"One should never intend to do harm to others, but should always guard against the harm others might do to him?" Qiao Nan laughed. "Sister, it's such a coincidence. I think alike, too. Alright, Dad, watch the television show with sister. It's rare that sister prepared water for me to bathe. I can't waste it."

"Yes, Nan Nan, go and bathe first. I'll go and sit outside with Dad. Dad bought a lot of ingredients and he intends to prepare spicy dishes. You'll definitely love them."

His daughter was going to bathe. Of course, there was no point for Qiao Dongliang to remain behind. He even stepped out a little faster than Qiao Zijin.

Qiao Nan had learned the habit of bathing quickly while she was in the army camp. Within ten minutes, she had finished cleaning herself from head to toe.

She was full of thoughts when she looked in the mirror. Her hair was all wet and there seemed to be a layer of mist before her eyes. There were also tiny drops of water on her eyelashes.

Qiao Nan wiped her face with the towel. Whether Qiao Zijin had changed for the better upon her return this time, it had nothing to do with her.

An individual such as Qiao Zijin could not be a relative. Moreover, she could not be a friend. She could only be an ordinary stranger.

"Dad, the story Qiao Nan just told us… What do you think it meant?" Qiao Zijin sat down and stared at the television distractedly. She felt very uneasy as she peeped sideways at the door of the bathroom. Qiao Nan would not casually ask such a question without a reason. She must have a purpose in doing it.

It was just that Qiao Zijin could not decipher the purpose even after thinking about it for a long time. Hence, she could only seek help from Qiao Dongliang.

Qiao Dongliang was taking out a plate of watermelon that was cut into slices. "What meaning could there be? Wasn't it just a situation that she heard from someone?"

"So, Nan Nan was just talking casually?" She did not believe it.

"Otherwise, what could it be?" Qiao Dongliang passed a slice of watermelon to Qiao Zijin. Qiao Zijin frowned in disdain. If it was just a slice of watermelon, she would rather not have it. She liked the feeling of holding half a whole watermelon and eating it with a spoon.

In Qiao Zijin's mind, she was thinking that Qiao Dongliang knew Qiao Nan's likes and dislikes so well but did not even remember such a small habit of hers. Qiao Zijin restrained her expression and did say a word.

"What's wrong with you again?" Qiao Zijin was silent. Qiao Dongliang thus turned to look at her instead of the television. "Why do I feel that you have become strange again, just like in the past? Nan Nan didn't say much. Why do you have so many questions? Aren't you being too petty? Be assured. As long as you truly change for the better, Nan Nan will definitely forgive you if she feels your sincerity. Nan Nan is softhearted. We're all one family. Don't think too much and give yourself so much pressure. If you think too much, you may distort Nan Nan's intentions. You, you're just overthinking."

There was nothing bad about being a simple person. If Zijin did not like to think or do too much, she would not have caused the situation between Nan Nan and her today.

"Dad, I was just asking an unintentional question. What are you talking about? When Nan Nan comes out later, you must not say all these in front of her. Nan Nan has not forgiven me. If you bring this up and Nan Nan recalls what happened in the past, then Nan Nan and I will have to delay our reconciliation for a long time." Qiao Zijin was so nervous that she did not wish to eat the watermelon now.

Qiao Dongliang handed the watermelon back to Qiao Zijin. "I'm your dad. Can I not know this? I'm advising you precisely because Nan Nan is not around, just in case you do something wrong before Nan Nan again. Zijin, you were in the wrong in the past. You have to genuinely realize that you're in the wrong and sincerely wish to change for the better. Zijin, you're not just appeasing Nan Nan and me, are you?"

Qiao Zijin sneered as she ate the watermelon. "Appease you all? To say something without a conscience, what do you have now? If you're not my biological father, would I gain anything if I appeased you? Nan Nan is younger than me. She'll be in her second year of senior high school next year. You've cut off all means of living of Mom and me. I won't gain anything if I please you. Will I gain something if I please Nan Nan?"

Qiao Dongliang thought about it. That was true. The Qiao family did not have anything now. Besides a small courtyard, they did not even have a little cash to spare.

In this way, even if Qiao Zijin could please Qiao Dongliang, the latter could not give Qiao Zijin anything.

Without anything to gain, there was no need to appease him.

"Don't feel angry. You must know that you're not qualified to be angry. You can only blame yourself for having so many prior records." Qiao Dongliang threw the watermelon skin into the dustbin. "Your mom and I only have two children, Nan Nan and you. You know my situation best. Because I don't have any siblings, I couldn't even find anyone to help when things happened at home these past few years. You're different. When you encounter any difficulties, if your relationship with Nan Nan is normal, you can seek Nan Nan's help. Nan Nan can also look for you to help her. One must know that it's difficult to survive alone in this society. When your mom and I are gone, both of you sisters will become each other's only support. Given the current situation…"

Nan Nan was so good in her studies. It was hard for Zijin to come in eighth in class and it was because she cheated and copied others.

Although academic results did not represent everything, and good grades did not guarantee a good job and high pay, Qiao Dongliang still felt that Qiao Nan's future would definitely be much brighter than Qiao Zijin's.

To put it in a selfish way, this was not mutual support.

When that time truly came, Nan Nan would be the one helping Zijin, this elder sister. On the other hand, Zijin, this elder sister, could only bask in the glory of her younger sister. Furthermore, Nan Nan was together with Zhai Sheng now.

Whether she was relying on a man or herself, Nan Nan's future was definitely going to be multiple times better than that of Zijin's.

Qiao Dongliang was well aware that he was helping Qiao Zijin create a future contingency plan when he spoke up that day. At the same time, he saved Qiao Zijin some face.

If he had been too blunt and said that Zijin would need to seek Nan Nan's help in the future, even if Zijin's temperament had improved, she would certainly lose her temper. She would then make a mess out of the whole matter again.

As a parent, he was clearly giving well-intended advice but had to consider his children's feelings, in case the advice made the child turn worse. Qiao Dongliang felt disheartened that he had to be such a father.

It was no wonder that the old had a saying that children were debts owed by their parents in the previous life. The debts had to be repaid in this lifetime.

At the very least, he must have owed Zijin a lot in his previous life such that he had to work and worry so much for her in this life.

Qiao Zijin could not feel Qiao Dongliang's good intentions at all. She could only feel her biological father looking down on her.

Before the vacation, she visited the house of one of her new classmates. Her new classmate was also a lady and the eldest in the family.

She heard from her own ears what the parents of the new classmate's parents told the classmate: You're the eldest in the family. You're the elder sister of all your younger siblings. You must study well, work hard to find a good job, and take good care of your brother and sister.



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