“Honey, tell us what happened.” Qin Man was beside herself with worry. It was all she could do not to march outside and beat up her daughter’s bully.
Yao Yuan reached out and stroked Yao Ran’s cheek.
“Ranran, you’ve just finished the national exams, and your results were pretty good, weren’t they? Why are you in such a state now? Come on, tell Daddy what’s wrong.”
For some reason, the words he had said to give her comfort only ended up fueling Yao Ran’s tears.
Qin Man looked helpless as she rubbed the girl’s back.
She knew that her daughter wouldn’t weep this much if she hadn’t been hurt badly. Someone must have targeted her on purpose.
“Dad,” Yao Ran sobbed. “Mom…” Her lips were trembling now, and her eyes had grown puffy.
“Here, sit on the sofa and talk to Mommy. Stop crying now. Our dear Ranran is the strongest girl I know.”
Yao Yuan sighed and watched his wife pull their daughter over to the sofa.
This matter couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Yao Tang again, right?
He joined them on the sofa and took Yao Ran in his arms, while Qin Man hurried to the kitchen.
Moments later, she came back with a tray of Yao Ran’s favorite snacks and a cup of warm milk, in hope that the comfort food could at least help calm her down.
It took a lot of cajoling before the girl finally stopped crying.
“Now, Ranran, you don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone. You have the entire Yao family behind you. Just tell us who wronged you, and we will make them pay!”
Yao Yuan’s voice rang loud and clear, his expression stern.
Beside him, Qin Man nodded in earnest.
They were pleased to have a kind and obedient daughter, but her gentle nature made her an easy target for bullies. As her parents, they took it upon themselves to stand up for Yao Ran when she couldn’t do so for herself.
Yao Ran pulled a sheet from the tissue box and wiped her tears. “I’m sorry, Mom, Dad. I shouldn’t have made you worry.”
“Silly child,” Qin Man said, her voice filled with emotion. “If you’re going through something, then of course, you need to tell us. There’s nothing to apologize for.”
This time, it was Yao Yuan who nodded in agreement.
They were hoping that Yao Ran had calmed down enough to finally reveal why she had been crying so much.
The couple leaned closer to their daughter, waiting for her to speak.
Yao Ran opened her mouth, then closed it again, as if second-guessing what she was about to say.
Qin Man lost her patience and demanded, “Is this related to that Yao Tang again? You know you don’t have to cover for her. Tell us right this instant, what did she do this time?”
Her eyes flashed with anger. If Yao Tang had been there, she would have probably lunged at the girl and taught her a lesson.
Yao Ran chewed her bottom lip for another long moment.
Yao Yuan sighed and changed his tune, though his expression remained somber. “Ranran, even though she is our biological daughter, it’s you whom we love the most. Now, tell us the truth, or Mom and Dad won’t be able to help you.”
“Okay,” the girl mumbled.
Qin Man pressed her lips tight together as she waited. Her Ranran was too generous for her own good. She was even trying to shield Yao Tang despite everything that the brat had done to her.
Yao Ran wiped her tears. “I don’t know why, but earlier today, Yao Tang brought some teachers over during our self-study period and told everyone that… that I cheated during the national exams!”
Her voice broke, but she soldiered on. “And then she produced a copy of the exam papers and claimed that she found it in my mailbox. The teachers believed her and started to suspect me, and word eventually got to the principal.”
“What?!” Qin Man cried out in indignation. “She said that you cheated?!” Her voice was loud and shrill, a complete deviation from the classy image she had been trying so hard to project to society.
It meant only one thing — Qin Man was beyond furious.
Even Yao Yuan, who usually approached his obstacles with a level head, was sporting a murderous look on his face.
“And then what happened, Ranran?” the woman asked anxiously.
At this point, Qin Man felt nothing but loathing toward Yao Tang. The audacity of that good-for-nothing piece of scum! How dare she make things up and slander their precious Ranran?