A/N: It's been a long since I updated. It's been four months, close to five months. Due to it, I'm going to make a short review of the past chapters to remember some things:

"After embarking on a journey on behalf of his brother, Zen comes back with his wife and aide absent. He instantly interrogates his brother, who says nothing about Shirayuki's sudden disappearance in spite of knowing everything. The person responsible for Shirayuki's and Obi's tragedy is later found by Mitsuhide, but do not tell Zen, as he has been ordered by the king not to.

A brief conversation between Izana and helpless Shirayuki, reveals gathered pieces of information to each other. Mitsuhide, with the help of Izana's guards, investigates the accountable's belongings, in which he had found few letters and pictures. Zen reproached Shirayuki for keeping secrets from him. While talking, she lost control of her body and lost consciousness..."

This chapter originally had two parts. The second part was consuming time, so it was deleted. Also, since the other part of this is deleted, this chapter is not really long as I had wished.

Hope it will still be enough



Chapter 53: Truth behind truths



Shirayuki's mind entwined, feeling an unbearable despair. Her eyes involuntarily closed when it drained its last drop of energy in her body. She was helpless and tired. Her legs were first to delude her, then her frame. A pulsation was almost skipped before Zen settled her into a form on his lap for her to regain her breathing pace.

There was fear in his eyes. Wanting to feel relieved over Shirayuki regaining her pace, fear still overtook him. His fingers smoothly run through her red hair, that shone as fire with the moon perfectly highlighting it as she now sleeps. He was, nevertheless, still proud of her for surviving through all her pains alone, and pointing her accountable down, showing no fear and no hesitation. He carried her sunken and pale from his lap to the bed.

The next early morning, she had not wakened up till the sun was shining brightly, almost burning, in the afternoon. She was helped by Cora and Suki in washing and preparing her. Her every step was supported by them, but later gained her capability back. Later on, she acquainted with Lady Adela, where she introduced the new ladies appointed to serve under Shirayuki, Ivette and Eleanor. Shirayuki was surprised at having to be introduced to two ladies to replace Alyne, as she was told there was to be only one.

Seemingly, nothing about Alyne conspiring to assassinate Shirayuki had been informed to anyone. The secret has been kept within the ruling class, not even all of them. A treason that results in death penalty; beheading. Alyne resided at the Red Tower penitentiary where it is considered more dignified for nobility to be executed away from spectators, and royalties, and were among the nobility beheaded here. However, it had been reported to the people that she had, unfortunately, passed away during her sleep, and her body had been sent to her family's mansion.

After being caught in the evening, she was blindfolded from Wistal castle to the Red Tower. She spent her night at a place that was heavily-guarded with soldiers surrounding the tower. Her attire was changed by unknown ladies. Her pieces of jewelry weren't anymore, everything about her that made her the daughter of a duke, everything that made her a lady-in-waiting and personal assistant/attendant to Princess Shirayuki were all taken promptly the moment she had stepped into the tower covered with blood and souls of the dead.

A rumor about the sudden replacement of Alyne, in less than hours after her death.

After Shirayuki being introduced to her new ladies, Ivette and Eleanor, she spent a couple of hours knowing them. Upon their conversation, Shirayuki discovered that Izana had actually proposed them to be ladies-in-waiting exactly a month ago. Which surprised, and made Shirayuki think Izana had known all along about Alyne's alliances and plans, but he had kept quiet through it and waited. After their introduction, Shirayuki left the castle "secretly", with Obi, Suki, and Cora, with few trusted guards.

Upon reaching their destination, without permission, and with the help of Obi, Shirayuki got into the resident where Alyne had been kept. The astounded, nervous and scared face of Alyne on seeing Shirayuki is something Shirayuki is never going to forget. They had only ten minutes to talk.

Despite Alyne being laid back about confessing, but with Shirayuki personally in front of her with the intense look on her face was terrifying. She admitted that the couple in the picture was her biological mother with one of her lovers. Her father was also someone who would choose money over anything. He spent lavishly, and also had lots of lovers. They later breathe their last breath when she was young, left orphaned, then later adopted by her kind-hearted now-adopted parents. Alyne was approached by certain unknown men, who pursued her into either eliminating Shirayuki's life with instructions or her past being revealed. She had to what she needed to do. Her adopted father saw her and took her in, in spite of coming from a disgraceful and shameful family. Her identity was changed. Everything. Because of her, her father lied that Alyne was a distant relative of his from another country. He did so many things for her. And she didn't want to ruin in his reputation, which made her decide to do that to Shirayuki, notwithstanding knowing the consequences.

Alyne also confessed everything she knows about Lord X's men. And surprisingly, she knew so much, which overwhelmed Shirayuki. Alyne's real father apparently used to have a connection with Lord X, and when little, she used to overhear their conversation out of curiosity. And due to that, she knew a lot about the secret management.

Shirayuki pitied her momentarily. She was only trying to protect her adoptive family from disgrace, but her deeds were still unjustified. She wanted to commit murder on her own lady. But for the last time, unexpectedly, Shirayuki hugged and consoled her, overlooked and sought forgiveness upon her.

And in less than she could count, Alyne was no more breathing with her head on the ground, blood displayed all over the floor, the sword and the wood her head had been on. Her corpse was taken to her family, which they couldn't do anything about. Her burial was still arranged befittingly by the excuse of dying in her sleep.