Qiao Dongliang was full of anger.
His wife passed the younger daughter food with chopsticks, but would ask her to put back the meat. Qiao Dongliang just could not understand why would his wife do such a thing.
Ding Jiayi gritted her teeth, not rebutting what Qiao Dongliang said.
Ding Jiayi still remembered that day when they had a quarrel; Qiao Dongliang had closed the door and stared at her as if he wanted to swallow her up.
Qiao Dongliang's anger remained. Ding Jiayi did not dare do anything to upset him.
"Dad." Qiao Nan knew that Qiao Dongliang must have returned when she reached home.
Qiao Dongliang smiled, "Nan Nan is back, where did you go to play? It's still hot now. You have just recovered from an illness, you must be careful not to go in the sun, do you understand?"
Qiao Nan turned and looked towards Ding Jiayi. It was no doubt her mother who spoke ill of her in front of her father, saying that she has been out for fun.
Ding Jiayi caught Qiao Nan's eye and glared at her, warning her to behave herself.
Ding Jiayi stood behind Qiao Dongliang, so he did not see the warning look that she gave their younger daughter.
Qiao Dongliang patted Qiao Nan's head, her fever has subsided by now and said, "Nan Nan, though your results and foundation are better than your sister, school reopens the day after tomorrow. If you have time, it would be good for you to stay at home to revise just like your sister."
Qiao Nan smiled, "Dad, Mum sold off all our junior high school textbooks. I would like to do some revision, but there's nothing for me to revise from. Middle school examinations will cover secondary one and secondary two content, now I am worried and don't know what to do. Besides, elder sister also does not have her textbooks. I wonder what is she reading in her room?"
"Sold?" Qiao Dongliang was stunned. He could not believe it and turned to look at his wife. "Where have you put Nan Nan's secondary one and secondary two textbooks? Nan Nan takes proper care of her books. Nan Nan mistakenly thinks you have sold them. Hurry up, take out the books now!"
Qiao Dongliang refused to believe that his wife would be so ruthless. He did not want to see the relationship between his wife and younger daughter turn sour.
The elder daughter had just had middle school examinations. His wife kept the textbooks, and insisted that the younger daughter who just started secondary two to revise secondary one and secondary two knowledge points with the elder daughter.
But when it was the younger daughter's turn to sit for the exams, his wife had sold the books. What was this?!
Ding Jiayi turned red. If not for Old Qiao, she would have beaten that younger daughter of hers who was bent on going against her.
"What are you waiting for, return Nan Nan's books to her now!"
"Return her books, what's there to return? I was the one who paid her school fees! Is there any mortar and brick in the house that belong to Qiao Nan?"
Qiao Dongliang drew a deep breath, "You paid her school fees, but did you earn that money? Stop all this nonsense, where are the books?"
"Very well, I stayed at home and worked my guts out for you, keeping busy all day long. Now you are telling me all this money is yours and I have no say at all! Old Qiao, how could you say this, where's your conscience? What about all the efforts I put into this family, aren't they considered contributions at all?"
Ding Jiayi burst into tears.
"Don't try to change the topic. Where are Nan Nan's books?"
Startled by Qiao Dongliang's bellow, Ding Jiayi stopped crying. She could not help but snarl, "Everything is gone, there is nothing left. Since Zijin has graduated, there was no point in keeping the books. So I sold them off. But I sold her books by mistake as well."
"By mistake?" Qiao Dongliang was amused by how Ding Jiayi was lying through her teeth. "Did it really slip your mind, or was it all part of your plan to stop Nan Nan from continuing her studies?"
Anyone could tell from these incidents whether his wife had done so intentionally or not. If Qiao Dongliang could not make out the truth, those years in the army were all for nothing.
No wonder his wife had refused to give Nan Nan medicine for her fever, and had even thrown the medicine away.
Old Ding must have planned for Nan Nan to be so sick that she could not enroll for school!
Old Ding must have harbored this thought of not letting Nan Nan enrol in school for ages. She definitely had not thought of it on the spur of the moment.
To think that when Nan Nan first told him that Old Ding wanted her to quit school, he thought that Nan Nan had misunderstood Old Ding. So after all, it was his daughter who had seen through Old Ding's mind.
Now that everything was out in the open, Ding Jiayi no longer bothered to explain. But she refused to admit that she was in the wrong, "Didn't she always score well? Don't tell me she could not do well in her middle school examination just because she did not have secondary one and secondary two textbooks?"
"Nan Nan, did you hear that, your Mom has agreed to let you continue with secondary three." Qiao Dongliang smiled coldly. He stroked Qiao Nan on the head and picked on Ding Jiayi's words, "Don't worry Nan Nan, even if your Mom does not allow, I am the breadwinner of the family. I will earn the money to let you continue with your studies."
"Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Mom!" Qiao Nan said at the top of her voice.
No matter what, she had finally gotten the opportunity to continue her studies. She would not need to quit school anymore.
Seeing that Ding Jiayi had turned green, Qiao Nan just couldn't help but shout out in joy with a wicked thought in mind, "Dad, Mom has sold all the books, so what is sister reading in her room?"
What was Qiao Zijin so fascinated with? Her father and mother just had a big quarrel, yet she as a good daughter did not turn up at all?
Qiao Dongliang looked towards Ding Jiayi, who stiffened and said, "Zijin told me she wanted to read some books, how would I know what is she reading?"
Ding Jiayi never doubted her beloved elder daughter's words.
"Mom, you have always been ranting about money, complaining that there was not enough to spend. You bought high school books for sister in advance, wasn't that a waste of money?"
"I didn't." Ding Jiayi shook her head.
She had spent all the savings in order to get Zijin into a good high school. How would she have money to buy high school books?
They were stunned by Ding Jiayi's denial.
Flustered, Ding Jiayi walked to Qiao Zijin's room. She knocked at the door lightly and said, "Zijin, Mom is coming in."
Upon knocking the door, Ding Jiayi opened the door without waiting for Qiao Zijin's reply.
Ding Jiayi stepped into Qiao Zijin's room and saw that her elder daughter's face was covered in tears, her eyes clouded with sadness.
Ding Jiayi's heart skipped a beat. Her elder daughter must have felt sorry for her Mom who was caught up in a quarrel with Old Qiao.
Ding Jiayi's heart melted. Her elder daughter was such a dear, she had to give extra love to her. She must think of ways to pave the path for her daughter's future.
"Ha…" Qiao Nan who followed right behind snorted and laughed when she saw the book that Qiao Zijin was holding in her hands. "Sister, so you are reading a novel. Seems like you are so engrossed in your novel, it must have been tiring for you."
The novel that Qiao Zijin was reading was none other than Mou Nainai's novels. Mou Nainai has been known to write novels regarding affairs in a marriage for quite a long period of time.
Qiao Dongliang overheard them and knitted his eyebrows, "You are reading novels, not revising? What is this novel about?"