If Qiao Nan fared badly in the examinations under tremendous pressure due to what the teachers said, these teachers, and not Qiao Nan, would the first that would be criticized.

There were certain things that everyone could think of but could not say.

Looking at Qiao Dongliang, Shi Qing was embarrassed to tell Qiao Dongliang that, actually, he should still be nervous. This was because Qiao Nan had been spotting questions for the third-year students during the last seven days leading to their college entrance examination.

If they fared well in the examination, Qiao Nan would be given due credit. If they did not fare well, the school would not take issue. However, it was uncertain if the parents would use this as an excuse to kick up a big fuss.

At the thought of this, Shi Qing began to understand why Qiao Nan was unwilling to participate in these matters.

A second-year student spotting questions for the third-year students might seem like the former would be in the limelight. She clearly had good intentions but had to bear the brunt of any issues if something went wrong. She might get herself into trouble eventually and not get out of it.

"It's late. I'll go and prepare meals." Qiao Dongliang, who was back to his usual self, glanced at the time and immediately took out the vegetables in the refrigerator. He washed them, chopped them, and started cooking.

Once Qiao Dongliang left, Shi Qing leaned toward Qiao Nan. "You didn't tell Uncle Qiao anything regarding this year's college entrance examination?"

"What's there to say? I'm not the one taking the college entrance examination. This matter was decided by Principal Meng. I'm just a student who abides by the school's arrangements. I did not volunteer." Qiao Nan felt extremely warm. She was wiping the sweat on her face with a small handkerchief.

Her father was not extremely daring, especially toward her studies, and was very anxious.

She would rather not mention anything that was unrelated to her studies to her father so as not to worry him unnecessarily.

Moreover, Qiao Nan had initially thought that Qiao Dongliang would be focused on and feel anxious about Qiao Zijin's college entrance examination. It was unexpected that her father now cared more about her, and he was able to look on the bright side of things in regard to Qiao Zijin's examination.

At this juncture, the phone suddenly rang. "Hello, good day, you… Oh, Principal Meng. Going back to school tomorrow? Why?"

It was already summer vacation. Why did she still have to return to the school? She had already taken her report card.

The college entrance examination system in the year of 2000 was different. Before the year of 2003, the college entrance examination in China was scheduled for three days in July: the seventh, eighth, and ninth. It was only until the year of 2003 that it was changed to the seventh, eighth, and ninth of June.


Hence, when the third-year students were having their college entrance examination, Qiao Nan had already completed her second-year studies. She was thus in her summer vacation period after progressing to her third year.

Those administrative matters such as examination and collection of report card had already been completed. There was basically no other reason to return to the school during the summer vacation.

Shi Qing's ears perked up. She held on to Qiao Nan's shoulders and plastered her ears on the phone receiver to eavesdrop together. "…estimate scores…"

After eavesdropping for some time, Shi Qing only heard the two words 'estimate scores' vaguely.

After the college entrance examination ended, all third-year students would mostly return to the school. Moreover, the school would put up all the examination papers for the college entrance examination and provide the correct answers so that the students could compare their answers against them and estimate their own scores. This would help them decide on the college that they wanted to apply for in the future.

Principal Meng made the call to request Qiao Nan to go back to school. However, Qiao Nan felt that it was not necessary for her to do so. Next year, there was no need to request as she would have to go back to compare the answers.

"Principal Meng, what do I go back for?"

"…"

"Principal Meng, no need. In this case, I'm not going back." Hearing Principal Meng's reason, Qiao Nan simply declined. "No need, all these were the school's arrangements. There's really no need to. Thank you, Principal Meng."

"The principal invited you to go back to estimate the scores?" Shi Qing asked.

"Yes."

"Why don't you go back? If the situation is good… Most likely, you will receive many words of thanks tomorrow." That was something great.

"What if I receive hates instead of thanks? From then onward, should I buy a tortoise shell and bring it with me every day to avoid the revenge from the parents of this cohort of third-year students?"

Shi Qing gave a pat on Qiao Nan's shoulder. "You should have more confidence in yourself. Principal Meng specially made this call. No matter how I see it, I don't think the third-year students in our school would fare badly. You've worked so hard. Applause and fresh flowers are necessary."

She was not receiving it for nothing. After all, Qiao Nan had put in seven days of effort in this.

"Not going." Qiao Nan insisted. "It's just estimating scores and not coming up with the actual statistics. There's also inaccuracy in this. What if some people are overconfident and estimate wrongly? What will happen then?" Qiao Nan knew what this was about, but she was not willing to take part in it.

"Alright, don't say this to others. I've personally declined Principal Meng. If I decide to go after a few words from you, what will Principal Meng think of me?" Qiao Nan moved away. On such a hot day, the two of them were so close to each other. Was she trying to kill her?

Shi Qing suddenly realized something. She looked at Qiao Nan from head to toe. "You're not willing to return to school to estimate the scores. Don't tell me it's because you're afraid of the heat, that you're afraid to go under the sun?"

"Yes, can't I?" Qiao Nan felt a little embarrassed. This was certainly the reason why she was unwilling to return to school.

Given such weather, unless she left the house early, she would be toying with her life. If not, she would suffer badly from sunburns.

In addition, air-conditioners were not prevalent in this era. Qiao Nan really did not wish to suffer for this. "You have to take care too. It's going to be our turn next year. The examination in July is different from that in June. The weather is much hotter. Whether it's to sit for the exams or to compare the answers, it'll be torturous. Such a difficult process, having been through it once will be enough for you to 'reminisce' for life. Asking me to undergo this experience twice, do you want to torture me to death?"

It was not just the estimation of scores. Initially, Principal Meng had wanted to pull Qiao Nan along to check out the situations of the students in various schools this year.

Of course, Qiao Nan rejected it as well.

She was agreeable to help, but these were all messy and complicated matters, and she would rather not make things difficult for herself.

"Aright, alright, it's all up to you. You're not even bothered. Why should I then?" Shi Qing felt that it would be meaningless to continue with the same topic. True enough, Qiao Nan did not seem like a normal twenty-year-old girl. She did not have the curiosity and competitiveness of the person of this age at all. She was leading her life so peacefully like an old woman.

When she returned to her own house in the evening, Shi Qing was still feeling unhappy about this matter. Her expression bared it all.

Shi Peng sighed and advised her. "Qiao Nan is a smart person. She knows what she's doing. Furthermore, it's certainly not necessary to be overly concerned about some superficial matters. Qiao Nan's temperament is her strength and also her weakness. But concerning this point, you should feel grateful."

"Why?" It was not that she did not wish to be grateful to Qiao Nan. But what was the reason?

"Don't tell me that, until today, you have not realized that when you are with Qiao Nan, you are easily influenced by her, that you're different from before?"

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