"Go ahead." Qiao Dongliang smiled widely at Qiao Nan.
Qiao Zijin, who was not too pleased, pouted when she saw how Qiao Dongliang smiled affectionately at Qiao Nan.
She knew that the reason behind her father's change in attitude towards Qiao Nan was that she gave Zhu Baoguo tuition and in a way, helped her father to repay the debt of gratitude towards Grandpa Lee.
She could do it as well.
"Dad, I have no more pens left, I will get one from Nan Nan's room."
Ever since the decrease in her monthly allowance and the money that she spent on her dance costume, Qiao Zijin was more careful in her spending, she could no longer stock up on pens or buy new stationery.
If there was not a real need, she would not buy new stuff.
Now that she had no more pens, she would just "borrow" a few pens from Qiao Nan. But there was no way that she was going to return them.
Qiao Zijin opened Qiao Nan's bag and made it a point to empty the contents.
Qiao Nan had a total of three pens. Their designs were shabby and they all looked the same. It was not the type of pens that she used to buy. Qiao Zijin grunted and grabbed one of the new pens.
"Oh?" Qiao Zijin chanced upon one of Qiao Nan's books. There were millions of words on it. Qiao Zijin took a closer look at one of the pages. At one glance she realized that it was an essay. Qiao Zijin had never seen or heard this essay before.
Qiao Zijin might not be good at writing essays, but she could tell if it was well written or not.
Qiao Zijin thought for a while and twitched her lips. She not only took one of Qiao Nan's pens, she also tore off the page with the essay.
In order not to be discovered by Qiao Nan, Qiao Zijin tore off the empty page connecting to the essay page as well. She made sure to tear it off nicely so that Qiao Nan would not realize it in an instant. With that, she took the two items and left Qiao Nan's room.
By the time Qiao Nan returned to her room from her bath, she saw that her bag was being opened and the contents were scattered all over the room.
Qiao Zijin was the only one in the house who was capable of this.
If it was her mother, she would rather throw the bag away than wasting her efforts to search through it.
"Nan Nan, you sister came into your room just now to get a pen from you." Qiao Dongliang came at the moment to notify Qiao Nan.
Qiao Dongliang could not help but frown when he saw the contents of the bag being scattered all around. "Your sister is so insensible. It was just a pen, did she have to make such a mess? Nan Nan, you would have to tidy up later."
"Oh." Qiao Nan could not think of anything to say.
Her father knew that it was wrong of Qiao Zijin to do this, yet he could only make such a remark. What made Qiao Nan speechless was that he could say this to her, but he would not utter a word to Qiao Zijin.
Qiao Nan knew that Qiao Dongliang was only paying lip service. He did not really mean it. So she gave her response absentmindedly.
In the previous life, after Qiao Zijin committed adultery and left the marriage without any maintenance or marital compensation, she blamed her divorce with Chen Jun entirely on Qiao Nan. Besides her mother who pampered her, her father was also responsible for this temperament of hers.
Qiao Nan could only tidy up the mess that Qiao Zijin made and put them in the study room.
During dinnertime, Qiao Nan did not notice that Qiao Zijin kept stealing furtive glances at her. It was only when Qiao Zijin was sure that Qiao Nan did not think anything was amiss, that she settled down to eat.
"Qiao Nan, Teacher Lee wanted to see you in the office." On Monday at school, Zhao Yu passed the message to Qiao Nan in disgruntlement.
"Thank you." Even though Zhao Yu was merely relaying message for Teacher Lee, Qiao Nan was still polite to Zhao Yu. Qiao Nan did what she had to do.
Zhao Yu sat down in her chair, puffing in anger. Her good friend leaned in and asked, "Why would Teacher Lee ask Qiao Nan to go to the office?" Everything except to reprimand her.
Even if Teacher Lee was not satisfied with Qiao Nan's results, Qiao Nan scored 92 points for her mid-term exams. Teacher Lee might be dissatisfied, but it was only because the teacher had high expectations of Qiao Nan.
Not everyone would be able to score 90 points and above for Chinese in junior high school.
"Teacher Lee said that there is a essay competition in the province and would like Qiao Nan to participate."
"What about you, you are the representative of the Chinese subject." It made no sense that Qiao Nan could participate while Zhao Yu could not.
"Of course I would participate." Zhao Yu arched her eyebrows. "This is only the preliminary round, the school will hold a selection to cut down to five participants. I am one of the five participants."
"I thought the students can just participate in the essay competition directly?"
"Of course not, this is the province essay competition after all." But there were five slots, her essays were pretty well written. It could not be wrong, she was definitely one of the five participants.
"You must work hard, we have lost out to Qiao Nan in terms of results, we must squash her in the essay competition no matter what. Zhao Yu, you can do it!"
"I have to, let's wait and see." Her friend was egging her on and Zhao Yu was so boastful and arrogant. Zhou Lei could not help but laugh at them.
Like Zhao Yu said, Teacher Lee asked to see Qiao Nan with regards to the essay competition.
Teacher Lee and all the teachers in the Chinese team knew that given Qiao Nan's standard, if she did not participate in the essay competition, there was no one else who would be qualified enough to participate.
"Teacher Lee, can I not participate in the competition? You should know my results, I have a lot of knowledge points to revise, it would take up too much of my time to participate in the competition."
One had to go through one round of selection in school and then proceeded to take part in the province competition, all these rounds would take up too much time.
Even when she tutored Zhu Baoguo during the weekend, Qiao Nan spent most of the time doing her own revision.
Qiao Nan did not want to waste more of her time.
"Qiao Nan, I would recommend you to take part in the competition. If you manage to get a prize, it would add points to your middle school exams." Teacher Lee knew that Qiao Nan was most concerned about the exams and used that to persuade Qiao Nan.
Qiao Nan was so concerned about not wasting her time so that she could revise, it was all for the sake of doing well in the middle school exams.
She believed that Qiao Nan would take up the offer if she knew that it would add points to the exams.
"But I would have to go through one round of selection in school." Qiao Nan frowned. "After selecting the five students, we would still need to go for essay training?"
"This… let's do it this way, I will try to make special arrangements for you. You do not need to sit for the preliminary rounds and you do not need to go for essay training as well. You will skip all these and just participate in the province competition. What do you think?" Teacher Lee adjusted the spectacles and said in a steadfast tone.
Teacher Lee was confident that these arrangements were feasible.
There was no need for Qiao Nan to go for the preliminary rounds. She could just use any two essays of her recent Chinese exams to participate, she would definitely be able to secure one of the five slots.
To put it bluntly, Teacher Lee knew that it had been decided that Qiao Nan would be one of the five participants.
Even if she agreed to Qiao Nan's request of not participating in the competition, the other teachers in the Chinese team would not agree to it.