Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Ding Jiayi did not like Qiao Zijin’s method of helping her out. It was not an easy task to clean up the house. It would take them half a day to do a simple clean up. If they intended to do a thorough cleaning, they would really have to go without sleep.
“No, Mom, listen to me.” Qiao Zijin pulled Ding Jiayi to one side. “Mom, when you stopped me and Qiao Nan from leaving just now, I accidentally bumped into Qiao Nan. I noticed that she seemed to be hiding something in her clothes. It felt like a packet of money. I think there is a large amount of money.”
The stack felt long and rectangular. Besides money, Qiao Zijin could not think of any other possibility.
“No, where did she get the money from!” She and Old Qiao had no money. It was impossible that a child like Qiao Nan would have money with her.
“Did she borrow it?”
“Where in the world did such kind-hearted people exist? We still do not know where Qiao Nan borrowed the large sum of money previously. Your dad’s hospital stay cost around one thousand and five hundred yuan. On top of that, she repaid the money on our behalf. All of these amounted to a huge sum of money. She has yet to return the money she borrowed last time, so who lent her the money this time?” If it was so easy to borrow the money, she would not have to seek help from so many families before finally borrowing a few hundred yuan.
When Old Qiao was in trouble, those people acted like debt collectors, demanding their money back.
“How will I know where Qiao Nan got the money from? But I felt there was a lot of money in Qiao Nan’s pocket. Mom, what do you say about doing something with this money?”
“What you mean is… Are you sure? No, no. Given your dad’s temper, we must keep a low profile these few days.” Ding Jiayi wanted the money, but she was fearful of Qiao Dongliang.
This money was Qiao Nan’s. If she wanted Qiao Nan to hand them over, that wretched girl would definitely refuse. Ding Jiayi could not be bothered to argue with her.
In this life, Qiao Nan had made sure her mother understood that she would not be submissive or give in to her. It had only been less than a year, and Ding Jiayi had become accustomed to her firm attitude and persistence, realizing that Qiao Nan would not budge easily.
“Mom, don’t be so foolish. We are a family. Everyone has a share in everything at home. Even if it is money, it doesn’t solely belong to Nan Nan. Does it mean we cannot do anything to Nan Nan if she refuses to hand over the money—that everything belonging to Nan Nan has nothing to do with Mom, the family, and me? There is no such thing in this world. Aren’t we still considered as one family?”
To put it simply, whatever Qiao Nan had, belonged to them; whatever belonged to them were theirs as well!
“But she will refuse to hand it over, so there is nothing we can do!” Ding Jiayi said helplessly.
“…” Qiao Zijin rolled her eyes. “When you needed the five thousand yuan for me to enroll in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, we somehow managed to get the money even though Dad disagreed. How did you do it?”
Who said we must get the consent of the rest of the family when we wanted their money?
Everyone was one family. Everything was shared between one another. In other words, she and her mother merely took their own things. There was nothing wrong with it.
No one would need to inform the others when they took their own things. Wouldn’t that be a joke?
“Zijin, do you mean to… steal?” According to what Qiao Zijin said, Ding Jiayi could only think of this word.
“What do you mean by stealing? We are one family. Isn’t Nan Nan your daughter and my sister? Whatever belongs to Nan Nan is ours as well, so what do you mean by stealing? Do you mean that you stole the five thousand yuan from Dad for my school fees?”
“No, your dad’s money is mine. I have the right to spend it!”
“That is right. Nan Nan is still young. Whatever belongs to Nan Nan is ours. Nan Nan cannot keep them with her. There is nothing wrong for you to keep them for her for the time being.” Qiao Zijin was glad that Ding Jiayi finally understood what she said.
“That wretched girl is very smart. It is not easy to get the money from her.”
“Hey, Mom, the reason why we could not find the money and books that Nan Nan hid is that she didn’t bring them home at all. We don’t know where she put it. However, it’s different this time. Nan Nan has the money with her. Even if she really wants to hide it, at the very least, she needs to keep the money in our house tonight. Since we are cleaning up the house, it will be easy to find the money.”
Ding Jiayi’s eyes lit up. “It makes sense! Zijin, you are young and smart, unlike me, muddleheaded. Why didn’t I think of that? Okay, it’s settled.”
Ding Jiayi finally understood why Qiao Zijin was so eager to clean the house when Qiao Dongliang asked her to do it.
“Mom, we are not in a hurry. Dad wanted us to clean the house, but he didn’t say that it must be done today. We can do it at our own pace lest Qiao Nan hides it too well and we can’t find it right away.” At the mention of money, Qiao Zijin became smart instantly. She was not this smart in her studies.
If Qiao Zijin put in efforts and make use of her intelligence that she displayed when coming up with the plan to get Qiao Nan’s money, she would do well for her exams.
“Well, we must be careful. Don’t give yourself away in front of Qiao Nan, that wretched girl.” Zijin would start school in about half a month’s time and would be able to get her tuition fees just in time.
Initially, she had been worried about paying for Zijin’s tuition fees. If she could get hold of Qiao Nan’s money, together with her pay, she should be able to cover for her tuition fees.
If there was any remaining money, she could get new clothes for Zijin to wear to school.
Ding Jiayi was Qiao Zijin’s biological mother after all. They were thinking about the same thing.
Qiao Zijin was very sure that since Qiao Nan had managed to borrow more than one thousand yuan last time, she must have a significant sum of money with her this time. The money should be enough for Zijin to spend.
Qiao Nan did not know that Qiao Zijin had discovered that she had money with her. Ding Jiayi had merely pulled at her while Qiao Zijin knocked accidentally into her.
“Dad, you must be tired from the journey back. Lie down on the bed and have a rest.” As soon as Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin left the room, Qiao Nan helped Qiao Dongliang take off his shoes and helped him to the bed. “I have asked the doctor. Given your condition, it is best to lie down and rest for about ten days. Afterward, you can get out of the bed and move about, but you should keep it short.”
“Nan Nan, you are more meticulous than your mom.” Qiao Dongliang was disheartened. When Ding Jiayi picked Qiao Dongliang up from the hospital, she only knew how to ask Nan Nan about the medical fees, and whether the hospital owed them any money or miscalculated the bills. She did not bother to ask what she should look out for when taking care of Qiao Dongliang.
At that time, Qiao Dongliang really felt that in the eyes of Ding Jiayi, money was more important than her husband.
“Nan Nan, if your mom and I go our separate…” Qiao Dongliang stopped in the middle of his sentence. He was afraid that he would scare Qiao Nan. He was also unsure whether he was making a mountain out of a molehill and being petty.