Qiao Nan was stunned momentarily, she curled her lips and said, "I didn't do very well."
Qiao Zijin and Ding Jiayi heard this and their eyes sparkled. Ding Jiayi jumped in to bombard Qiao Nan. "Look at this, Old Qiao, you insisted on letting her continue with her studies. Alright, we let her study, but look at what kind of results she got. She has let you down and wasted all your hard earned money. Never mind about the school fees that has been paid. After this half year, why not let her quit school and work. She is not good in studying and does not have any good prospects, she might as well start work early and earn more money. For all you know, we might be able to lead a better life."
Ding Jiayi seemed like she was planning for Qiao Nan, but among their family of four, aside from Qiao Dongliang, the three of them all knew that if Qiao Nan were to quit school and work, all her pay would be taken away by Ding Jiayi.
Qiao Dongliang let out a deep breath, "What are you shouting for? Nan Nan did not do well this time, and whose fault is this?"
Fortunately Qiao Nan had given Qiao Dongliang a heads up, so aside from a slight disappointment at the start, he was able to accept it readily.
"Who is to blame, definitely not me!" Ding Jiayi flared up, she was not the one who went to school.
Qiao Dongliang said bluntly, "It's all your fault! Who sold off Nan Nan's books? You sold her books, even if she wanted to study, there was nothing for her to read! Nan Nan won't even keep her books at home and you still refuse to repent. If news gets out, won't you find it a disgrace?"
Qiao Dongliang never once asked Qiao Nan about the books, he was doing it for Ding Jiayi, to preserve her dignity.
A daughter had to guard against her mother. If people knew of this, Ding Jiayi would be so disgraced.
He tried to maintain her pride time and again, but Ding Jiayi did not know her limits. She looked so high and mighty as if she was about to take flight!
"Nan Nan, ignore your Mom. It's alright, don't you still have a semester to go?" After lecturing Ding Jiayi, Qiao Dongliang went on to encourage Qiao Nan, "Let me have a look at the three test papers. Is there anything that you do not know, we can pick it up bit by bit, You can also ask your teacher, take it easy."
"Okay." Qiao Nan nodded and took out her test papers.
The Maths papers was on the top of the stack. Qiao Dongliang let out a breath of relief when he saw that Qiao Nan had scored 85 points for it.
When he heard from Nan Nan that she had lagged behind, he was worried that she might have fared badly. But 85 points was not considered a low grade.
Qiao Nan had 85 points for both Maths and Chinese.
Qiao Dongliang's eyes brightened when he saw that Qiao Nan had scored 100 points for her English test. The sparkle in his eyes was so much brighter than that of Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin when they learned that Qiao Nan had scored badly for her exams. "One… one hundred? Nan Nan, is the English exam difficult, how many students scored one hundred points?"
"I am the only one in school who scored full marks. The student in the second place had 93 points."
Qiao Dongliang moved his mouth, faced flushed with pride, after a while he only managed to say a word - good. He patted Qiao Nan and consoled her, "Actually, actually this is already pretty good."
"What's good about it, how did you rank this time?" Ding Jiayi did not notice that the elder daughter had turned pale. She carried on to rebut Qiao Dongliang's words.
When Ding Jiayi heard that Qiao Nan ranked 49th place, she jumped in elation. "Old Qiao, did you hear that? You spent all that money on her school fees, and this is how she repays you? 49th? In the past, she never even ranked below ninth place—which was already a bad grade - let alone 49th place. Look at her wild nature, and yet you still let her continue with her studies, isn't that a waste of money?"
Qiao Nan arched her eyebrows and smiled.
"Laugh, you still have the nerve to laugh." Ding Jiayi was enraged. To think that she could still laugh after the scoldings, she must be a dimwit.
"Mom, can you preserve some dignity for sister. Can't you see that she is on the verge of tears?" Qiao Nan said coldly.
She ranked 49th place; but her worst results were in fact Qiao Zijin's best results in secondary three.
"Did you hear what Nan Nan said? Zijin, don't worry, I will treat everyone equally. I supported Nan Nan to continue her studies, and that is the same for you. You just have to work harder in high school and buck up." Qiao Dongliang's expression turned cold.
The younger daughter's worst results was the best results of the elder daughter. When the elder daughter made improvements last time, he even thought of having a celebration.
If one were to judge the right to schooling based on results, the elder daughter would be the first to be disqualified.
"Old Ding, I suddenly find that what you said is very true. If one has the aptitude, then she should study, if not there is no point in forcing them. After all, not everyone has the talent for studying. Zijin, don't be stressed out, if you feel it's alright, you can continue with your studies; if you feel that you are not cut out for studying, it's okay, you can start work earlier. Your Mom is right, one won't make it big by studying. In that case, it might be good to pick up a skill and start earning money, you can also lead a good life in future."
Ding Jiayi placed importance on results purely to go out against Qiao Nan; but Qiao Dongliang meant it with all his heart.
"Old Ding, there's no taking back of your words. Let's set some ground rules to prevent future arguments. You have always been supportive of Zijin in her studies and you also enrolled her in high school. Let's do this, if Nan Nan fails to do well in her exams, and the results are worse than the lowest results of Zijin's, then we will consider whether she should continue or not. Otherwise, if you bring up this topic again, my attitude towards you would not be this pleasant."
Qiao Zijin paled at Qiao Dongliang's words, while Ding Jiayi's expression turned sullen.
No matter how angry and unwilling Ding Jiayi was at Qiao Dongliang's words, and for comparing her beloved elder daughter with the younger daughter, she could not come up with words to rebut him.
Because they had to be fair!
In fact, Qiao Dongliang's suggestion was not fair from the start.
Why must Qiao Zijin's worst results be used as a benchmark to decide if Qiao Nan had the right to study?
That was because Ding Jiayi favored Qiao Zijin, and Qiao Dongliang had to at least maintain her dignity.
Qiao Dongliang was being considerate, but Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin did not give him any credit for it.
The two of them had waited for ages before Qiao Nan finally flunked her exams this time. There might not be a next time.
Besides, Qiao Dongliang said that the condition was that Qiao Nan must perform even worse than the lowest grade of Qiao Zijin. At the thought of this, Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin felt hopeless.
They both knew, no matter how badly Qiao Nan did for her exams, there was no way that she could have performed even worse than the lowest grade of Qiao Zijin.
Ding Jiayi paused for a moment. Since the younger daughter did much better than the elder daughter, why was she so sure that the elder daughter had better prospects than the younger daughter, and insisted that the younger daughter quit school?
"Old Ding, did you hear what I said just now?" Qiao Dongliang repeated when there was no response from Ding Jiayi.