Zhu Baoguo felt more at ease when he saw that Qiao Nan did not have any reaction to what she just overheard.
Ever since Qiao Dongliang agreed to this private job on behalf of Qiao Nan, during the weekdays Qiao Nan had to keep an eye on Zhu Baoguo in school, during the weekend she had to keep him in check at the Lee house.
The Zhu family and Lee family did not harbor high hopes on Zhu Baoguo's results. Their only wish was that he would mellow his temperament.
During the past half month where Qiao Nan tutored him, both of the families never asked about Zhu Baoguo's performance.
This weekend Qiao Zijin was back at home. She realized that Qiao Nan had gone out early on the Saturday morning. She frowned and asked her mother, "Mom, where has Qiao Nan gone?"
Where exactly did she read her books?
"Mom, Qiao Nan seems like a mouse nowadays. She seemed to have lots of mouse holes to go to. She spent the whole of the weekend outside instead of staying at home, you are just letting her be? Where did she keep her books? I don't suppose outsiders will keep her books for her without any charges?"
"I have no idea." Ding Jiayi prepared breakfast and placed them on the table. "You better go brush up, have your breakfast and start studying. You must perform better than Qiao Nan. I am going off to work. As for other matters, we will talk later when I am back from work."
Ding Jiayi went off to work, not waiting for Qiao Zijin's response.
"Hmph, everyone seems really busy." There was no one but her at home. The house felt so empty. Qiao Zijin felt uncomfortable.
In the past, when it was the weekend, her father would be working while Qiao Nan would do the household chores. As for her, she would have a leisure chat with her mother. But now she was left all alone at home.
Since she was free and she was not going to study if she stayed at home, why not she go out to look for Qiao Nan? She might discover her secret hiding place.
But she had a change of mind when she opened the door and was about to go out. Not to mention the quad, the total area of Ping Cheng was quite significant, where was she going to find Qiao Nan?
After some thoughts, Qiao Zijin rolled her eyes and took out the romantic novel that she borrowed from the library out of her bag.
Qiao Dongliang had decreased the allowance that he gave Qiao Zijin. Even if Ding Jiayi was working now and would give some money to her, Qiao Zijin still owed some external debts for the dance costume that she bought last time. She had to save up money to return the debts.
Hence she has decided if she wanted to read novels, she would not buy them, instead she would borrow them from the library. Not only could she save the money, she could also return the novel after she had finished reading them. In that case, no one would find out that she had been secretly reading these novels.
She laid down on her bed and read her favorite novel. A thought came to her mind. It was good to be at home by herself.
If Qiao Nan was around, she might come into her room and discovered that she was reading a novel and complain to their parents.
"Nan Nan, now that I only come home once a fortnight, we don't have the time to have a proper chat. Where have you been all day long?" During dinnertime in front of everyone, Qiao Zijin asked Qiao Nan this question. "Even if you are to stay out for the whole day, you should come back for lunch."
In the beginning when there was only Qiao Zijin at home, she was glad that she could have the house to herself and no one would be around to disturb her while she was reading her novels.
But Qiao Zijin turned unhappy whenever it was lunchtime.
Ding Jiayi was not at home, and Qiao Nan had went out, there was no one around to prepare lunch for her.
Unlike Qiao Nan, Qiao Zijin was clueless when it came to household chores. She was already scared out of wits by the worms in the vegetables, there was no way that she could cook for herself.
Ding Jiayi who was in a rush did not think of that and had rushed off to work.
Qiao Zijin searched through her parents' room, she found a fifty cent coin and used it to buy instant noodles. That was how she settled her lunch.
It was only when Qiao Zijin mentioned lunch that Ding Jiayi remembered that the elder daughter did not know how to cook.
But it was inappropriate to ask what the elder daughter had for lunch in front of Qiao Dongliang.
Qiao Nan looked up from her bowl and curled her lips mockingly. This weekend was not the first weekend that she had been away. It had already been more than a month since she did not come home on the weekend.
Qiao Zijin only cared about her as her mother was off to work and there was no one around to prepare her lunch.
"Zijin, you don't have to worry about Nan Nan. She is at the Lee house. She's fine." Qiao Dongliang looked embarrassed at the mention of this.
Elder Lee specifically ordered that Qiao Nan have her meals at the Lee house. Qiao Dongliang knew that Elder Lee must have heard that she was malnourished.
At the thought of that, Qiao Dongliang shot cold stares at Ding Jiayi.
Qiao Dongliang was furious when he knew that Ding Jiayi sought Elder Lee's help to enroll Qiao Zijin into The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China. But he did not pick a quarrel with Ding Jiayi. There was no use in quarreling, Qiao Zijin already went to that high school to study and she had made tremendous improvements.
No matter how he kicked up a fuss, there would be no use. Qiao Dongliang could only keep quiet about this and pretended that he didn't know anything.
"Why would Nan Nan go to Grandpa Lee's house?" Qiao Zijin was stunned.
"To help Baoguo with his studies."
"What, Nan Nan is helping Baoguo with his studies?" Qiao Zijin shrieked. Her voice was jarring and noisy, sounding like a duck that has been grabbed by its throat. "Dad, you must be crazy. Nan Nan is already in junior high, she has to sit middle school exams next year. Her results have lagged behind and there was not enough time to study. Now she still has to tutor Zhu Baoguo, how is she going to sit for her middle school exams?"
Qiao Nan's hand paused in the middle of eating. She glanced at Qiao Zijin, her eyes twinkled in surprise.
But in the next instant she was back to normal.
Indeed, there were risks involved for her to tutor Zhu Baoguo.
But what Qiao Zijin said was definitely not out of concern. She must be worried that if Qiao Nan grew closer to Zhu Baoguo, she would have the support of the Lee family and the Zhu family. Her future would be assured and Qiao Zijin could no longer be able to order her around like a slave. This was what Qiao Zijin was anxious about.
They were siblings and had been sisters for two lifetimes, Qiao Nan knew what was on Qiao Zijin's mind.
If not for the connections with the Zhu family and the Lee family, Qiao Zijin would not have volunteered to tutor Zhu Baoguo when Elder Lee visited Qiao's house last time.
It was just that more than half a month had passed. Qiao Zijin thought that nothing had been finalized. She never thought that it had been agreed upon and Qiao Nan had already started to tutor Zhu Baoguo.
Ding Jiayi who sat beside her gave Qiao Zijin a kick. "Qiao Nan and your Dad knew what to do. There's no need for you to be concerned."
This child must be stupid. It would be Qiao Nan's problem if she did not do well in her exams.
Since Qiao Nan had already given her promise, if she did not do well in her exams, she would never ask her parents to fork out five thousand yuan to enroll her into The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China.
If she really did badly, she would not be shameless enough to continue with high school or college. It was an excellent idea for her to tutor Zhu Baoguo.
Why would Zijin be so foolish?
"Nan Nan, can you cope with it?" Qiao Dongliang was stunned as well. This had never crossed his mind.
But now that he knew about it, Qiao Dongliang was merely paying lip service. He did not seemed to be expecting a negative answer.