Ashley politely followed Tanaga’s grandmother. She let the older woman sat first while she stayed standing and waited for further instructions. Grandma Hanada once again looked at Ashley from head to foot before speaking.
“What are you waiting for? Sit down, or do you want me to have a stiff neck while talking?” The older woman said in contempt but smiling in secret.
Ashley heard the grandmother’s harsh words but felt it was said as a joke and lightened her mood. She adjusted her dress first and made sure it would cover her legs before sitting down, then sat with her back straight on a chair next to the old lady.
Grandma Hanada examined Ashley in complete silence, making the room very still. You could hear a pin dropped with its silence. So Ashley felt more nervous and barely breathing while waiting for Grandma Hanada to start talking.
“One question, one answer … Do you love my grandchild?” Grandma Hanada asked Ashley without blinking.
Ashley, too, did not hesitate to tell the truth. “No!” As she looked straight with determination into the old lady’s eyes.
Grandma Hanada’s brows rose to hear Ashley’s straightforward response. ‘I like this kid. She’s not a liar and pretty too.’
“You’re good. I like honest people. So it means you really don’t have any feelings for my grandchild… So, what is the real reason you got married?” She leaned back on the chair while waiting for Ashley’s reply.
“If it’s about our marriage, and why I’m here today … I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you or not, but it’s better that you ask your grandson about this.”
The grandmother saw there was no shed of fear on Ashley’s eyes as she spoke so didn’t bother to ask more. “Hmmm, you have a point. Then let’s talk about something else. I want you to know that I already have a detailed list of you, but I still want to hear it right from your lips. So shoot! You may begin.”
Just like what Grandma Hanada said, she had the papers about what and who she is, so Ashley didn’t hesitate to reveal her life to the elderly. Grandma Hanada, on the other hand, listened attentively and did not even interrupt.
“So, to make the long story short, I didn’t come to Japan to look for a husband. I have a contract to work in a company. Unfortunately, it was a scam. If not for Sir Jones, maybe… only my remains will go home to my family.” Ashley almost cried as she finished her story.
Grandma Hanada, who was initially stubborn, changed her outlook of Ashley and felt sorry for the girl instead. There were a small trace of tears forming in her eyes but held it back.
“Thank goodness, Tanaga saved you.” That’s all the older woman said and shouted … “I know you’re listening, come back here, Tanaga.”
Tanaga came in with a serious face and took a stance like a soldier going to a war … [but against his grandmother …]
Tanaga chose to sit in another chair neither near Ashley nor near his grandmother. He should sit at the same distance between the two. Tanaga knew his grandmother well. She had introduced many noblewomen to him before, but not one of them was to his liking.
He knew his grandmother was angry, not because he got married, but because he didn’t choose from one of the women she recommended.
He had to convince his grandma to accept Ashley because, for him, there was no one else but her to become his heir’s mother… Tanaga was about to speak, but his grandmother spoke ahead of him …
“I’ll give you one year … Your marriage must bear fruit. Otherwise, you will get a divorce and marry any woman I choose. Are you willing?”