked around with her shoes. She returned to Qiao Zijin's room with the hot water bag in her hands and stuffed it under Qiao Zijin's blanket.

Qiao Zijin sighed in comfort. She laid snug in her bed, pulled the blanket over her body, and fell asleep in no time.

Compared with Qiao Zijin who fell asleep right away, Ding Jiayi tossed and turned throughout the night. She could not fall asleep as she was thinking of Qiao Dongliang. People said that women in their thirties to forties would have a high libido, and Ding Jiayi was at that age now.

Ever since Qiao Dongliang quarreled with Ding Jiayi, they no longer shared the same bed.

After Qiao Dongliang moved out with Qiao Nan, Qiao Dongliang had zero contact with Ding Jiayi.

Qiao Dongliang was occupied with finding ways to finance both of his daughters through college. He was busy earning more money and had no time for that. On the other hand, Ding Jiayi was unemployed and could only stay at home to do handiwork to earn some money. Ding Jiayi had too much time on her hand that her thoughts wandered.

It was almost dawn when Ding Jiayi finally fell asleep.

"Mom, the sun is up. It's time to get up. I'm hungry." Ding Jiayi had just fallen asleep not too long ago and she was already awakened by Qiao Zijin. "Mom, don't forget to make a trip to the Zhu family's residence to get Dad's bicycle back."

"Yes, I almost forgot about it. It is already nine o'clock?!" Ding Jiayi quickly got up from the bed and hurried to prepare breakfast for Qiao Zijin. After that, she ran with all her might to the Zhu family's residence for fear that she would be late and Qiao Dongliang would have brought the model '28' bicycle back home.

As soon as Ding Jiayi arrived at the Zhu family's residence, Ding Jiayi gasped and asked. "H-have you seen Old Qiao?"

The people at the Zhu family's residence smiled and said, "No, it's still so early in the morning."



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