"Zijin, come in and help me."

"Coming." Qiao Zijin took a deep breath. She had been having empty talks with Qiao Nan for half a day and was nearly driven to the grave. Moreover, she was unable to get any response from Qiao Nan on the serious matters that she wanted to inquire about.

All of a sudden, Qiao Zijin had a premonition that the coming year would not be a smooth one for her. There would be a lot of trouble.

"Didn't you give me quite good advice last time? Why were you so silly and argued with the wretched girl today? Don't you know that the wretched girl is emboldened now with Old Qiao backing her? It's Lunar New Year's Eve today. Don't provoke your dad and cause this meal to fail." As soon as Qiao Zijin entered, Ding Jiayi immediately reprimanded Qiao Zijin.

Qiao Nan was the one who did all the household chores in the past while she propped her legs and waited for the meal to be ready. However, the situation was reversed now. Not only did she have to do the chores but also get reprimanded by her mother. At the thought of this, Qiao Zijin's mood worsened. "Mom, didn't you feel guilty when you said that? Would I commit a mistake that I told you not to? Qiao Nan was the one who deliberately irked me. She said she was determined to be at odds with the two of us. She even said that she treats us as enemies and we can forget about getting along harmoniously in this life. I'm so furious with her. Argued with her? I'll thank God if she doesn't quarrel with me!"

"Did she really say that?" Ding Jiayi's voice sharpened. That wretched girl really thought that she could turn the sky upside down!

"Why should I lie to you? Can't you see how furious I am with her?" Qiao Zijin grabbed the melon seeds. She really did not wish to bring them out for Qiao Nan. "Mom, in the future, I'm not going to interfere in the matters between Qiao Nan and you. I can't interfere anyway. Otherwise, I'll be driven to the grave alive. Qiao Nan has only left the house for half a year, and yet she has become so bold and arrogant. She doesn't take you and me seriously at all."

Qiao Nan was truly different from the past. Her wings had hardened. After she flew out of the house, she could no longer catch hold of Qiao Nan.

Qiao Nan picked this kind of occasion to tell her all this. She wanted to make a clean break with her.

"This wretched girl!" Ding Jiayi was furious after hearing what Qiao Zijin said.

"Alright, it's enough to scold Qiao Nan, that wretched girl, in front of me. If you dare to scold her in front of Dad, do you believe that Dad will leave with Qiao Nan immediately? No wonder Qiao Nan became so bold and arrogant and doesn't take us seriously anymore. She has Dad as her backing. Exactly what spell did Qiao Nan cast on Dad for Dad to side with her so much? If Dad is not around, I'll let her suffer!" She could certainly say that if her father was indifferent to household affairs just like he used to be in the past, she was absolutely confident of torturing Qiao Nan till the latter would shiver at the mention of her name!

"Qiao Nan, this is your favorite five-spiced melon. Eat more." At Qiao Zijin's reminder, Ding Jiayi rubbed her angry and distorted face. She put on a fake smile as she walked out and intentionally placed the melon seeds close to Qiao Nan in an approachable manner.

"Dad, it's already eight o'clock. The evening Spring Festival show is starting." Qiao Zijin switched on the television excitedly.

At the start of the 21st century, it was a popular practice to watch the Spring Festival show during the Lunar New Year.

True enough, as soon as the television was switched on, the Qiao family quiet down as they listened to the familiar melodies. The whole family stared at those familiar faces on the television. The previous disharmony and awkwardness disappeared thoroughly.

Ding Jiayi and Qiao Dongliang were sitting very close to each other. This time, Qiao Dongliang did not refuse. Both of their hands and legs were touching that of each other as they watched the television show. From time to time, their faces that were facing the television leaned close to each other as they exchanged a few words.

Qiao Zijin was enthusiastically watching the language programs, especially the short skits and comic dialogues. Whenever she heard something funny, she laughed loudly.

All of a sudden, there was a stronger atmosphere of Lunar New Year in the Qiao family and everyone was harmonious and happy. It truly seemed like they belonged to the same family.

In the previous life, Qiao Nan looked forward to the Lunar New Year most. This was because the eve of the Lunar New Year was the only day in the whole year that she would not be reprimanded. In addition, she could eat her fill as she wished on that day.

However, at this juncture, Qiao Nan's face was stiff and she realized that she could no longer completely integrate into this family.

Just like her previous life, her father, mother, and Qiao Zijin were one family. She, alone, was another separate family unit. There were four people in one house. Unfortunately, she was the only one that was out of place as if she was unrelated to the other three.

When she saw the extremely harmonious atmosphere between the three people despite them not conversing a lot with one another, Qiao Nan not only felt awkward but also extremely uncomfortable.

Having a positive and peaceful mindset as she did in the past did not work at this moment.

At around ten o'clock, Qiao Zijin stretched herself and yawned. "Dad, Mom, I'm tired and will be going to bed."

"Then…" Qiao Dongliang hesitated for a while. They had finished the reunion dinner. Should he bring Nan Nan back?

"Old Qiao, come with me for a while. It's the Lunar New Year and I've weaved a new sweater for you. Would you try it?" Ding Jiayi's eyes were bright and watery as she looked at Qiao Dongliang. She made full use of the opportunity to fawn on him.

"Alright…" Qiao Dongliang nodded and did not reject Ding Jiayi's good intentions.

The two young ladies watched the couple went into the room. Qiao Zijin, in particular, kept smiling. "Qiao Nan, how good will it be if the country did not implement family planning? Then, perhaps Dad and Mom could fulfill their previous wish. We could possibly still have a younger brother at our age."

At the sight of Qiao Nan's stiff face and silent composure, Qiao Zijin felt more pleased. Qiao Nan made her furious today. At the very least, she had regained the victory.

Ah, at this time, Qiao Zijin was certain that she could still have a good year ahead and went to bed happily. "Your room has not changed at all. Mom has tidied it up for you. You might not treat us as your family members, but Mom and I have been extremely patient and magnanimous with you. Alright, I'm going to bed. You can continue to watch the TV if you wish to. Otherwise, go to sleep."

There were only Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin living in this house. Although Qiao Zijin never did any household chores, she had to help on this occasion. As such, Qiao Zijin, who was not used to doing chores, was feeling the soreness all over her body. She just wished to have a good sleep and recover her energy.

How good would it be if her father did not move out of the house with Qiao Nan? If he hadn't, then Qiao Nan would most probably be the one doing the chores today.

"Qiao Zijin, why do I feel that your hands are now much rougher than before, although it's only been less than six months?" Since Qiao Zijin stabbed Qiao Nan's lungs, Qiao Nan would pierce her heart.

"What did you say?!" True enough, Qiao Zijin, who was feeling extremely sleepy earlier, was jolted by these words of Qiao Nan. Her hair stiffened and she stared as if she were a tigress whose tail had been stepped on and whiskers pulled. She nearly bared her teeth and brandished her paws at Qiao Nan.

In the past, although Qiao Zijin's family background was clearly average, her pair of hands that was more slender and beautiful than others was something that she was proudest of.



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