The relationships between loved ones might not always be pure and simple.

The elders might have given the best resources to nurture their younger generation, but it could have been an investment, one that they were expecting returns from.

It was not to say that all family relations would be so cold-hearted, but undeniably, such situations did exist.

Shi Qing smiled reluctantly. "Qiao Nan, don't you think that you've made it sound too horrifying?" She was just told that despite being in their uniforms, some of the soldiers in the army might not strive for excellence and there were grey areas that she did not know of in the past. Now, Qiao Nan was telling her that there was such an ugly side to the relationships between relatives. Like the soldiers in the army who just learned English, Shi Qing found it difficult to adapt.

"Horrifying?" Qiao Nan was amused. "I know you like to read. Let me introduce you to this author. You only have to read all of his books to know if I have been exaggerating."

"Do you mean the books written by Lu Xun?"

"Yes, that's right. You can look for them yourself." The reading articles in their syllabus were too positive. Those articles that were thought-provoking were not in their reading lists, and they had to look for it by themselves.

Shi Qing was not someone who would procrastinate.

Qiao Nan had mentioned it to her that evening, and the next morning, Shi Qing went to look for Shi Peng. "Dad, do you have time? Can you find someone to buy me some books?"

"Books?" Shi Peng looked at Shi Qing with interest. "What books do you want? Humanities or science? One is marked by the company one keeps. In the past, you will not even do your homework during summer break, let alone reading books. It seems to be good for you to have made such a good friend."

Actually, Shi Peng did not care if his daughter did her homework or not. He felt that what mattered was her attitude.

His daughter was smart. Since a young age, she was quick to learn new things and she had good results. As her father, Shi Peng was worried that having a smooth-sailing life might not be a good thing for her.

"I am interested in Lu Xun's novels and psychology books related to social relations. Get more of those for me."

"You want to read those books?"

"Yes!"

Shi Peng's palm went cold. He placed it against the warm teacup. "Did Qiao Nan recommend you to read these books?"

"She gave me suggestions." It was up to her to read or not.

Shi Peng had a serious look. "Are you sure you want to read these books?"

"Yes. Dad, I just realized that having good results does not mean everything in this world. Life is much more complicated than that." Life was unlike doing problem sums, especially science topic that only had one correct answer. It was either correct or wrong. "Dad, I want to grow up. It's time that I grow up."


"There's a price to pay for growing up."

"But you can't protect me forever."

It was for the longest time before Shi Peng answered. "Well, in the afternoon, I will get people to send the books over. There's no harm in reading more books." In the end, Shi Peng relented.

Shi Qing's eyes lit up. "Dad, thank you." Thank you for caring and protecting her all this while, but she had to grow up.

"You have indeed grown up." Shi Peng sighed. He knew that Qing Qing thanked him not only for the books but also for being protective of her.

To Shi Peng, it was simply because he wanted his daughter to have those that he did not have. He did not expect that his daughter was able to stand up for herself and did not need his protection. Perhaps this was his greatest blessing.

While Qiao Nan was working hard on her homework in the afternoon, Shi Qing dumped a stack of books onto the table that Qiao Nan was at. The pen that Qiao Nan left on the table bounced from the weight of the books.

"Hey, did your dad get you all the books from the library?" Qiao Nan curled the corners of her lips at the large pile of books on the table. "Even if you want to read up, you should take things slowly. With this stack of books, isn't your dad worried that you may be frightened off by them?"

"That's our style. People from the Shi family give their best efforts in whatever they do. Anyway, there's still three-third of the summer break left. I have all the time to finish these books. I can definitely finish them." After she finished reading these books, the first thing she wanted to figure out was none other than her family.

She wanted to understand why her grandpa sided with Qiu Chenxi.

"I will cheer you on." Qiao Nan let go of the pen that had been bounced off.

Shi Qing placed a few of the books in front of Qiao Nan. "These are yours."

Qiao Nan took a quick glance. They were sociology and psychology books. "I do not plan to read these books."

"That will not do. We are good friends. We should share weals and woes." These books were theory-based and were dull and dry. She had to get someone to read it with her. It was boring to read books by herself. But it would be different if she had company.

Qiao Nan shot Shi Qing a sideways glance. "When did we become friends? I have no idea at all."

"Now you know."

"Since we must share weals and woes and seeing that I have so much homework to be done, shouldn't you help me with it?"

"Hey, you have done much more than me. When it comes to homework, I am so much behind you. If we are to share weals and woes, it's you who have to help me with it." Actually, she never did her summer break homework. She felt that it was a waste of time.

Qiao Nan felt like slapping Shi Qing. No matter what she said, Shi Qing would find ways to take advantage of her.

Qiao Nan picked a book and flipped through a few pages. The paper quality was particularly good. Some of the books were even imported. They were as good as the books that Zhu Chengqi gave her. It would be difficult to get these books on the market. "Are you able to understand these books?"

Shi Qing scored fairly well for her English, but having good results in high school did not mean that she would be able to understand these English books. Even for her, though she only flipped through a few pages, she would need a dictionary to be able to understand the contents.

"Oh yeah, this is for you." Shi Qing pulled out a book from the stack. It was as thick as the wooden headrest in ancient times. She passed it to Qiao Nan. "Take your time to read it. It's okay if I don't understand. It is fine as long as you can understand them. By then, I can simply get you to tell me the contents of the books!"

"Oxford Dictionary?" Qiao Nan's expression darkened. Did Shi Qing intend to treat her as a translation tool?

"That's right. It is not that easy to get this dictionary now. It is the 1995 edition. You have to make good use of it." Her father had taken this from his private collection.

"The 1995 edition of OALD?" Qiao Nan had heard of it.

"What's OALD? I am not too sure. You can take a look at it yourself." Shi Qing did not understand anything that was beyond their English syllabus in school. As for the edition of the Oxford dictionary, she was clueless. Shi Qing was in a slight panic when Qiao Nan mentioned OALD all of a sudden.He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature.

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