Memoire 7: Bal Masque

7 - Bal Masque

Release Date June 22nd 2016
Chapter 7
Volume 2
Story Arc Bal Masque Arc
Chapter Guide
Memoire 6: Altus
Memoire 8: Louis

Bal Masque is the seventh chapter of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas.

Synopsis Edit

7 - Babel

The Babel Incident.

The Teacher read from a book, teaching the newly purchased Noé about The Formula Theory; elaborating that it had been proposed by the renowned alchemist Paracelsus. The Formula Theory stated that, just beyond the human realm lied a world in which everything had been replaced by "formulas"; which Paracelsus believed could be rewritten to yield desired results. Paracelsus dreamed of a world that could be freed of its misfortunes and became obsessed with his research; gathering assistance from far away lands in order to conduct an experiment on a large-scale world formula.

However, the resulting experiment would result in a calamity that would later be known as The Babel Incident; in which cataclysms rained down on the world in droves and humans turned to religion for salvation. After everything settled down, the humans noticed that Paracelsus' Formula Theory had in fact been correct, as the world was now home to things that never existed before the Babel Incident; such as blue minerals, luminescent flowers and Vampires.

The Teacher then questioned Noe's understanding, suggesting that they believe that Astermite is the product of the constitutive formula for coal being rewritten, and similarly Vampires were created when the constitutive formula for the human race was rewritten. Noé asked if this meant that he and The Teacher were also products of The Babel Incident, which The Teacher confirms - stating that most human have forgotten this fact, though they must never forget it themselves. Noé noted that The Teacher looked as though he was having fun, which The Teacher happily confirmed, explaining that because Noé had come with him he was sure that things would be much more fun from then on.

7 - Domi Noe

Dominique and Noé dance together at the Bal Masque.

In present day, Noé dances with Dominique at the Bal Masque in Altus; with Dominique happy to see that Noé hadn't forgotten how to dance. Noé protests by saying that he could never forget, as Dominique had drummed it into his head without mercy when they were younger so that they could dance together. As Noé looks around, Dominique asks if something's wrong and whether or not Noé is feeling well - which Noé admits that he'd not; being reminded of the Parade of Charlatan with all the costumes and clowns surrounding them. Changing the subject, Dominique asks if Vanitas is behaving himself - claiming that she'd invited him along as a favor to Noé, but should anyone discover that he is a human, they'd have a serious issue to deal with. Dominique's attention is then drawn to Vanitas - who is performing magic tricks for several Vampires; producing a flower for one named Catherine, and candy for her younger sister, who are both in awe over Vanitas' ability to produce anything out of thin air.

Vanitas is then dragged away from the crowd by Dominique and Noé, where Noé asks what Vanitas is thinking. Vanitas assures Noé that he has nothing to worry about, as he's wearing the Pomander that Dominique gave him, so even the Vampires with the keenest sense of smell would never pick up on the fact that he's human when they're up close. Vanitas then further blames Noé, suggesting that it's his fault for leaving him on his own so that he could canoodle with Dominique. Somewhat confused, Noé states that Dominique is his childhood friend and that if Vanitas says something that could be misconstrued it could have negative repercussions toward Dominique. Hearing this, Vanitas says that he doesn't understand how Vampires define the term "friend", leading Dominique to assume that he's referring to their earlier conversation and explains that Noé wants her blood because it's not the first time he's had it; and when an Archiviste drinks a person's blood, they are forced to see their memories. While Noé can change the depth and detail of the memories at will, he doesn't feel right doing so without permission. Meanwhile, as Noé takes off his mask, he finds himself distracted by a nearby automaton, running off on his own in order to inspect it for himself alongside Murr.

Dominique continues to define the relationship she has with Noé, only to realize said person wandered off; causing Vanitas to suggest that she should've left the collar on him. Accepting that Noé's gone, Dominique reveals that she's been wanting to speak with Vanitas alone for some time now - leading him into a menacing room where two of her attendants close the door behind them. An attendant grab Vanitas from behind as Dominique requests them to prepare "the usual", revealing that the House of Sade had purchased this box and that even if Vanitas were to scream and cry, no one would come for him.

7 - Noe Luca

Luca and Noé meet again.

Meanwhile, Noé is fascinated by the many automatons at the Bal Masque, knowing well that most Vampires hate human technology, prompting him to ask Dominique what kind of Vampire is hosting the event; only for him to discover that both Dominique and Vanitas are not with him. Determined to seek out his "lost" friends, Noé begins his search, but just around the corner someone hurriedly makes their way through the estate, asking their attendants whether or not they'd heard anything from his uncle yet. When the attendants deny having heard anything, their told to inform Marquis Machina whilst he continues to look for "her", with their master wondering if something had happened to his uncle. Just then, Noé turns around the corner and the unseen individual bumps into him, surprising Noé as he sees that it is none other than Luca as he falls to the ground. Shocked, Luca asks why Noé is there and if he'd followed them to Altus. When Noé attempts to deny this he is apprehended by the attendants, who ask Luca - referred to as Master Lucius - if he is all right and who Noé is. Frantically, Luca tells his attendants that Noé is his friend, and upon grabbing Noé he admits that he has something important to discuss with him; dragging him away while Noé wonders if Jeanne is there with Luca.

7 - Jeanne

Jeanne struggles at the Bal Masque.

Elsewhere, Jeanne struggles, grasping at her neck and clenching her fists in some nearby curtains as she unintentionally bears her fangs and questions why "this" is happening to her now of all times.

As Vanitas is strapped to a wheel with an apple on his head, he asks Dominique what's going on, as he was looking forward to her using one of the other various torture devices on him. Dominique explains that they all belong to her elder sister; tossing a throwing knife and skewering the apple rested on Vanitas' head in the process. Dominique remarks on how dull Vanitas' reaction was, as he hadn't even flinched, only for Vanitas to compliment Dominique's arm - though she accepts his compliment, she admits that she'd become a little rusty over the years and that there's a chance she may miss; grabbing more throwing knives as she suggests that Vanitas ends their little game quickly. After throwing several more knives, Dominique asks what Vanitas intends on doing with Noé. Confused, Vanitas asks what Dominque means, only for her to explain that she won't stop Noé from following Vanitas - in fact if that is what he wants she'll do everything in her power to help Noé - but if Vanitas is intending on using his power for something she'd carve up his flesh right then and there; cutting off the eyepatch he was wearing as a warning.

7 - Dominique Vanitas

Dominique interrogates Vanitas.

This makes Vanitas laugh, explaining that he can see why Noé is so soft and naive, having grown up with the likes of Dominique; laughing at her conception of being a friend to Noé, when all she is, is a convenient female companion. As Vanitas touches a nerve, Dominique orders her attendants to spin the wheel, explaining in the meantime that she isn't denying the existence of the Blue Moon Vampire. While she's sure that the power of The Book of Vanitas is genuine if Noé believes it to be so - what Dominique doesn't understand is why Vanitas, one who wields the power of the Blue Moon Vampire, intends on doing so in order to save the Vampires of the Crimson Moon. As more knives strike the wheel, Dominique angrily asks how she could possibly believe that, as Vanitas of the Blue Moon despises the Crimson Moon Vampires, so she asks Vanitas how she can be sure he's not just some assassin sent by the Blue Moon Vampire; reasoning that Vanitas' use of the Blue Moon Vampire's name shows his worship of Vanitas of the Blue Moon.

7 - Vanitas

Vanitas draws attention to himself.

When a stunned Vanitas remains silent, Dominique orders her attendants to let him down. Growing dark, Vanitas is appalled by the very concepts of worshiping "that" - being Vanitas of the Blue Moon - and begins laughing hysterically; worrying Dominique as she and her attendants stand by. Standing, Vanitas admits that Dominique has a point and that he should make himself more clear; as all the Vampires up until now were only capable of thinking in terms of whether or not The Book of Vanitas was real, meaning that he'd have to work backwards in order to move things forward. As Vanitas motions toward the edge of the balcony, he explains that he should have branded his own existence into the brains of the Vampires - jumping from the balcony onto the chandelier hanging below despite Dominique's protests.

7 - Vanitas 2

Vanitas reveals the Mark of Possession left by the Blue Moon Vampire.

From the chandelier, Vanitas calls upon the attention of all the Vampires in attendance, revealing that he is but an average human who had inherited his name and The Book of Vanitas from the Vampire of the Blue Moon. While most Vampires confuse this to be part of some sort of act put on as entertainment, Dominique and Noé both question what Vanitas is trying to prove. Vanitas then removes the glove from his left hand in order to offer proof that he is indeed a kin of the Blue Moon Vampire - showing the Mark of Possession which Vanitas of the Blue Moon had left on him. Explaining what everyone in attendance already knows, Vanitas details how a Mark of Possession is something left on those Vampires feed from to stake a claim on their prey by embedding a portion of their power within the victim to make a statement toward other Vampires. Vanitas continues to state that they all know who left the Mark of Possession on him, as they can all feel it inside them, that it was Vanitas of the Blue Moon.

7 - Vanitas 3

The gravity of the situation

Immediately afterwards, the Vampires in attendance demand Vanitas' execution, but as several Vampires attempt to attack Vanitas, he pulls out The Book of Vanitas to repel them. Vanitas asks that the Vampires take a good look at The Book of Vanitas, which has the power to warp the true names of Vampires of the Crimson Moon with ease. However, Vanitas boasts that the Vampires of the Crimson Moon have nothing to fear, as he intends to use it to save them rather than destroy them; all they have to do is tremble with humiliation and allow him to save them. When the Vampires object, Vanitas laughs and states that he doesn't care what they think of it all, vowing to save them regardless, as that will be his revenge on Vanitas of the Blue Moon. A shocking silence falls over the crowd as Noé, Dominique and Luca stare in confusion and Jeanne pushes her way through the crowd, looking up at Vanitas as he stares blankly ahead.

Characters Edit

(*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.

Terms Edit

Gallery Edit

Trivia Edit

  • Alternative Title: "Night of Sneering Masks"
  • "Bal Masque" is the French translation of a Masquerade Ball.
  • Catherine, a minor character introduced in this chapter, bears significant resemblance to Lottie from Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts.
  • The scene where Luca accidentally runs into Noé mirrors the scene where Phillipe West falls to the ground after being chased by Oz and Alice during The Feast arc in Pandora Hearts.

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