"I heard them." Ding Jiayi was about to continue her sentence, but she saw Qiao Zijin, pulling a long face and heading back to her room without a word.
A look at Qiao Zijin's expression and she knew that she must be angry. "Zijin…"
Qiao Zijin and Ding Jiayi both left. Qiao Nan made a funny face at her father, "Dad, you talked about sister's results just now, she must be upset."
So her mother was on her way to console her.
"Your sister…" Qiao Dongliang sighed and shook his head in frustration. "I finally realized that your sister might be sensible but that temper of hers… she has been spoiled by your Mom."
Nan Nan was just back from school, yet the elder daughter rushed up to ask her about her exams.
Qiao Dongliang thought of what happened just now and felt dismayed. When the younger daughter said that she flunked her exams, the elder daughter curled her lip and sneered.
Why would the elder daughter find joy in Nan Nan flunking her exams? Did she have the same perception as Old Ding? Did she hope that Nan Nan would quit school?
"Nan Nan, how is your relationship with Zijin recently?"
Qiao Nan pursed her lips. Could she say that they had never been close? It was only a one-sided relationship where Qiao Zijin cajoled and lied to her? She was the only one who was nice to her sister?
"As usual." Qiao Nan gave an objective answer of their relationship. But Qiao Dongliang failed to read between the lines.
"Nan Nan, your sister… you are much more sensible than your sister. I am not telling you to give in to her, but if she gets stubborn, don't be mad at her or take it to heart."
Unlike Ding Jiayi, Qiao Dongliang was fair and just. It is usually the elder siblings who give in to the younger siblings. He could not bring it to himself to tell Qiao Nan to give in to Qiao Zijin.
The two sisters were not too far apart in age, so it was normal to have small arguments.
But they were one family, Qiao Dongliang's only hope was that despite all the quarrels, they would not take it to heart. After the quarrels, they should make up and not bear grudges.
"Okay." Qiao Nan nodded in agreement. Qiao Dongliang did not make excessive demands of her.
"Alright, you should go back to revise. You have lagged behind this time, you must work hard."
Qiao Nan barely made it past the exams on her first day of school. For the rest of the school year, she diligently went to school everyday, and set more reading targets for herself.
Teacher Chen and Teacher Lee also gave her additional assignments to work on.
Luckily Qiao Nan was not in actual fact a fifteen-year-old kid, if not she would not be able to handle the increasing workload.
Even though they might understand that what the teachers did was all for the good of the student, but they might not be able to accept it after all.
The two teachers were also worried that the huge workload would result in a backlash.
But Qiao Nan had a very positive attitude and was serious in her work. She always did a great job on the additional assignments. The two teachers were pleased and always gave her special treatment.
It was the second week after school reopened. This Monday it was Qiao Nan's turn to be on duty. She had to stay back after lessons and could only go back at a later time.
Qiao Nan let the other students go after they cleaned up the classroom.
She checked the classroom, making sure that the windows were locked. With that she closed the door, took her bag and left.
She had finished reading a volume of books within a week's time. She decided to stop over at Zhai's house in exchange for more books to revise. And so she did not take the main road home, instead she took the side road to the back door of Zhai's house.
"Beat him to death!"
"In future he won't dare to mess with us again."
"You disgusting piece of filth, try getting up and shouting at us again."
As soon as she turn into the side road, Qiao Nan heard quarreling sounds. It sounded like someone was in a fight.
Qiao Nan was scared stiff. She did not want to meddle in others' affairs and was about to turn and walk away.
Zhu Baoguo took blows from all directions. While he was in a daze, he heard footsteps coming towards him, though light and almost inaudible, he could hear them clearly.
His body was numb with pain, at the brink of losing consciousness. Zhu Baoguo desperately hoped that someone would save him. But the light footsteps drifted further and further away.
Holding his breath, a disappointed Zhu Baoguo closed his eyes, and was about to give in to his pain, letting out his breath. There was no-one in this world who cared for him.
"Hurry up, right here." Soon after the fading footsteps appeared again. It seemed like there were two other people.
The footsteps were fast and hurried.
"What are you all doing? Stop now."
"Crap, someone is here."
"F**k, they have guns!"
The group of people who were punching Zhu Baoguo looked up, and saw a young lady running towards them with two police officers. They paled and ran off hurriedly without Zhu Baoguo.
They only knew how to throw fists. But the two people who ran towards them had guns. A bullet could take a life.
"Isn't he the son of Zhu family? It's not good, his injuries are very serious, we have to take him to the hospital as quickly as possible."
"Okay, you take him to the hospital, I will go back to inform them. We need to have someone around."
This was the last conversation Zhu Baoguo heard before losing consciousness.
After making sure that Zhu Baoguo was safe, Qiao Nan patted herself on the chest and finally relaxed, letting out a sigh of relief.
The kids nowadays were so vicious. Every blow was so ruthless. She could not even tell what the injured person looked like as his face was all covered in blood.
Zhu Baoguo, the name seemed familiar.
Qiao Nan wasted a lot of time here and there. She quickly exchanged a new set of books and sped home.
"Nan Nan, you are slightly late today." Qiao Dongliang saw the younger daughter and asked her out of concern.
"Oh, I am on duty today. I am the last to leave. From now on, I guess I will be slightly late every Monday."
Qiao Zijin had started school. Unlike Qiao Nan who walked to school, Qiao Zijin who studied in high school had to live on campus. She came back home at most once a week.
Now Qiao Nan was the only child at home.
"It's already secondary three. Your class should have selected their class committee. What did you get assigned to this time? Ding Jiayi asked coldly, with a mocking tone in her voice.
The younger daughter has always been quiet. She did not know how to please people. At home, she would not even speak up to 24 sentences in 24 hours. Unlike the elder daughter who was a smooth talker and well-liked by everyone, she was guarded and reserved. People like her might be unpopular and found it difficult to adapt when they entered society.
"I heard Zijin was the literary committee member at school."
Qiao Nan laughed, "Mom, the high school curriculum is even more demanding than junior high school. Sister has been selected as a committee member? Does she not intend to study?"
Qiao Dongliang paused for a moment. At first he thought that it would be good to be selected as the committee member, but at the mention of results, he has some hesitation. "Nan Nan, if given the opportunity it would be a wonderful training, but it's okay if you aren't selected, studies are more important."
Qiao Dongliang was more sincere, hoping to give the younger daughter some encouragement.
"What's so good about her, it's obvious that she was not selected."
"Who said that I am not the class committee member?"