Rao City's weather in June was like a stove. The scorching sun created layers of heatwaves on the asphalt road. It was so hot that no one was seen on the streets.
Qiao Nian came out of the room dragging her newly packed luggage.
She could already hear Qiao Chen's chatter before she was downstairs.
"Mom and Dad, are Qiao Nian's biological parents really coming to pick her up?
Father Qiao sternly replied, "It's none of your business. Are you done practicing for the piano piece you're performing later? Your Grandmother's friend will be coming from Beijing. She's a Humanities Professor and a National Pianist. If you perform well, and with the help of your grandmother, your application to a university in Beijing will be settled."
"I have been practicing."
Before Qiao Nian headed down, she heard Qiao Chen whining again.
"Dad, what do you think Sister's biological parents look like?"
She innocently rambled on. "Her biological parents said they were coming the day before, yet they're only arriving today! Could it be that they took a train from a ravine to come here?"
Qiao Nian couldn't help but pause in her footsteps, feeling insulted.
Three months ago, she unknowingly found out that her dear sister Qiao Chen and her boyfriend were having an intimate relationship and cheating on her.
She couldn't hold back her anger and exposed the matter, only to find out that she wasn't part of the Qiao Family but just a foster child that they adopted from the orphanage.
The Qiao Family didn't adopt her because they wanted to do a good deed.
It was because Qiao Chen was born with a rare blood disease. Other than taking medications, she also required blood transfusions every month.
The Qiao Family ran a company that was successfully listed last year, so they were considered well-known in Rao City. If Qiao Chen's illness could be treated with money, it would save the Qiao Family from trouble.
Unfortunately, other than being born with illness, Qiao Chen also had the rare RH blood type. Only one in 100,000 would inherit such a blood type.
Because it was so rare, hospitals called this blood type the Panda blood.
It meant that it was more precious than a panda.
The Qiao Family had the financial capability, but it wasn't certain that the hospital would have enough blood for Qiao Chen every month. Thus, the Qiao Family came up with the idea of adopting a child with a matching blood type from an orphanage to act as a blood bag for Qiao Chen.
She was that free blood bag.
From a young age, Qiao Nian had been taught to be a good sister by giving the pretty clothes and the awards to her younger sister. If it wasn't for the matter between Qiao Chen and Fu Ge, she would still be kept in the dark.
The Qiao Family told her about it only because Qiao Chen had almost fully recovered after receiving the treatment in the past years and no longer required medication or blood transfusion.
She was of no use anymore. Grandma Qiao was also so upset that she blew up the matter between Qiao Chen and Fu Ge at Qiao Chen's birthday party, so they exposed her identity in front of everyone to save Qiao Chen and the Qiao Family's reputation.
Father Qiao didn't want to talk about Qiao Nian. "Stop talking."
Qiao Chen replied defiantly, "I'm not wrong. If they could afford the flight tickets, they would have been here by now. They're probably paupers!"
Father Qiao saw Qiao Nian coming down and softly stopped her.
The first thing that came into sight was her wild face. She was wearing a light blue T-shirt with a red and white striped flannel. The hem casually tucked into her denim shorts, revealing a pair of fair and slim legs.
Everyone in the family had a fair complexion, but Qiao Nian was even fairer.
Due to how fair she was, Qiao Nian's eyes seemed extra dark. When he looked at her, Qiao Weimin always felt a sense of distance from her.
It was probably because she wasn't his biological daughter.
"Nian Nian, are you done packing your stuff?" Father Qiao asked her gently. After all, they had raised her for more than 10 years.
Qiao Nian came down with her light luggage and nodded.
When Qiao Chen saw her, she immediately acted as if nothing happened and shouted, "Sister."
Qiao Nian couldn't be bothered to reply to her and walked past her directly.
Qiao Chen was upset by being ignored by Qiao Nian. She looked down pouting, her pale face as delicate as white flowers in the wind.
Witnessing this, He Yujuan's face darkened. Holding her crutches, she scolded. "Chen Chen is talking to you, can't you hear?"
Qiao Chen immediately took her hand, shook her head, and tried to put in a good word for her. "Grandma, it's fine. Sister isn't in a good mood. I'm alright."
Hearing what she said, He Yujuan's impression of Qiao Nian became worse, she spoke to her in disgust. "It's no doubt you aren't a child of the Qiao Family. You still can't get rid of the pettiness after so many years."
Qiao Weiming pleaded. He then walked towards Qiao Nian and handed her a card. "Here's 10,000 yuan."
He sighed and insisted that Qiao Nian take it. "Take it! When you go back, you have to be obedient. Use it to buy some clothes. In the future, you may need it for your studies too."
He had always been careful. This was a critical period for the Qiao Family as they just received a development project from the government. It was best not to create unnecessary problems.
He once investigated Qiao Nian's biological parents. They had the surname Jiang, worked as teachers, and were from Luohe County.
Luohe County was 300 km from Rao City, a notoriously poor area. Every year, entrepreneurs would donate to Luohe County as part of poverty alleviation. He had donated before as well.
Qiao Nian was already in 3rd year of high school. When she returned to Luohe County, it was almost impossible for her to get into a university. This was unlike Qiao Chen who was able to study at Beijing University after completing high school in Rao City.
Her life would be completely ruined!