Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Ding Jiayi refused to give up. “We spent a huge amount of money on your hospital stay. We will not be able to repay all the debts within a short time. The priority is to save them for our household expenses. Zijin’s study is important as well. Can… can we use the money to pay for her tuition fees first? I promise that I will repay the money in the future!”
Qiao Dongliang snorted, not taking her words seriously. “Zijin, come over here.”
Qiao Zijin’s face was ashen. She hunched her shoulders and dragged her feet, walking toward her father. “Dad?”
“Zijin, you played a part in what happened today. Tell me, who is in the wrong?”
“Dad…” Qiao Zijin found it difficult to look at Qiao Dongliang. She put the blame onto Qiao Nan. “Nan Nan, Mom is our elder. Do you want your mom to apologize to you and admit her mistakes?”
Qiao Nan snorted. “Sister, do you mean that it is indeed wrong of Mom for stealing my money and she should apologize to me, but since she is our elder, we should just disregard her mistakes? Mom, did you hear that? My sister thinks that you are the only one who is at fault today!”
She knew what Qiao Zijin was up to. She wanted to push all the blame to her mother.
Qiao Zijin was dumbstruck. She never put it that way.
“You…” Ding Jiayi certainly would not believe in Qiao Nan’s words, and she could hear Qiao Zijin’s words clearly. Qiao Zijin was trying to push the blame to Qiao Nan. “Old Qiao, you can blame me, lecture me, or even hit me, as long as you are appeased and feel good. But there’s only half a month before Zijin starts school. Can you give us the tuition fees first? I will do anything according to your wishes, how about it?”
After Qiao Dongliang slapped her and mentioned that he was going to divorce her, Ding Jiayi no longer dared to act rashly. She dared not show her anger now.
Ding Jiayi had severed her ties with her relatives. Though Qiao Zijin painted a beautiful picture, saying that she would take care of her mother, after all, Qiao Zijin was still a student. Ding Jiayi could not rely on Qiao Zijin to take care of her. Qiao Dongliang was the pillar of the family. There was no one else for her to rely on.
“No!” Qiao Dongliang refused adamantly.
“Why not? Do you want Zijin to stop her studies? You finance Qiao Nan through her studies but you refuse to do so for Zijin. Isn’t that being biased? What right do you have to say that I am biased?” Ding Jiayi was full of hatred. It was Old Qiao who said that he wanted Qiao Zijin to stay with the family and to take in a husband for her.
Qiao Nan, that wretched girl, would be married off sooner or later.
No matter how good Qiao Nan was in her studies, she was of no use to the Qiao family. She would only benefit others.
Why did Old Qiao not understand that the money spent on Qiao Nan was as good as wasted? Why did he insist on being so nice to Qiao Nan?
On the contrary, Zijin would stay with the family. They would have someone to depend on if Zijin was successful.
“You can rest assured. I will treat them fairly. You pay for Zijin’s tuition fees, but I don’t give Nan Nan any money for her tuition fees. I only give her money for her meals. That said, Nan Nan receives less money than Zijin. How am I biased?” Qiao Dongliang looked at Ding Jiayi in mockery.
“That isn’t the same. Qiao Nan does not have to pay for her tuition fees!” But Zijin had to pay for hers.
“If Zijin has the ability, she does not need to pay her tuition fees as well. Is it Nan Nan’s fault that she has good academic performance and that the school exempted her from paying tuition and miscellaneous fees?” Qiao Dongliang looked at Zijin. “Zijin, tell me, who is biased? Is it your mom or me? Is it because you have not studied hard enough, or is it Nan Nan’s fault for being good in her studies?”
Qiao Zijin’s face was stiff and her eyes stung. Did her father look down on her, feeling that Qiao Nan was better and smarter than her?
It was her mother who was at fault. They should sort it out among themselves. Why did they have to vent their frustrations on her and compare her with Qiao Nan?!
“Dad, do you think that my grades are lousy?” Qiao Zijin broke out in tears and looked at Qiao Dongliang with a pair of sorrowful eyes.
Qiao Dongliang turned his face away, gritted his teeth, steeled his heart, and said, “Compared with Nan Nan, you did not do as well. Zijin, you are the elder daughter of the family, you should be more sensible than Nan Nan. Nan Nan gave up the chance to study at The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China and chose Ping Cheng High School instead. You should know why she did that. Nan Nan is so sensible and has made so many sacrifices for this family. Zijin, ask yourself, what have you done for this family, and what has this family done for you? Zijin, you have not taken up the responsibility as the elder daughter of the Qiao family.”
In the past, whenever Qiao Nan did well for her exams and Qiao Zijin did badly for hers, Qiao Zijin always put on a sorrowful and inferior look in front of Qiao Dongliang. He would then comfort Qiao Zijin, saying that the results were not the most important thing. What was important was that she had done her best.
But today, Qiao Dongliang acted out of the blue. Contrary to Qiao Zijin’s expectations, he did not console her. Instead, his words put Qiao Zijin in an awkward position.
Qiao Zijin cried out in tears at Qiao Dongliang’s truthful words.
Seeing Qiao Zijin in tears, Qiao Dongliang was heartbroken, but he knew that this time he could not be soft-hearted again. He could not be the same as before. “Fine, Ding Jiayi, listen to me. If you want to stay as a family, I will be in charge of money and expenses in and outside the house. You are dishonest and have a tendency to squander money. I can’t let you ruin this family and the two children. If you disagree, let’s have a divorce since we cannot stay together anymore. Qiao Zijin will stay with you and Nan Nan will stay with me.”
“Mom…” Qiao Zijin was so scared that she stopped crying. She quickly stood beside Ding Jiayi, shaking her head at her. She did not want them to go their separate ways.
She had so many classmates, but no one had parents who were divorced. She did not want to embarrass herself. She did not want to be the oddball among her classmates.
Most importantly, if her parents ended up divorcing, and she stayed with her mother, there was no way that her mother could raise her up with her low pay. She had to stay with her father in order to lead a stable life.
Ding Jiayi heard the word ‘divorce’ and was devastated. “Old Qiao, do you really want to divorce me?”
“You still have a choice now. Decide for yourself whether you want us to divorce.” If Qiao Dongliang did not steel his heart and do something about Ding Jiayi and her crooked mentality, it would be completely over for all of them.
“No. No, I don’t want to… I will give you all the money.” Ding Jiayi blew her nose in embarrassment. Her eyes were red and swollen.
If she had a divorce at her age and her family, particularly her mother, found out, she would be gloating over her divorce.
Like Qiao Zijin, Ding Jiayi could not live without Qiao Dongliang.
“Since you have said those words, don’t blame me for being unruly and ruthless if you fail to keep your promise.”
“I will bear that in mind. I do not want a divorce!”