Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Qiao Nan believed there is no free meal in the world. Although Qiao Zijin was her biological sister, the things she gave were more like traps than freebies.
“Aren’t they just a few buns? Dad, Nan Nan and you were exaggerating.” Qiao Zijin’s eyes were elusive. She nearly let the cat out of the bag.
In actual fact, treating Qiao Dongliang and Qiao Nan to buns was a trick that Qiao Zijin had to play in the absence of better solutions.
According to the original plan, Qiao Zijin was to bring Qiao Dongliang to a further place before she got Qiao Nan to come over. That way, she could buy more time for Ding Jiayi to prevent the matter from being exposed too early.
Qiao Zijin’s act to bring Qiao Dongliang out for a stroll was part of the plan, but Qiao Dongliang’s injury was real.
Hence, they did not walk that far before Qiao Dongliang started to feel overwhelmed and was unable to move further.
Qiao Zijin wanted to help Qiao Dongliang up, but she did not have the strength to do so. Therefore, Qiao Zijin had no choice but to watch on helplessly as Qiao Dongliang sat down and refused to move further.
“Sure, then Nan Nan and I will wait for your buns.” Qiao Dongliang smiled. As a father, he was always willing to believe that his elder daughter was not rotten to the bones—that she was just spoiled by her parents.
A child will grow up and they will become sensible as they mature.
At the sight of Qiao Zijin running off to buy the buns, Qiao Dongliang felt consoled as he smiled. “Your sister seems to be more sensible now.”
“Really?” Qiao Nan knitted her brows. Wrong. Something was very wrong. She would rather believe that Qiao Zijin was trying to poison her and thus took the initiative to buy her buns, than believe that Qiao Zijin knew how to be reciprocal to others.
“Dad, Sister said you had a fall. Where were you hurt? Is it painful? Are your wounds alright?” Remembering the reason she came for, Qiao Nan looked at Qiao Dongliang from head to toe and realized that he looked clean and fine. There was no sign of him having fallen down.
“Fell? I didn’t fall down.” Qiao Dongliang was stunned. “Did Zijin tell you that I fell down?”
“Yes, Sister said you had a fall and she could not help you back by herself, so she requested for my help.”
“I didn’t fall down.” Qiao Dongliang did not understand. Clearly, he did not have a fall, yet why did Zijin tell Nan Nan otherwise and lie about it?
After thinking for a while, Qiao Dongliang said, “Could it be that your sister was afraid that you would be angry, so she… Was she trying to create an opportunity for the three of us to spend time together? That’s right, as long as your mother, that trouble stirrer, is around, the three of us can’t even have a good conversation. Actually, when Zijin is not with your mother, she is like a changed person. She’s more normal, not so spoiled and insensible.”
“It looks like your sister is quite sincere to be able to think of this method. That’s good. Let the three of us have a good talk today. We will be able to clear any misunderstanding after talking.” His wife was unreliable, but Qiao Dongliang hoped that his two daughters would provide each other help and support, and be more united than the siblings in other families.
Qiao Nan managed to hide and suppress the sarcasm beneath her eyes. “Have a talk? Dad, I am the only one chatting with you now. Sister is not even around.” Qiao Zijin had nothing to say to her.
Nevertheless, she believed that Qiao Zijin had a lot to say to her father to curry favor with him.
Her father was the biggest source of income in the family. If Qiao Zijin could gain her father’s favor and make him give her money like their mother, then Qiao Zijin would have succeeded in her motive.
Hence, she would never be the one Qiao Zijin would fawn on.
“Your sister will be around when she is back later. Nan Nan, don’t vent your frustration toward your mom on your sister. For your sister to become like that, your mom and I are the ones who should bear the greatest responsibility. She’s still young and insensible. When she grows up, she will know that it has not been easy for Dad and Mom. She will become a better person.”
“…” At that instance, Qiao Nan was so angry that she felt pain in her liver.
She had been so busy for the past month, serving her father soup and water every day. In return, her father’s attitude toward her turned better as compared to how it was in her previous life. He finally began to value her.
But Qiao Zijin?
Clearly, because of what happened at the hospital a week ago, she saw the obvious disappointment and coldness in her father’s eyes when he looked at Qiao Zijin. Only a few days had passed and her father had seemingly forgotten his scars and pain. Qiao Zijin had won her dad over just with one bun? Qiao Zijin had become a good kid again?
At the thought of the efforts she had put in, Qiao Nan felt it was unfair.
In the end, whose feelings were more precious to her dad?
Qiao Nan’s face turned pale. She thought for a long time and consoled herself that she did everything in line with her conscience.
In this household, besides her mother, her father was also very good to Qiao Zijin. It was not that she only knew this in this lifetime. She should have been used to this long ago.
She was the one who painted a picture that was too rosy. She always felt that her father would one day understand and find out the true colors of her mother and Qiao Zijin—that he would then spare more thoughts for himself and give up on the hopes and fantasy he had for the two of them.
At this juncture, Qiao Nan discovered that, in fact, the one who had been harboring unrealistic hopes was her, not her father.
Forget it, whatever would happen, would happen. She could not be bothered about it.
She maintained her stance that her father would have to choose his own life. If he was willing to get along with her mother, then so be it. If he felt that Qiao Zijin was a good child, then he could continue to do so.
Whatever would happen to this family in the future, she would not be bothered. It was not up to her to interfere anyway.
In her previous life, she died so tragically because she was too accommodating to her mother and Qiao Zijin. She could not determine what would happen to her father in this lifetime. She drew a lesson from her painful experience. If her father suffered badly because of Qiao Zijin, she would at most lend a helping hand.
None of the preventive measures would work on her father!
“Dad, Sister has been away for so long. The place that sells bun is not that far. Why isn’t she back yet?” Qiao Nan knitted her brows, thinking. She felt that something was amiss.
Regardless of whether Qiao Zijin had truly become sensible, she took too long to buy a bun. Did she run to Beijing to buy?
“Yes, it has been so long, why hasn’t she returned?” After Qiao Nan said that, Qiao Dongliang also felt that Qiao Zijin was taking too long. “Why don’t you go and find your sister? Could she have met with any mishap?” That was unlikely, though. It was broad daylight and everyone living in and near the quad knew one another.
“Dad, you just came home from the hospital. Why did you suddenly feel like going out for a walk to rehabilitate?” The discomfort in Qiao Nan’s heart intensified as she stared at Qiao Dongliang.
“I didn’t. Your sister suggested it.” Qiao Dongliang revealed a fatherly smile. “Really, I’m not the one. Your sister has truly become more sensible and obedient. She said that morning air is the best and wanted to bring me out to breathe in the fresh air. Actually, I wanted to wait a few more days before getting out of bed. But it was rare for your sister to be so sensible, and I don’t want to be a wet blanket. Besides, she’s right. The morning fresh air is indeed good. My mood became better after taking a walk.”