This article is about The sixth chapter of The Case Studies of Vanitas. You may be looking for The realm where Vampires primarily dwell.
Memoire 6: Altus

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Release Date Monday May 23 rd 2016
Chapter 6
Volume 2
Story Arc Bal Masque Arc
Chapter Guide
Memoire 5: Archiviste
Memoire 7: Bal Masque

Altus is the sixth chapter of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas.

Synopsis Edit

Having recovered enough, Noé sits up and fearfully states that he'd seen Charlatan, and while pulling out a notebook he explains that, while he's unsure whether or not the whole thing was a dream, he's sure that Charlatan was what warped Amelia's true name. Drawing the black figure he'd seen quickly, he hands the notebook to Vanitas, who looks at it and voices how Noé is a terrible artist. Noé insists that this is no time for jokes, stating that if that black figure is truly the manifestation of The Curse of Vanitas, he'll never forgive her.

Laughter fills the room, as Dominique de Sade barges is - much to Nox's chagrin - stating that she'd heard everything; greeting Noé in the process. After exchanging pleasantries, Dominique tells all about how she is Noé her fiancé - shocking Manet, Amelia and Vanitas; though Noé is quick to deny it. Dominique pats Noé on the shoulder and tells him that it's no fun if he just gives it away like that - horrifying Nox for believing Dominique's ruse - though Dominique simply takes Nox in her arms, asking her not to be angry, as she would ruin her adorable face.

While Dominique continues to tease Nox - with Nox insisting that Dominique "not touch her there", Manet and Amelia watch from afar, horrified; thus allowing Vanitas and Noé to discuss Dominique themselves. Noé introduces Dominique as a childhood friend, then drawing attention to Chrylser - who continues to shower Dominique in roses - revealing him to be her automated attendant. Vanitas is surprised to hear that Dominique is a De Sade - thus making her the daughter of Count de Sade - lord of the otherworld. Meanwhile, Dominique opens her arms to Murr - who runs into her arms as she expresses how it's been so long since they'd last seen one another. Noé confirms Vanitas' observation, with Vanitas stating that he's shocked to learn that Noé had friends in the aristocracy - only for Noé to reveal that The Teacher is Dominique's grandfather, thus they often played together in their youth. Dominique apologizes to Count Orlok for barging in unexpectedly, but Count Orlok just shrugs it off, stating that the De Sade's had been rude for generations before Dominique. With that, Dominique asks to be allowed one final act of rudeness, putting Noé in a leashed collar and dragging him out of Count Orlok's office in order to borrow him for a while - catching everyone off guard.

As Dominique proceeds to drag Noé out of Galerie Vivienne with Murr and Chrysler following close behind, Noé asks Dominique to wait - though Dominique just asks what's wrong and suggests that Noé just come along quietly. Noé then asks what the deal is with the collar, with Dominique revealing that it had been brought to her the other day by her elder sister, and she'd decided to bring it to Noé; stating that it suits him well. A flustered Noé thanks Dominique for the compliment before quickly getting back on track and asking where Dominique intends on taking him; only for Dominique to reveal that she plans to take him beyond The Border. Elaborating, Dominique explains that she'd been invited to a Bal Masque in Altus and so she'd thought that it'd be nice to have Noé as her escort, but when she went to Averoigne to get him, she'd discovered that he'd traveled to Paris on an errand for her grandfather. Thus Noé comes to the conclusion that Dominique had followed him all the way to Paris, suggesting that she could've taken someone else to the Bal Masque.

Stopping dead in her tracks, Dominique turns to Noé and declares that she'd come because she was worried about him. Dominique elaborates that Noé is a simple country blumpkin who is several varieties of unfortunate because of his tendency to blindly follow any road that interests him. When Noé denies this, Dominique insists that he doesn't lie, reminding him of the time he'd wandered into the forest in pursuit of a rare bird and that it took them four days to find him, suggesting that Noé hasn't changed at all. While Noé objects, Dominique further states that, even now, he's completely at the mercy of a human - Vanitas - revealing that she'd gotten information about Noé and Vanitas' actions in Paris from Dante prior to coming to Galerie Vivienne; calling Vanitas an enigma and assuring Noé that Vanitas is probably only using him.

Arriving at a bookstore, Dominique asks the shopkeeper if he's "ever seen the stars bloom red", to which the shopkeeper tells Dominique to go ahead, directing her to go on through a hidden passageway behind a bookcase to reach The Border. Noé reviews what he knows about The Borders, identifying them as distortions in space that lead to Altus - the realm in which Vampires dwell. Noé voices his disbelief that a Border would be in a bookstore, with Dominique having assumed that Noé had already known; revealing that she's heard there are several others in Paris as she logs a card into a processing machine in front of The Border. The Border doors open and state that it's recording the current time, wishing Dominique a pleasant trip to Altus in the process; with Dominique picking up Murr and tethering Chrysler to ensure their safe passage into Altus. Noé, however, reaches out to stop Dominique, saying that he still wants to talk to her about Vanitas. Coldly, Dominique reveals that Lord Ruthven will be at the Bal Masque as well, prompting Noé to remember Jeanne and Luca, explaining that she'd heard rumors that Lord Ruthven had been independently researching Curse-Bearers; thus Noé could likely get some information about Charlatan from him.

Just then, Vanitas calls out to Noé and jumps through The Border - prompting fear within Noé, as he knows that The Borders are thought to have been created across the world by an experimental accident called The Babel Incident - and that only Vampires created by The Babel Incident may access The Borders. Knowing what would happen if a human crossed one of The Borders, Noé quickly grabs Vanitas, and he Dominique and Vanitas are transported to Altus. Finding that they are all on the floor on the other side of The Border, Vanitas rises and asks if they're in Altus already. Furious, Noé yells at Vanitas - asking what he was thinking - only for Vanitas to explain that he knows he wouldn't have been able to return to either world if Noé hadn't grabbed him, also revealing that this is not his first visit to Altus and so he's aware that so long as he was touching one of them he would be all right. The Border makes note of the current time and welcomes Dominique back to Altus, asking if there was any problem with her journey - though Dominique denies that there was and suggests that they get outside - pushing Noé toward the exit and asking why Vanitas insists on following them. Grinning, Vanitas states that it is because Dominique's goal was to separate him from Noé.

Outside, Noé is starstruck by Altus - surprising Vanitas - though Dominique assures him that it's because Noé spent his whole life deep in the forests of Averoigne; with Vanitas claiming that no matter how many times he comes, Altus Paris never changes. As Vanitas advises Noé not to wander off, Dominique reveals that the leash she'd attached Noé to is to ensure that doesn't happen; leading Vanitas, Noé, Murr and Chrysler toward a carriage she has waiting. With Noé distracted, Vanitas decides to question Dominique, revealing to her that Noé had told him that his teacher is her grandfather, which Vanitas is wary about - prompting Dominique to assume that Vanitas knows of her grandfather. Vanitas, however, claims not to know much about The Teacher, apart from the fact that other Vampires call him "The Shapeless One" and that he is feared by many. Vanitas continues by stating how surprised he is that someone like Noé - whom he thought was nothing more than a country blumpkin - could have a connection to aristocracy like the De Sades. Vanitas asks Dominique if Noé's appearance is also deceiving and whether or not his parents were truly the rulers of the otherworld. Dominique stops Vanitas abruptly, while not facing Vanitas, Dominique reveals to him a piece of Noé's past.

At the carriage, Noé expresses his disbelief - as the carriage is a little large - but Dominique insists that they can't go to the Bal Masque dressed as they are. Dominique brings Noé inside the carriage and leaves Vanitas, Murr and Chrysler outside to wait while she changes inside. Noé asks that if Dominique insists on changing that she release him from the collar and allow him to wait outside with Vanitas. When Dominique doesn't respond, Noé asks if she's angry about something - assuming that it's because he'd brought Vanitas along - though he reasons that if they're going to talk about Curse-Bearers he'd rather have Vanitas there with him, he'd neglected to think of Dominique's position on the matter and promptly apologizes.

Dominique admits that Vanitas is not the problem, revealing that she knows Vanitas has The Book of Vanitas and that Noé is on an errand for her grandfather, but for Noé to become directly involved with Curse-Bearers makes her wonder if Noé blames himself for what happened to Mina. After releasing Noé from his collar, Dominique embraces him, with Noé taking the opportunity to compliment her in hopes of being allowed to drink her blood. Amused by Noé's begging, Dominique allows him to drink her blood - just both she and Louis had done when they were younger.

Outside, Vanitas can hear everything that Dominique and Noé are saying, though his main focus is what Dominique had said to him earlier, when she revealed that Noé was actually an orphan who had been put up for auction on the black market as an Archiviste survivor, and that her grandfather had purchased him.

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  • Alternate Title: Other World

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