At that time, although Qiao Zijin did not agree with what the classmate's parents said, those words made it sound as if the eldest child had to be a slave to the younger siblings.

Nevertheless, from a different perspective, was this not a form of acknowledgment of the ability of the elder son or daughter by the parents?

Her father looked down on her and felt that she was not capable. In the future, she would definitely have to seek help from Qiao Nan in some areas. That was the reason he asked Qiao Nan and her to support each other.

Qiao Nan was so capable. Fine. It was not necessary for them to support each other then. Would it not do if Qiao Nan just gave her one-sided support without the need for her to reciprocate?

"Zijin, did you hear that?"

Qiao Zijin threw away the watermelon skin and used the towel to wipe her hands that were stained with watermelon juice. "Rest assured, Dad. I've heard all of it. I only have Nan Nan as my sister. If I don't be good to her, who else can I be good to? Dad, is it because you don't have confidence in me that you don't believe that I've truly changed for the better?"

"No, no such thing." Qiao Dongliang looked evasive as he avoided Qiao Zijin's eyes.

"It seems like it'll take great effort and a long time for me to reconcile with Nan Nan. Even you don't have confidence in and don't trust me, let alone Nan Nan. That's right, though. Just as what you said, I've had too many prior bad records. I have to take this kind of matter a step at a time. I'm not anxious." Qiao Zijin was not angry. At the very least, she could not get angry at this moment even if she wished to.

"It's good that you could understand." Qiao Dongliang breathed a sigh of relief. "Alright, let's not talk about this anymore. Nan Nan will feel unhappy if she hears it."

"What should I feel unhappy with?" Qiao Nan was drying her hair as she walked out. "Ah, there's watermelon to eat."

"Right, I bought it today. It's very fresh. The boss said that it's home-grown. All those on sale today were freshly picked from the farm. I've seen them. The stem and leaves were so green and juices were oozing from them. It's definitely not bad." Qiao Dongliang asked Qiao Nan to eat more. "I've also soaked this watermelon in the well. It's extremely cool and delicious. A watermelon that feels rough inside is crispy and nice."

Qiao Nan took a bite. Yummy, it was really sweet and the taste was wonderful. It was unlike the watermelon many decades later that was grown with chemicals. They looked fine on the outside and tasted alright.

However, soon after eating those watermelons, there would be an uncomfortable and sour aftertaste. "Dad, sister doesn't like to eat it slice by slice. She likes to hold half a whole watermelon alone and eat it. You're not making that for her?"

Qiao Dongliang's face turned stiff. "Only your mom indulges her bad habit. There are four people in the family, but there's only one watermelon bought each time. There's no reason for one person to occupy half of the watermelon. It's enjoyable and nice to hold half a watermelon and eat with a spoon. Who doesn't wish to enjoy themselves? But this method is not good."

"Nan Nan, please don't laugh at me now. I know I was a little bossy in the past. I've changed for the better now. Eating small slices of watermelon one by one is convenient and fast. There's nothing bad about it." For the sake of making Qiao Nan believe her words, Qiao Zijin immediately took two slices of watermelon and started chewing them.

"Oh." Qiao Zijin even changed such a small habit of hers. Qiao Nan's eyes turned gloomy. She not only did not feel more at ease but also felt more guarded against Qiao Zijin. "Right, what were the two of you chatting about earlier? Why would I be unhappy? Did someone do something that would make me feel unhappy?"

"No, we're just chatting casually. We're saying that you should have been happy with your latest trip, but since you mentioned about your encounter thereafter instead, Zijin and I guessed that you were not very happy."

"That's right." Qiao Zijin continued immediately. She was determined not to bring up the contents of her chat with Qiao Dongliang. "Nan Nan, come and sit down. Let's rest for a while and watch television. After half an hour, I'll help Dad prepare dinner. If you feel tired, why don't you return to the bedroom now and sleep for half an hour?"

Qiao Nan gave a big yawn. "If you didn't mention it, I didn't feel it. Now that you've mentioned it, I feel so tired that I can't even open my eyes. Dad, I'll go and nap for a while first. You watch the television with sister."

If she was around, it would be inconvenient for Qiao Zijin to speak to her father, right?

Qiao Nan stretched herself and opened her sleepy eyes. Since Qiao Zijin had this wish, she would fulfill it and let Qiao Zijin have the opportunity.

When Qiao Zijin was overly sensible and obedient, she felt more worried.

If Qiao Zijin could let the cat out of the bag just a little in front of her father, then she would not have any ulterior motive.

However, as long as she was present, Qiao Zijin would be very cautious and pretentious. So, it would be more effective if she excused herself.

Qiao Nan was, in fact, exhausted. Even if Qiao Zijin did not come back with an ulterior motive, it was not possible for Qiao Nan to reveal her fox's tail or take any action within a short time. Qiao Nan might as well sleep daringly. She slept for half an hour this time.

"What are you doing?" Qiao Dongliang was taking the cooked rice and dishes to the living room when he saw Qiao Zijin pacing back and forth in front of Qiao Nan's bedroom.

Qiao Zijin took a step back. "Dad, it's been half an hour. Is Qiao Nan awake? It's already time for dinner. I don't know if I should let Nan Nan sleep a while more or quickly wake her up. What if she can't sleep at night if she sleeps too much during the day?

"So it's about this." Qiao Dongliang's expression relaxed a little. "Indeed, Nan Nan has slept for quite long. It's better to wake her up. Even if she's tired, she can decide what to do later after she finishes dinner. Don't let the health suffer due to hunger. Last time, your mom was too much. Two years ago, I brought Nan Nan to the hospital. Whenever I thought of what the doctor said to me, I feel so ashamed that I can't lift up my head. The doctor told me that Nan Nan was malnourished. What kind of era are we living in now? Nan Nan was actually malnourished!"

At the mention of this matter, Qiao Dongliang was angry at Ding Jiayi for being so heartless.

To actually starve the daughter until she was malnourished! It would most probably be very difficult to find this kind of mother in the world.

Qiao Zijin had wanted to say that her mother also regretted it but Qiao Dongliang continued talking and even chided her. "Zijin, I have to chide you regarding this. You're Nan Nan's elder sister. The three of you, mother and daughters, spent more time with each other at home. How could you not know anything about how your mom treated Nan Nan? If you knew about your mom's doing, why didn't you persuade her? Your mom didn't listen to any other people but would she not listen to you? Zijin, you just allowed your mom to bully Nan Nan in that way. Didn't your heart ache when you saw that happening?"

Qiao Dongliang really did not know that Ding Jiayi was heartless enough to let Qiao Nan take the meat in front of him, and then placed it back into the pot behind his back.

Although he was unaware of this matter, he did not believe that Qiao Zijin did not know about it.

Qiao Dongliang was most concerned that although Qiao Zijin knew about it, she had never intervened in this matter. Although Ding Jiayi was the elder one and Qiao Zijin the younger one, if she did not persuade Ding Jiayi, Qiao Zijin could always have told him, her father, and let him communicate with Ding Jiayi.

That attitude of Qiao Zijin, adopting a passive onlooker stance, made Qiao Dongliang feel extremely anxious and uneasy.



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