However, Qiao Nan did not have the flaws and shortcomings that Qiao Zijin had. This made Qiao Dongliang understand that it had nothing to do with age or being insensible. It was Qiao Zijin's character flaws.

"Dad, don't be angry. That's because I was insensible in the past and did a lot of things that hurt Nan Nan, so I am very worried that Nan Nan will be unhappy when she sees me. Yes, I should not project my shortcomings on Nan Nan. I want to change, but you have to give me time. I am worried that Nan Nan, who has just come back, has yet to see that I am sincere to change for the better and will have misgivings toward me. Dad, you can rest assured that I will not ask you to help me. As long as I change, I believe that if I treat Nan Nan well, she will forgive me and patch up with me. If I need your help with this, then it proves that I have not reflected on my mistakes and it's understandable that Nan Nan refuses to forgive me." Qiao Zijin reassured her father time and again that she did not need his help and would solve it by herself.

"Really?" Qiao Dongliang asked in disbelief. "Nan Nan has been hurt terribly by you. It's not easy for her to forgive you."

"I have to do it no matter how difficult it is!" Qiao Zijin clenched her fists. "It goes to show that I have done terrible things to her in the past. Since I am in the wrong, I have to make up to her by myself until she forgives me. Dad, don't worry about this. I will work hard to show Nan Nan that I am sincere and she will accept me eventually."

"Do you really understand?" Qiao Dongliang hesitated. Qiao Zijin sounded very sincere and eager, and she did not ask for his help.

"I understand, I totally understand. Dad, don't worry. In the future, I will show you my sincerity and determination. I will definitely not put you in a difficult position because of what happened between Nan Nan and me. Since I have made mistakes, I will make up for it by myself. Dad, don't help me. If you help me, I will be angry at you. You always said that I am insensible and haven't grown up. I have to deal with this by myself in order to learn. Mom and you can't possibly stay with me forever and help me with everything in my life." Qiao Zijin sounded very sincere and resolute. Qiao Dongliang was dumbfounded.

But Qiao Dongliang felt comforted that his daughter had grown up. "I am relieved that you feel that way. Zijin, you have to remember what you said."

"Dad, that's for sure. I will prove it to you. Actions speak louder than words. When Nan Nan sees the change in me, I believe we will be able to reconcile with each other."

"Oh, okay."

It was rare that Qiao Zijin was determined to change. As the father, Qiao Dongliang was happy for her. "Would you like me to help?"

"No." Qiao Zijin shook her head. "These past few months, I have learned to do household chores while living with Mom. Dad, watch me if you don't believe me."


Qiao Zijin stretched out her hands.

Back then in the Qiao family's residence, Qiao Zijin had no need to do any household chores. She led a sheltered life like a young lady from a respectable family in ancient times. Her fingers were fair and tender.

But right now, Qiao Dongliang could feel that Qiao Zijin's hands had become rough and the complexion had darkened.

"How come there are scars on your hands?" This was what Qiao Dongliang was most puzzled about.

"I had to learn to cook and use a knife. In the beginning, I was unfamiliar with the chores and I cut my hands. That's why there are scars. But I am used to it now. I will no longer cut my hands accidentally again." Qiao Zijin held her hands. Although she had cuts and scars on her hands, they were but small injuries. At most, her hands were not as pretty as before.

"Compared to the past when everything was provided for me, I feel much more at ease with my current life. The food I prepare myself tastes the best. Dad, I am no longer a picky eater. Have I made huge progress?"

"Yes. Zijin, you have indeed grown up." Qiao Dongliang looked happy. "It's good that you want to do these household chores. I won't stop you. You used to do terrible things to Nan Nan in the past, so it's right of you to do these for her. Alright, in order for Nan Nan to feel your sincerity, I will not help you. You can do it by yourself. Are you up to it?"

"Yes!"

"Okay, then I will go back to the living room." Qiao Dongliang finally set his heart at ease.

He firmly believed that as long as Zijin was repentant, sooner or later, Zijin and Nan Nan would definitely reconcile.

Ding Jiayi would only listen to what Zijin said. If Zijin had changed for the better and was close to Nan Nan, even though Ding Jiayi might be unwilling, under Zijin's influence, she would change her attitude toward Nan Nan.

At the thought that there would be a day when the family of four would be able to have happy days together, Qiao Dongliang was full of energy and felt upbeat toward life.

"Okay," Qiao Zijin said with a smile and watched Qiao Dongliang leave the kitchen.

When she was certain that Qiao Dongliang had left and would not be able to know what was going on in the kitchen, Qiao Zijin's face sunk. Gone was her bright and sunny expression. In replace, there was a sullen and sinister look on her face.

If Qiao Dongliang was here, he would not be able to smile at Qiao Zijin who looked dark and sinister.

In another three minutes, the water in the pot would be boiled. Seconds ago, Qiao Zijin had a sinister look, but she instantly reverted back to the bright and sunny look. She curled her lips into a faint smile.

Qiao Zijin looked into the glass window in the kitchen to check that her smile was natural and bright, like how she used to practice, and that one would feel good looking at her. Then, Qiao Zijin scooped the water and brought them to the bathroom personally for Qiao Nan. "Nan Nan, the water is boiled. You can have your shower."

Qiao Nan, who was resting in the living room, stared at Qiao Zijin.

Qiao Zijin looked disheveled.

It was a hot summer. It was beyond words to be in the kitchen checking on the hot boiling water for twenty minutes.

Qiao Zijin looked as if she just came out from the water. She was sticky and wet. Her clothes were drenched in perspiration and they were plastered to her body. Her hair was stuck on her face as if they were little worms.

Qiao Zijin felt worse than Qiao Nan who had just come back home. She was soaked in sweat.

"Nan Nan, why are you in a daze? Hurry up and have a shower. You will feel much better after a shower. It's good to go for a trip, but you will realize that home is the best place when the novelty wears off. After taking a shower, you can take a short nap. I will wake you up when dinner is ready." Qiao Zijin acted like how a proper elder sister would.

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