Most of the junior high school students would begin to develop feelings for the opposite gender. Zhou Lei was good looking, good in sports and above-average in studies. Zhao Yu was proud to be deskmates with such an outstanding boy.
But when Zhou Lei went against her to speak up for Qiao Nan, Zhao Yu's mood was not good.
Zhou Lei looked at Zhou Yu with some disdain. "I should be asking you this question. Qiao Nan did not offend you, why do you dislike her? Are you happy to gossip about Qiao Nan? Will you gain anything because of this? I really don't know what you girls are thinking. If you think Qiao Nan's Language grades are better than yours, then score better than her next time. Don't you think it's ugly to gossip?"
"Zhou Lei, you, you side with Qiao Nan so much, do you like Qiao Nan?" Zhao Yu's face turned red with anger.
"Are you crazy?" Zhou Lei rolled his eyes at Zhao Yu, and was not willing to talk to Zhao Yu anymore.
Qiao Nan did not know that, after she left, Zhao Yu and Zhou Lei, the pair of desk mates, had argued with each other because of her. She gained all the teacher's attention once she stepped into the office.
"Qiao Nan, you're here, stand slightly nearer." There was a stool next to Teacher Chen. It was for Qiao Nan to sit on.
Qiao Nan sat down. After thinking, she had the feeling that, most likely, Teach Chen had called her in because of the matter that was mentioned by Zhao Yu minutes ago.
"Qiao Nan, have any delinquent teenagers been pestering you lately, asking you for money?"
After hearing Teacher Chen's words, Qiao Nan breathed a sigh of relief and felt much better. This was because she knew that Teacher Chen question implied that he trusted her.
Qiao Nan shook her head. Thereafter, she told Teacher Chen what happened yesterday. "I don't know those people."
"It was so serious?" Teacher Chen was shocked. "Then the man who was beaten up. Do you know him?"
"No, the man who was beaten, his face was swollen and covered in blood. I don't know who he is either."
At the thought of the pitiful look of the beaten man, Qiao Nan shivered.
"Gee…" When the other teachers in the office heard this, they were shocked too. These hooligans were too merciless.
If not for Qiao Nan who had sought the help of adults, the man could have lost his life.
Teacher Chen was slightly undecided. He was not sure whether to commend Qiao Nan for her bravery in helping others in need, or reprimand her for her boldness and disregard for her own safety.
A group of punks were fighting and a young lady, who had no means of defending herself, dared to run there to interfere in the commotion. She had too much bravery.
"Teacher Chen, Qiao Nan did the right thing for this matter. She was smart and not impulsive - didn't she look for someone to help?" On the other hand, the rest of the teachers in the office was impressed by the way Qiao Nan handled the situation. She not only protected herself, but also saved someone. There was nothing wrong with it.
If Qiao Nan had ran up on her own to to shout at them, then she deserved to be criticized.
Teacher Chen snorted, she would dote on her own students. "What happened to the man?"
"The policeman brought him to the hospital."
"True, you can go, you don't need to worry about the rumors in the school, I will help you to find a way out."
"Okay." With Teacher Chen's absolute trust in her, now, Qiao Nan did not care about the rumors at all. It did not matter what others said.
When the secondary three students saw Qiao Nan coming back from Teacher Chen's office, she did not hide. Instead, she looked bright and cheery, and had a gentle smile on her face.
Judging by this, Qiao Nan did not seem to have received a scolding from Teacher Chen.
For today's maths lesson, Teacher Chen solemnly and carefully used the first minute of the lesson to address the matter regarding Qiao Nan. "All of you are junior high school students, you have the ability to differentiate right from wrong. I hope that you will not be fooled by a few rumors. We are a team. We should be united. I trust my students and you should trust your classmates too. As to the rumors spread by other classes, I will think of a way to resolve this later. But I do not wish to see our class having problems and having an internal conflict. Do you understand?"
Although Teacher did not specify Qiao Nan's name, everyone knew what matter she was referring to.
Teacher Chen had made her stand. The whole class had dispelled their suspicions of Qiao Nan.
In the school, it was a very serious offense to steal the exam papers. The rumors about Qiao Nan were passed on for a day and the school did not take any action. On the contrary, it was a quiet week.
Within a short five and a half day's time, the rumors about Qiao Nan had almost died down in the school.
It was quiet at school, but not at home.
Somehow, Qiao Zijin, who was in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, got to know about this rumor. Qiao Zijin reached home later than Qiao Nan. Upon reaching home, she started to scold Qiao Nan from the bottom of her heart as soon as she put down her school bag. "Nan Nan, even if you wish to study that much, you shouldn't do this sort of thing. If you explain nicely to Dad and Mom, can they disallow? Dad and Mom do not expect us to be very successful, but we need to be down-to-earth, and do the right things. The cunning tricks you played, in exchange for the grades, are only short-lived. Can they last forever? You can do that for now, but when you reached the middle school exam, do you think you can still use this scrupulous way. For middle school exams, can you still do this?!"
When she was scolded by Qiao Zijin, Qiao Nan took a step back. Her face was cold. With disdain, she lifted her hands towards her face and wiped it once.
Qiao Zijin had sprayed her saliva all over Qiao Nan's face!
Wasn't that dirty?!
"Zijin, what happened?" At the sight of the elder daughter being furious, Ding Jiayi quickly asked.
"Dad and Mom, you don't know the matter about Qiao Nan, she made all of us lose face. My grades are not excellent but they are not that bad either. I think a person should be honest and know their own ability. A man must be true to himself! But Qiao Nan? In order to produce good grades, she actually befriended those people of dodgy background in the society, and let them steal the exam papers for her. My heart sinks at the thought of this!"
Thinking that Qiao Nan had relied on this method to score better than her over the years, Qiao Zijin was in a rage.
She really thought that Qiao Nan was smarter than her but actually, she had resorted to such tricks.
"Nan Nan, explain yourself. Because of you, Mom and Dad argued many times. You hardly anger Mom, but because of you, Mom was angered a few times this month. You are the child of Mom and Dad, they raised you, do you still have a conscience?"
"What, is there such a matter?" Ding Jiayi immediately believed the words of the elder daughter. "You little brute!"
Having said that, Ding Jiayi raised her hand towards Qiao Nan's face.
Qiao Nan bent her head down, as agile as a monkey, she ran towards Qiao Dongliang and hid behind his back. "The two of you are good, one is my real mother, and the other my real sister, you believe whatever the others said. You didn't even ask me, or allow me to explain? Dad, are they really my next-of-kin?"