Memoire 14: Catacombes

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Release Date Sunday January 22nd, 2017
Chapter 14
Volume 3
Story Arc Hunters of the Dark Arc
Chapter Guide
Memoire 13: Glissand
Memoire 15: Chasseurs

Catacombes is the title of the fourteenth chapter of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas.

Summary Edit

Reviewing the information presented to him - three Curse-Bearers kidnapped by the Chasseurs in the course of a week - Dante resolves that they go and get some answers. Confused, Noé asks where they're going, and so Dante reveals that they'll make for the catacombs.

Le Catacombes de Paris is an ossuary built within an old system of quarries twenty meters underground that spanning for two kilometers. It is said that they house the remains of over six million people.

Arriving at the entrance, Noé is shocked to see so many people. Noé voices the curious nature of the catacombs, to which Riche happily adds that the ossuary they are in is only a small portion of the tunnels that run through Paris' underground - being the result of endless quarrying done from as far back as the Roman Empire to the fifteenth century. Continuing, Riche explains that a cave-in in the eighteenth century prompting Louis XVI to order that the catacombs be mapped out - though still to this day no one knows what the entirety of the system looks like. Furthermore, it was Napoleon who ordered that the catacombs be set up in their present form in order to contrast with the catacombs of Rome.

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Riche happily explains the history of the catacombs.

Riche realizes that she's gotten a little carried away and apologizes to Noé for babbling - however Noé instead compliments Riche on how well informed she is - claiming that everything she'd just told him was actually quite interesting. Flustered, Riche falls backwards, only to have Noé catch her and the candle she was holding in his arms; asking if she was okay. While a frazzled Riche assures Noé that she's all right, Dante looks upon the scene in horror - while Johann appears to be enjoying himself. Dante kicks Riche and tells her not to go making "bedroom eyes" at his big customer. Though Riche doesn't understand, Dante insists that he saw Noé first, and that, if everything works out, he'd have an in with the House of De Sade; ordering her to stay out of his way. Riche comes back at Dante, stating that the House of De Sade would never associate with the likes of him.

While Dante and Riche continue bickering, Noé ventures over to Vanitas - asking if there really are Chasseurs somewhere in the catacombs. Though Vanitas claims not to know, he explains that when Vampires ran rampant underground during the war, it was the Chasseurs who wiped them out, and some even say that they're still based there - likely being the reason why Dante is searching for a secret entrance in the catacombs. Noé, confused, asks if it would not be better to ask Count Orlok for assistance if the Chasseurs truly are the ones behind the disappearances. Piping up, Johann explains that such a thing wouldn't be possible. Even though modern humans accept that Vampires and the Chasseurs exist somewhere, hostility between the two runs deep, and thus one falls move could trigger another war. With this, Johann suggests that Dante keep more of a low profile - though he doesn't listen, and his resulting behaviour results in them getting thrown out of the catacombs.

Outside, Dante voices his frustration over having not found the assailant from the day before. Riche tells Dante that he should just drop it, reasoning that he wouldn't have found any clues in such a public area anyway. Vanitas then adds that it would've been better if they'd contacted a cataphile, questioning why Dante would go straight for the tourist area in the first place, prompting Riche to suggest that Dante is in fact afraid of dark and scary things - so he needed to first accustom himself to the sensation of fear in a less threatening environment. As the bickering continues, Johann notices that Noé seems to be worrying about Vanitas, with Noé explaining that he can't understand why Vanitas is acting perfectly normal in this situation and that he's questioning the expression Vanitas made when Dante revealed that the ones behind the kidnappings were the Chasseurs.

Back at Hotel Chou Chou, Vanitas sits atop the roof and examines the kidnapper's button before checking the time and proceeding to take his leave. Surprisingly, Noé is waiting for Vanitas in the lobby - having expected him to leave. Despite Vanitas' protests and refusal to answer any of his questions in relation to where he is going, Noé follows closely behind Vanitas. Reaching Notre-Dame, Vanitas leads Noé to a door and starts to pick the lock. Before he can do so however - two Chasseurs intervene and question what it is they're doing - just as Vanitas had intended. Knocking the Chasseurs unconscious and stealing their uniforms, Vanitas opens a secret passageway that leads underground.

Noé then asks where the passage leads to, with Vanitas explaining that it's the catacombs - though unlike the ones they visited earlier that day, as this entrance is made so that only those in the know can enter, being where the Chasseurs dwell. This makes Noé worry, as he starts to question why Vanitas knows how to get into the Chasseurs' base and how he can walk forward as if he's been here before. Asking for clarification, Noé asks if Vanitas knows who is responsible for the kidnappings. Vanitas explains that it is the Chasseurs - though at the same time they are not Chasseurs. Rather than answering Noé as he questions Vanitas further, Vanitas reveals that, should they encounter Chasseurs and it results in a fight, the first thing they will do is attempt to take out Noé's "eyes", and that should he underestimate them, he'll die.

Arriving in a small chamber filled with skulls, Noé makes note of how different the area feels - asking Vanitas if the skulls once belonged to people who were somehow special. As Vanitas goes to answer, Roland Fortis appears behind them and answers instead; revealing that the skulls belonged to Vampires. Roland proceeds to show Noé and Vanitas how the skull before them still has its fangs, meaning that, as the traces of the "rewriting" still remain, the skull belonged to a once high-ranking Vampire. Roland further elaborates that the room is filled with the remains of Vampires slain within the catacombs by the Chasseurs, kept as trophies with the names of the Chasseur who'd killed the Vampire being carved above each skull.

Vanitas asks who the Roland is, with Roland introducing himself as the sixth paladin of the Chasseurs honored with jasper - making him one of twelve captains of the Chasseurs. Embarrassed, Roland explains that he hasn't been a paladin for very long, admitting that he'd only recently been assigned to this region and that he'd been taking a stroll in order to become more familiar with the map of the catacombs. Roland then questions who Vanitas and Noé are, knowing well that their jobs would be above ground, making him question why they'd be within the catacombs - especially at such a late hour.

Panicking, Vanitas apologizes and introduces himself as Vincent and Noé as Gilbert, claiming that they'd found an entrance to the catacombs in the church that wasn't on record. While they should have reported it immediately, Vanitas claims that they instead delved underground to see what they'd found, only to end up wandering around lost for hours. Content, Roland admits that he's also gotten himself lost, reasoning that divine guidance must have brought the three of them together. With this in mind, Roland urges Vanitas and Noé to follow him, believing that his subordinates must be looking for him. As the two reluctantly follow Roland, Vanitas notes that they'll be in trouble if they're captured by the Chasseurs like this, asking if Noé could shut Roland up. Sadly, Noé says that he's unable to find any vulnerabilities with Roland.

Roland leads the two into a vast room, only to have something catch his eye. Roland asks that Vanitas join him in deciphering the letters carved into the wall - though when Vanitas makes his way over to Roland, Roland throws him in a nearby cell and locks the gate. With Vanitas out of the way, Roland throws a grenade into the air - with Vanitas promptly ordering Noé to quickly shut his eyes. Unable to do so in time, Noé loses his vision and becomes stunned, with Roland revealing that he'd suspected Noé of being a Vampire all along. Roland asks if it hurt, revealing that the light produced by the grenade renders Vampire's "eyes" useless, as it blends the real world and the world of formulas together. While Noé is coughing violently on the ground, Roland asks if Vanitas and Noé had killed the Chasseurs that they stole their uniforms from. Stating that no Vampire that enters there is allowed to leave alive, Roland injects himself with a serum, proclaiming that the Chasseurs serve to hunt those who warp the principles of the world created by God as he readies himself to kill Noé.

Characters Edit

Terms Edit

Gallery Edit

Trivia Edit

  • Alternate Title: Where the Dead Sleep
  • When caught in the catacombs by Roland, Vanitas identifies himself and Noé as Vincent and Gilbert respectively - a nod to Gilbert Nightray and Vincent Nightray from Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts.
  • Roland was originally called "Laurent" in Yen Press' initial translation.

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