"You don't believe me? We shall see." Qiao Nan did not explain further. Be it now or in the future, it was rare that marriages were based simply on love.

Shi Qing did not believe her, but what happened afterward was just as what Qiao Nan had predicted.

Not long after, the people in the related field knew about Qiu Qin's affairs. As the official in the government, his affair was a bad reputation for the country and the government, and he was given a verbal warning.

The higher-ups had ordered that Qiu Qin must handle his affair as soon as possible. As for when Qiu Qin would be able to return to work, it would have to depend on the situation.

Of course, if Qiu Qin did not handle it well, he might not be able to continue with his work.

Seeing that Qin Qin was ordered to stay at home, Qi Minlan went to Shi Peng straight away and wanted him to settle this problem as soon as possible so that Qiu Qin could return to his work without any delay.

Shi Qing might not have anticipated this, but Shi Peng was already ready for the turn of events.

When Shi Peng received the news that Old Master Shi gave all the information to Qi Minlan and told Qi Minlan that the information was from him, Shi Peng, who was in bad health, admitted himself into the hospital of the military region right away!

Without Shi Peng's consent, Qi Minlan could not enter the hospital, not even if she was his family.

Furthermore, there were guards stationed around the hospital. The security was much stricter than the average hospital.

As expected, Qi Minlan, who went to the camp to look for Shi Peng, ended up like her daughter, Qiu Chenxi, when the latter went to the camp to look for Zhai Sheng. Despite creating a ruckus and screaming like a shrew, she was denied entry and barred from the hospital.

Shi Qing was speechless upon hearing the news.

Why did her auntie not have a different response? She was so predictable that Qiao Nan could tell what her next steps would be. She was such an embarrassment.

Qiao Nan, who had already expected that this would happen, was not the least surprised. "Now is not the time for you to be angry. In my opinion, how about you stay in the camp for a while as the patient's family or simply transfer back to the school in Mo Du? Don't stay in Ping Cheng anymore."

Officer Shi was smart enough to hide in the military hospital such that Qi Minlan could not find him, but Shi Qing was different. She was just a student.

If her auntie came looking for Shi Qing, no matter how she avoided her, she would bump into her sooner or later. That was what happened to her a year ago when her mother came to her school to look for her.

The monk could run away, but the temple would not run with him. Shi Qing had big trouble now.

"Am I afraid of her?" Shi Qing snorted disdainfully. "It's fine if she wants to stir up trouble. Since she is willing to let everyone in Ping Cheng know that her husband has an affair and doesn't want her anymore, and she doesn't find it embarrassing, why should I be scared of her and hide from her? The adults should settle their own problems, yet she comes making trouble for the juniors. Only my auntie will be capable of doing such shameless things."

Though desperate times called for desperate measures, one could not do such things.

"It's good that you are mentally prepared."

"I am mentally prepared, but what about you? Has Brother Zhai gone back to the army this weekend?" Brother Zhai and Qiao Nan should be in a relationship, but their behavior did not seem as if they were in love.

Shi Qing searched through her memories. Indeed, Brother Zhai had been Qiu Chenxi's 'fiancé' for so many years. However, Qiu Chenxi never bragged to her that Brother Zhai brought her out to have fun, gave her gifts, or spent time with her doing something together.

Apart from telling her that Brother Zhai was very outstanding, Qiu Chenxi never seemed to have bragged about their time spent together.

"Qiao Nan, are you unhappy with such a boyfriend?" Usually, things would not look as good up close. When Zhai Sheng was out of her reach, Shi Qing had always felt that Zhai Sheng was perfect in every sense and that it was her greatest regret not to be with him.

Now that they lived in the same city, Shi Qing finally realized that no matter how outstanding Zhai Sheng was, he was just an average man who had his shortcomings as well. Nobody in the world could be perfect.

"No." Qiao Nan finished doing the test paper and put it aside. "If I tell you that I am busier than Brother Zhai, will you believe me or not?" Brother Zhai's work might be dangerous, but she was just as busy as Brother Zhai. In fact, she was more occupied with her homework than him.

"Alright…" Shi Qing cast a glance at the stacks of homework that Qiao Nan had finished and the Oxford dictionary that she had already read halfway through. She was lost for words.

At school, they were in different classes. Hence, Shi Qing had no idea what Qiao Nan's learning attitude at school was.

However, Shi Qing could vouch for Qiao Nan that, on weekends, she studied as hard as she did at school. She would have four classes in the morning and four classes in the afternoon. She would also have three self-study sessions, in the morning, afternoon, and in the evening.

At eight o'clock at night, she would go back to her room and do some reading for two hours.

Once it was ten o'clock, no matter what she was doing or reading, Qiao Nan would stop whatever she was doing and go to bed. She would be fast asleep in a minute's time.

At about six o'clock the next morning, Qiao Nan would wake up…

At the thought of this, Shi Qing let out a long sigh. Qiao Nan's daily lifestyle was similar to her lifestyle when she was training in the army, except that Qiao Nan was studying while she was training. The time spent and the efforts put in for both were the same.

The difference was that, there would be instructors around in the army camp. If one was to disobey the orders, they would be meted with double the punishment.

But what Qiao Nan did at home was a conscious effort of hers. There was nobody making sure that she followed her own schedule.

Qiao Nan was so strict with herself that she was like a robot. Shi Qing covered her face in exasperation. It was no wonder that her father wanted her to learn from Qiao Nan. But no matter how she learned from her, she could never be as self-disciplined as Qiao Nan. Qiao Nan was not a human!

In comparison to Qiao Nan, the life she had in Mo Du, especially when she had her summer break, was no different from wasting her life away.

"Qiao Nan, you are inhuman!"

Qiao Nan, who had put her homework aside, was perplexed. What had she done to incur Shi Qing's wrath? "Why am I inhuman? I didn't bully you."

"You are abnormal!" Shi Qing continued with her ranting.

Qiao Nan checked herself thoroughly. "Am I the dragonfly who undergoes incomplete metamorphosis or am I the butterfly that undergoes complete metamorphosis?"

"Complete metamorphosis!!" Shi Qing shouted. "Qiao Nan, you seem like you're going to break out of your cocoon and become a butterfly, spreading your wings and soaring to great heights."

Qiao Nan was constantly learning, reading, and taking on extra tasks. She was like a butterfly that was still in its caterpillar form, whereby it underwent the process of spinning itself a silky cocoon, molting into a shiny chrysalis.

This process was very painful and difficult. It was as if confining oneself to a restricted range of activities.

However, given enough time, the rain would stop, and the sun would be out. By then, the ugly caterpillar would break away from its cocoon and become stronger.

[0] The Snail Girl is a traditional Chinese folktale whereby a young farmer chances upon a large river snail and brings it home with him and takes great care of it. It turns out that the river snail can take the form of a lady. She will come out of her shell to prepare meals for the farmer while he is farming in the fields. It is used to describe someone who is hardworking and kind-hearted and does not ask for returns.



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