|Memoire 11: Deux Ombres|
|Release Date||Friday October 22 nd , 2016|
|Story Arc||Bal Masque Arc|
Memoire 10: Salvatio
Memoire 12: Pause
Deux Ombres is the eleventh chapter of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas.
"All too easily, memories of the beginning summon memories of the end."
Looking to where Catherine's body turned to ash, Noé holds Vanitas up by his shirt and states that he doesn't understand; asking Vanitas what "salvation" is. Vanitas, in turn, replies that he has no idea, instead suggesting that Noé mull it over on his own. At that moment, Veronica steps forward - content to have finally found Vanitas.Elsewhere, the guests all clamor over something - drawing Marquis Machina's attention. As Machina pushes through the crowd he finds that Dominique had been bound and suspended from the ceiling. Though Machina is clearly frazzled - Dominique implores him to ignore her and instead hurry to stop Veronica.Veronica then sends spiked pillars of ice toward Vanitas and Noé - catching them both off guard - as she comments on the stench of men and humans being the worst of all. Dodging the deadly spikes - Noé voices his amazement over the fact that, even with her vision obscured by the mask she's wearing, Veronica is capable of altering formulas to a great extent; something Vanitas calls extremely impressive. Vanitas then goes on to address Veronica by name - complimenting her extraordinary eyes and identifying her as a Beastia in the process. Enraged, Veronica declares that her name is something for humans to use so casually - summoning airborne chunks of ice and hurling them toward Vanitas - who dodges most of the assault, but is hit in the foot; resulting in the ice wrapping around his leg and making him immobile. As Vanitas notes the severity of the situation, Veronica exclaims that she'd freeze him first and then shatter him to pieces in front of Dominique for trying to stop her.
While Noé attempts to run to Vanitas' aid, his body falters as a result of his encounter with Charlatan - allowing Veronica to move in for the kill; laughing maniacally as she does so. Before Veronica can issue the killing blow to Vanitas however, she is struck across the face by a cane, shattering her mask and revealing her face. Looking back, Veronica sees that the one who intervened is none other than Lord Ruthven, who scolds Veronica - being that she's a Beastia - or "The Queen's Fang" - and should not be using her power in such an unbecoming way. Accepting this, Veronica mentions that Ruthven is quite late - which Ruthven acknowledges; revealing that his carriage had been attacked by unknown assailants and it had taken him time to procure a new one.
As Lord Ruthven tells Veronica to explain the situation, Veronica falls silent, prompting another one of the guests to step forward and explain that Vanitas is a kin of the Blue Moon - surprising Lord Ruthven. Elaborating, the Vampire explains that there was no mistaking the Blue Moon Vampire's Mark of Possession that appeared on his arm, and several Curse-Bearers appeared alongside him; with the Vampire assuming that Vanitas had used The Book of Vanitas to spread the Curse of the Blue Moon.
As Noé attempts to interject, Lord Ruthven personally confronts Vanitas, asking if it was true that Vanitas had been the one to turn the Vampires before them to ash. Vanitas confirms having killed Catherine - prompting Lord Ruthven to motion for a just punishment - however Noé launches himself between the two before Lord Ruthven can do so. Out of breath, Noé commands Lord Ruthven to stop and not to kill Vanitas - stating that, while he doesn't know who Lord Ruthven is (much to the shock of the other Vampires in attendance), he was in the middle of a conversation with Vanitas when they all barged in and interrupted him; asking Lord Ruthven just who he thought he was. Going on, Noé tells Lord Ruthven not to just hijack the situation, adding that he has no comprehension of what's really going on. Furthermore, trying to force the blame on Vanitas because it's convenient is just - Noé stops himself before he can go any further, having realized that he had done the exact same thing.
Lord Ruthven laughs at himself, apologizing to Noé for assuming that he was fairly well known and citing his own conceded nature. Asking for Noé's apology, Lord Ruthven admits that it was truly his manners that had been lacking; introducing himself as Lord Ruthven, who serves The Queen as a member of the senate. Then, Luca pushes his way through the crowd, calling out to his uncle - Lord Ruthven. Lord Ruthven is happy to see that Luca is safe, with Luca returning the sentiment; having initially thought that something had happened . As Luca looks to Noé for an explanation of what's going on, Noé collapses into Lord Ruthven's arms. While Noé attempts to regain his strength - Lord Ruthven advises him not to, instead using his own power to manipulate formulae to summon black fire and melt the ice that had been inhibiting Noé. As Noé takes note of the black flames, Vanitas glares at him, Lord Ruthven and Luca from across the room.
Curious, Luca asks what his uncle intends on doing with Noé and Vanitas - prompting Lord Ruthven to place the two under his protection, much to Veronica's chagrin - reminding everyone that should anyone attempt to bring harm to his guests, it shall be seen as an attack on his person. With the crowd recoiling in fear, Noé uses the last of his strength to reach out to Vanitas - stating that he needs to apologize to him.
The Teacher takes a bedridden Noé by the hand and asks what he has to apologize for. Surprised to see The Teacher, Noé explains that he'd tried to force his ideals onto Vanitas, and while Vanitas had never broken his word, it caused him to develop his own expectations, resulting in a selfish feeling of betrayal. Noé recoils and states that he is not yet experienced enough - prompting The Teacher to suggest that since Vanitas isn't what Noé was expecting, would he rather no longer have to be around him? Smiling as shock crosses Noé's face, The Teacher tells Noé that when he'd instructed him to discern the true nature of The Book of Vanitas, he didn't mean that he wanted Noé to identify whether or not it was a threat to Vampires, but rather he wanted Noé to engage in the Tale of the people surrounding The Book of Vanitas. Brushing the hair out of Noé's face, The Teacher then reveals that what he wants is to know what Noé would define The Book of Vanitas as himself after he had done so.
Slowly opening his eyes, Noé finds himself in a bed with empty chair facing him. Upon examining the chair, he finds that it's still warm and looks to a nearby open window. Outside he notices that he's still in Altus - as he can still faintly see the "cobwebs" across the sky - and that there is a tall tower not far from his room; leaping toward it to find Vanitas. Noé mentions how Vanitas really seems to like high places and asks what happened after he'd lost consciousness. Vanitas explains that nothing major happened, as Lord Ruthven simply took charge and dispersed the crowd; making the official story that the two of them were his guests. Sitting beside Vanitas - Noé asks what's wrong - believing Vanitas to be angry about something or sulking and suggesting that there may be something that he wants to say to him. While Vanitas denies it, Noé reveals that there is in fact something he'd like to say to Vanitas. Noé reminds Vanitas that he'd said what he was trying to do was enact revenge, asking what it is that Vanitas meant by that. Instead of elaborating, Vanitas simply tells Noé that what he'd said about revenge was a lie - claiming that he didn't think the Vampires would believe him unless he'd said something like that - teasingly calling Noé and idiot for believing it too. Even so, Noé outright states that Vanitas is lying, admitting that when he'd heard that Noé could make sense of it because it explained why Vanitas looks so defeated when he killed Catherine, because it was as if he'd given up on something.
Furious, Vanitas draws a knife and holds it to Noé's throat - ordering Noé not to try and size him up with such ridiculous assumptions. Vanitas bluntly states that he's tired of this and that because he can't deal with such a simpleton anymore, he'd be having nothing more to do with Noé. As Vanitas attempts to order Noé to stay away from him, Noé grabs Vanitas by the wrist, asking why he would listen to anything Vanitas had to say. Additionally, Noé tells Vanitas that he has the wrong idea, firmly stating that he doesn't like Vanitas, meaning that he has no intention of obey Vanitas' orders or helping him further; which Vanitas argues is what he wants
Just then the bell in the tower tolls and Noé notices that while he'd thought Vanitas was simply angry, he'd suddenly become rather cranky as well - causing Noé to admit to himself that he's having fun. In a relaxed tone, Noé then admits that despite everything he'd said, Vanitas interests him as a person and he wants to see whatever Vanitas is attempting through to the end - meaning that, even if Vanitas pushes him away, he'll do as he pleases no matter what. Smiling as the sun rises behind them, Noé tells Vanitas that he's decided to stay - causing Vanitas to laugh as he tells Noé to do as he wants.
In the narrative, someone states that, even now they vividly remember the color of the rising sun they'd seen then, and all too easily... memories from the beginning summon memories from the end. The things that slipped through their fingers, the people that they couldn't protect, the regret of "that day" - when they didn't grab "your" hand...
Noé then suddenly remembers something he'd wanted to say, apologizing to Vanitas. When Vanitas asked what he was apologizing for, Noé stretches and says that there's no reason and that he just wanted to say it.
Characters Edit(*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.
- Alternate title: "Point of Departure"
- In this chapter titlecard, it is shown that Noé holds a pocket watch, which maybe similar with Jack Vessalius' Pocket Watch from Pandora Hearts.