Chapter 12: Inside Story
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Face dripping with water, Zhai Hua went to the study room and asked Zhai Sheng who was reading. “There’s a young lady outside, go and take a look and see if you know her, I don’t think you do?”
Her younger brother’s hobbies were not inclined towards either gender. To think that last time, she thought that something rare had happened, that her brother had finally been enlightened.
Zhai Sheng closed the book and walked towards the door.
Zhai Hua was stunned – the young lady was really here for her brother?
Zhai Hua would not miss out on the fun; she craned her neck and peered outside through the window.
Zhai Sheng who knew Zhai Hua very well, closed the door sharply right after he went out. Zhai Hua could not even catch a glimpse of what was happening outside, stomping her foot in frustration.
The young lady that Zhai Hua mentioned was really Qiao Nan. Zhai Sheng looked her up and down; thankfully, except for the dirty-looking face, the young lady did not have any injuries or bloodstains. “Is anything the matter?”
Qiao Nan gave him a silly smile. Besides Zhai Sheng, there was no-one that she could ask a favor of. “Brother Zhai, do you have some space that I could put some stuff, but I would need to come over occasionally to use them?”
“What stuff do you want to keep?”
Zhai Sheng puckered his thin lips, “Is your Mom giving you trouble again?”
He remembered that Qiao Nan mentioned yesterday that her mother did not intend to let her continue her studies. “She wanted to sell your books?”
Qiao Nan smiled bitterly. “I have forgotten some of the knowledge learned from secondary one and two. Middle school examinations will be coming in one year’s time. I would like to sit for college entrance examinations and get into a college.”
“Sure, come with me.” Zhai Sheng nodded. After all, he had given his word to Qiao Nan a few days ago that she could come to him for help if she faced any problems.
Staring at Zhai Sheng’s broad, dependable back, Qiao Nan felt slightly at ease. Luckily Brother Zhai was willing to offer his help.
Brother Zhai appeared indifferent and aloof, but in fact he was a very kind-hearted person.
Zhai Sheng brought Qiao Nan to the backyard. There was a small hut by itself which was used to store groceries. But the hut had been emptied of groceries the past year and had been vacant since then.
Zhai Sheng handed two keys to Qiao Nan. “This is the key to the hut, while the other one is the key to the back door of my house. Don’t lose them.”
Qiao Nan blinked her eyes at Zhai Sheng, dumbfounded by his words. She knew that Brother Zhai was a good person, but this was too kind of him. How could he just give away the keys to the back door of his house so easily?
Was… Was this appropriate?
“Have you committed it to memory?” Zhai Sheng asked coldly.
“Yes!” Qiao Nan nodded her head quickly. “But is this appropriate?”
“Good, just bring the books over.” Zhai Sheng did not answer Qiao Nan’s question, but wanted her to bring the books as soon as possible.
“Oh, alright.” At the thought of the books, Qiao Nan dashed out in full speed as if she had the legs of a rabbit.
Once Qiao Nan left, Zhai Sheng went back inside the house and took a new light bulb for the storeroom. The light bulb in the storeroom has not been working since half a year ago, but since it was no longer used to store grocery, no-one had bothered to change it.
After changing the light bulb, Zhai Sheng took his desk and chair from the study room and put it in the storeroom.
“Oh, why did you shift them here?” Zhai Hua was bursting with curiosity when she saw Zhai Sheng moved the desk and chair to the storeroom. “What exactly is happening here? Why are the desk and chair here? Hey, you even changed the light bulb?”
Zhai Hua pulled the string. The storeroom which used to be dim and dark lit up brilliantly in an instant.
“This place is not for me. I lent it to Uncle Qiao’s younger daughter.” Zhai Sheng notified Zhai Hua in advance for fear that it might cause a misunderstanding when Qiao Nan returned with her books.
“Uncle Qiao’s younger daughter, do you mean Xiao Qiao?!” Zhai Hua said, “The young lady just now is Xiao Qiao? She looked quite pretty.”
“Xiao Qiao?” Zhai Sheng appeared clueless.
“In ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ there were the Two Qiaos of Jiangdong, for us, it is the Two Qiaos of the quad.” Zhai Hua might not have know the people from Qiao family, but she definitely knew about the jokes going around the quad. “My brother, among the Two Qiaos of the quad, who is prettier, Da Qiao or Xiao Qiao?”
Zhai Sheng shot a cold stare at Zhai Hua. She froze over and gave an awkward smile. “I was just joking, just joking!”
Little brat, he really could not take a joke.
“Brother Zhai.” Qiao Nan puffed hard from the run, bringing some books from the thrift shop. She saw a charming big sister, though she seemed unctuous. “Zhai… is this your big sister?”
Qiao Nan never thought that she would run into another member from the Zhai family so quickly. She became tongue tied all of a sudden and addressed her in a funny way.
Zhai Hua had to bite her tongue. This was not the first time someone called her elder sister. But it was definitely the first time she had been called big sister. “You could address me as Sister Zhai Hua.”
“Sister Zhai Hua.”
“There were only this many books?” Zhai Sheng took the books from Qiao Nan and put them aside.
“There are still more to go, I have to go for a few more rounds.”
“You go, I will be here.”
“Yes, alright.” Qiao Nan was still elated about resolving her two big problems. So when Zhai Sheng asked her to go ahead to bring the books, she ran out happily and did not bother to stay to chat with Zhai Hua.
Zhai Hua blinked and was dumbfounded that she was treated as if she was non-existent. She had never imagined that there would be a day where she would be disregarded to such extent.
Compared to her ice-cold brother, most people would be more than willing to be with her.
Zhai Hua touched her nose oddly and looked through Qiao Nan’s books. She saw the handwriting on the books and her face hardened. She now looked somewhat similar to Zhai Sheng’s usual expression, particularly her eyes, which seemed sharp as razors. “Zhai Sheng, what’s all this about? Xiao Qiao was acquaintances with Peng Yu?”
Peng family did not get along well with Zhai family. Was there something suspicious about Qiao Nan?
Peng Yu was two years younger than Zhai Sheng, but he was as prominent as Zhai Sheng. Zhai Sheng was an all rounder, while Peng Yu has been hailed as genius military counselor in the army, known for his foresight and vicious nature.
If Xiao Qiao was sent by Peng family to get close to Zhai Sheng, she would stop at nothing to deal with her!
“Don’t worry, Qiao Nan had nothing to do with the Peng family.” Zhai Sheng said calmly and matter-of-factly.
“Oh.” Gone was the Zhai Hua who was all smiles everyday. She now appeared very stern and serious. “Zhai Sheng, although it was a rare occurrence that you have finally grown up and I am glad that you have taken a fancy to ladies, you do not put the Zhai family reputation at stake. I would not allow you to put our family at risk. Given Peng Yu’s character, if Xiao Qiao has nothing to do with Peng family, he would rather throw them away than give it to Xiao Qiao!”
Zhai Sheng curled his lips, “These books were thrown away by Peng Yu.”
“What?” Zhai Hua arched her eyebrows, a look of disbelief on her face.
“Didn’t you notice the smell coming from Qiao Nan?” Even though the smell was faint, he could still tell.
“Smell?” Zhai Hua asked uncertainly.