Qiao Nan walked into the house calmly and addressed her parents and sister. "Dad, Mom, Sister, I am back." She then put her books on the table and poured herself a cup of water.
"Sister? You still remembered that Qiao Zijin is your sister! Why didn't you think of this when you defamed your sister in front of outsiders?" Ding Jiayi looked at Qiao Nan in mockery and gave Qiao Dongliang a slanting glance. Old Qiao must have realized now that Qiao Nan did not have a conscience at all.
Qiao Dongliang frowned, he did not believe that Nan Nan would be like this.
Qiao Nan was not the least bit surprised that Qiao Zijin would accuse her. She took a careful look at Qiao Dongliang, she could not sense any reproval from his demeanor. She relaxed slightly. "Mom, let's put aside whether I defamed sister or not, to put it in the least way, what did I defame sister about?"
Qiao Zijin and Ding Jiayi were rendered speechless by Qiao Nan's forceful words. Qiao Dongliang was stunned as well.
There was a flicker of doubt in Qiao Dongliang's eyes. When Qiao Zijin came crying to them and said that she had been wronged, he thought that if it was the truth, Nan Nan was in the wrong. But judging from Nan Nan's character, she did not seem like she would do such things.
Now that he thought about it carefully, when did the younger daughter defame the elder daughter?
Qiao Dongliang was deep in his thoughts trying to figure out this problem, while Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin turned red with anger, as if they had been insulted.
"Nan Nan, tell me honestly, did you, did you talk about your sister to Baoguo?" Qiao Dongliang pondered for a long time and picked his words carefully, mindful to remain objective.
"No, Zhu Baoguo did not know my sister. When he saw her, he even asked me who she was."
"You are a liar, if you have never mentioned about me to Zhu Baoguo, why would he hate me to the core? You must have blackened my name in front of Zhu Baoguo. You still don't want to admit that you defamed me?" Qiao Zijin jumped up in anger, pointing her finger at Qiao Nan's nose and shouted at her.
"Sister, you are not the Chinese currency renminbi, why must everyone in the world like you? As for those who don't like you, does it mean that I have spoken ill of you in front of every single one of them? Do you mean that you are way more popular than the dollar notes? For some people, money means nothing to them." Qiao Nan replied coldly.
In the 21st century, Grandpa Mao had always been the most popular figure.
"Impossible, if you did not speak ill of me, why would Zhu Baoguo hate me?" Qiao Zijin felt so ashamed when she was reminded of Zhu Baoguo's words. He said that she had no real substance at all, she managed to enroll in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China all because of Elder Lee's connections.
"Sister, this is so unjust. How would I know why does Zhu Baoguo dislike you? Maybe you just don't hit if off with him, how could you blame me for that?"
"Mom, look at this, Qiao Nan refused to admit that she badmouthed me in front of Zhu Baoguo. There's no way to get the truth out of her. Qiao Nan is so shameless." Qiao Zijin was at a loss for words.
But Qiao Nan still had lots to say. "Dad, do you know what happened? Sister went to Lee family residence. She saw that the both of us were studying. So she walked up to Zhu Baoguo and told him that she is a student of The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, and that she can tutor him. Zhu Baoguo then asked her if she was the person who sought Grandpa Lee's help to enroll in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China."
"Why would he think that it was me?" Qiao Zijin refused to admit defeat. She did not believe that Qiao Nan did not badmouth her in front of Zhu Baoguo.
"Because you mentioned that you are a student of The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China. Why would you ruffle Zhu Baoguo's feathers? If you don't believe me you can ask Dad. Dad, how's Zhu Baoguo's temper? She told him upfront that she could tutor him. That is tantamount to telling Zhu Baoguo with all smiles that you can lend him money when you obviously know that he is short of money. It is no wonder that he is infuriated."
Junior high school students were at a sensitive age. Qiao Zijin's words were obviously telling Zhu Baoguo that since his results were not good, she could help him with his studies.
"Zijin, did you really say that?" Qiao Dongliang stiffened. Even if Zijin had been scolded by Zhu Baoguo, she had no one to blame but herself.
Qiao Dongliang knew the nasty temper of Zhu Baoguo.
When Zhu Baoguo was younger, if someone was to mention the word "Mother" in front of him, he would go all out to beat that person to a pulp.
In comparison, Zhu Baoguo had been fairly courteous to his elder daughter.
For all he knew, Zhu Baoguo was lenient to Zijin on account of Qiao Nan who was his classmate.
In fact, the elder daughter escaped from a beating all because of the younger daughter, yet she lodged complaints of her sister to her parents. Qiao Dongliang did not know what to say.
"I, I was trying to be helpful." Qiao Zijin could not help but stutter. She did not know that her words might enrage Zhu Baoguo.
Now that Qiao Zijin thought about it, what she said really deserved a whacking.
"Even if you want to be helpful you shouldn't be so tactless." Qiao Dongliang sighed.
"Dad, let's get back to the previous topic. My sister said that I defamed her, let's talk about whether I defamed her or not. First, I must make it clear that I never mention a single word about my sister in front of Zhu Baoguo. Other than our studies, Zhu Baoguo and I never talked about other topics at the Lee family residence. Now let's assume that I really said those words. Dad, think about it, which of those words are defamation, and which of them are the truth? When we talk about defamation, it means that they were all lies, but we all know how my sister enroll in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China. If my sister was unhappy about it, at most she could scold me for washing dirty linen in public. Besides, it's perfectly normal if Zhu Baoguo knew that Mom sought Grandpa Lee's help."
"What rubbish are you talking about? Your, your sister's enrollment has nothing to do with Uncle Lee." Ding Jiayi flushed, panic in her eyes. "Your, your sister went to The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China as we forked out money for her. It has got nothing to do with Uncle Lee. If you keep on talking nonsense, I might just sew up your mouth!"
Ding Jiayi gave Qiao Dongliang a panicked look. She was worried that he would take Qiao Nan's words for real. He might just blow his top and forbid Qiao Zijin to continue with her studies in The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China.
Qiao Dongliang shot Ding Jiayi a cold glance, "Alright, why should you be angry with Nan Nan, I am very clear who's right and who's wrong!"
If Zhu Baoguo used this to put Zijin down, it was no wonder that she was so angry.
"Sister, did you say these to Zhu Baoguo?" Qiao Nan looked at Qiao Zijin.
As expected, she had guessed it correctly. Her father already knew the story behind her sister's enrolment to The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China.
After all they wanted to take in a husband for the elder daughter, unlike what her mother thought, her father would not make Zijin transfer out of The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China for the sake of his face.
If her father highly valued Elder Lee above everything, she would not have come to this world at all.
Qiao Zijin had an important place in her father's heart, way more than Qiao Zijin or her mother could have imagined.