"You!" Qiao Zijin bit her teeth. She was furious beyond words.

If Qiao Nan was willing to have a confrontation with her, she was confident of convincing Qiao Nan and let Qiao Dongliang understand that it was all a misunderstanding. However, Qiao Nan did not even bother to reason with or have a face-to-face discussion with her. She had condemned Qiao Zijin. As such, no matter how many tricks and ploys Qiao Zijin had in mind, she had no opportunity to unleash them.

"Go into the house if you've nothing to say." Qiao Nan looked at Qiao Zijin coldly. In her previous life, Qiao Zijin kept reasoning with her and shortchanged her for an entire lifetime. In this life, if she 'reasoned' with Qiao Zijin again, then damn, she would be a big moron!

"Nan Nan, what did you and Zijin talk about? Why did you just come into the house now? Do you feel cold?" Just as Qiao Nan stepped into the house which was familiar yet strange to her, Qiao Dongliang tucked a cup of hot tea into her hands.

Ding Jiayi was smiling and nodding. "The two sisters grew up together from young and have a close relationship. After being separated for so long, they must have many small secrets to share. Actually, they should be able to talk to each other as they wish. This pair of young sisters have suffered."

Qiao Dongliang did not bother about what Ding Jiayi was implying by her words. He asked Qiao Nan to sit down. "What did you talk to your sister about?"

"Since when did I have something to talk to her about? Just now, at the entrance, I slipped and nearly fell down when Mom bumped onto me. That's why I came in later." After Qiao Nan sat down, she pulled the corners of her lips and gave Qiao Zijin a glance before she described this as a matter-of-fact.

"You fell?" Qiao Dongliang was anxious. While he was looking at Qiao Nan, he gave Ding Jiayi a hard stare.

"No! I held on to Nan Nan!" Qiao Zijin explained nervously.

"Is that right?" No wonder Nan Nan and Zijin took so long to come into the house.

"Yes, I didn't fall. It's just that I might have sprained my ankle. The good thing is that it's not that painful anymore. It'll be fine after some rest." Qiao Nan ignored the anger and blame in Ding Jiayi's eyes.

By saying that, she just wanted to express that no matter what kind of tactics Qiao Zijin used to coax her, it was useless!

"What kind of mother are you?!" Qiao Dongliang's face stiffened as he shouted at Ding Jiayi. "Don't you know what the occasion is today? Do you still wish to have a proper Lunar New Year? If you do this again, I'll bring Nan Nan back!"

There was no mother who would push the daughter and cause her to have a fall. Moreover, it was the biological mother!

Ding Jiayi rubbed her hands on her apron uneasily. "I didn't do it on purpose. I was overjoyed to see you. Old Qiao, have you thought about how long we've not seen each other? We've never even had a proper conversation with each other. Do you know that many people in the quad are laughing at me? They said that although I have a husband, it's the same as not having any—that you don't want me and are going to divorce me soon. Old Qiao, you've been angry for long enough. I already know that I'm in the wrong. During the past six months, have I not done well enough? Or do you really want to divorce me and leave me?"

At the end of her speech, Ding Jiayi's eyes were red and tears rolled down her face uncontrollably.

"Talk properly. You're already the mother of two daughters. Don't you find it embarrassing to cry in front of the children?" Qiao Dongliang was both angry and amused. "Do you really think that you've been performing well in the past six months?"

"Haven't I?" She didn't deal with Qiao Nan anymore, but why was it still not enough?

"Forget it. I'll be at odds with myself if I talk to you about this matter." Qiao Dongliang took a deep breath. "I just wish to have a peaceful year. If you create trouble again, I'll leave with Nan Nan. If you don't want the people in the quad to watch a joke, then please be clear about what you should and should not say today. Nan Nan, sit down. Dad will make you a sweet egg soup to sweeten your mouth and fill your stomach."

"I'll do it. I prepare sweet egg soup pretty well. The yolk is sweet and delicious." Ding Jiayi quickly took over the task. Since Qiao Dongliang had said his piece, Ding Jiayi wished to have a successful meal tonight. It would not do if she did not 'perform' well.

When Ding Jiayi and Qiao Dongliang were busy in the kitchen, there were only Qiao Zijin and Qiao Nan in the living room.

Qiao Zijin pulled a long face. "Nan Nan, did you do that on purpose just now? Do you know that what you've said just now nearly called off the reunion dinner tonight? Are you happy and proud to see Dad and Mom quarrel and live separately from each other? This proved that you have an important place in Dad's heart, more important than both Mom and I. Did you need to be so heartless and make things turn out so badly?"

"Don't talk nonsense with me. If Mom and you wish to have a successful meal today, don't provoke me. I did it on purpose. Now, I'm happy and proud. Don't tell me that I should be happy and proud when bullied continuously by Mom and you just like in the past?"

"Nan Nan, don't tell me you're really treating Mom and me like your enemies? We're your family members!" Qiao Zijin was furious beyond words. When did Qiao Nan's temper become so strong? She would not listen to her at all. Qiao Zijin had put in both good and bad words, but Qiao Nan yielded to neither the carrot nor stick. She was resolute to be at odds with her mother and her.

"Qiao Zijin, don't mention kinship to me. When you talk to me about kinship, don't you think that the phrase 'family member' is too scary? You opened the windows and caused me to have a fever. Mom thought of ways and means to make me quit school and work instead. Was I the one who treated you as enemies or was it the other way round? The reason why I spoke so much today is to tell you one thing. Don't use this kind of tactic with me in the future. It's too annoying!"

Having that said, Qiao Nan decisively changed her seat. She even sat opposite Qiao Zijin and there was a table separating them.

Qiao Zijin lifted her head and rolled her eyes a few times. She was furious. She was nearly driven to the grave by Qiao Nan.

She did not expect that Qiao Nan, this wretched girl, was so daring now. She dared to talk to her in this manner. Did Qiao Nan mean that she would not treat her and her mother as Qiao Nan's elder sister and mother respectively in the future? That she would no longer talk to them about kinship?!

"Come, eat some sweet egg soup. It's piping hot." Qiao Dongliang and Ding Jiayi were each holding a bowl of the egg soup. In each bowl, there were two white and tender eggs with orange-yellow yolks in the middle.

Qiao Nan took over the bowl in Qiao Dongliang's hands. Without a word, she devoured the eggs in a few mouthfuls.

"Nan Nan, are you hungry? Should Dad make another two eggs for you?"

"No need, two is enough. Anyway, we'll be having dinner soon. If I'm too full, it'll be hard to have good food in the evening." Her father was the one who paid for the reunion dinner this year. Having a mouthful less would make her feel shortchanged.

"Sure." Qiao Dongliang felt that Qiao Nan was right in saying that. "Ding Jiayi, hurry up. Quickly prepare the reunion dinner."

"Alright. Go in and bring out the melon seeds first. This way, Nan Nan and Zijin can munch on some melon seeds while they watch the television. They won't be bored, then," Ding Jiayi said smilingly in a rare gentle tone.



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