|Memoire 13: Glissando|
|Story Arc||Hunters of the Dark Arc|
Memoire 12: Pause
Memoire 14: Where The Dead Sleep
Apologizing for keeping Noé and Vanitas waiting, as he wanted to talk with them immediately, however he's recently had his hands full with work and has left them waiting for too long. Despite this, Noé assures Lord Ruthven that it isn't a problem and that they are honored that he would even take the time to meet with them - thanking Lord Ruthven repeatedly - unintentionally running into things as he proceeds through the halls; prompting Jeanne to suggest that Luca keep hold of Noé.
Lord Ruthven then proceeds to lead the group into his office in Carbunculus Castle - something which Noé writes to The Teacher as an amazing experience, while also internally questioning if The Queen was also there, somewhere in Castle Carbuncle. Lord Ruthven mentions that, while the room is technically his office, it acts more as a hobby room; telling Noé and Vanitas to make themselves at home while they're there.
Noé recalls Dominique's outrage over his ignorance in relation to Lord Ruthven; calling it disgraceful and extremely embarrassing. Noé mentioned that all he really knew was that Lord Ruthven was a member of the senate, however Dominique stressed that there was so much more to him than just that, as he was central to the peace between the humans and the Vampires - having brought the war between the two to a close. While Noé marveled about Lord Ruthven, Dominique adds that many still consider Lord Ruthven to be a hero, voicing her shock over how Noé had read through so many of The Teacher's books and never once come across Lord Ruthven's name. Dominique then stated that Noé likely didn't know anything about Master Lucius either - and hearing this only confused Noé further - making Dominique wonder if she should go meet with Ruthven alongside Noé and Vanitas. Noé, however, insisted that Dominique could not ignore that abrupt summons sent by the House of De Sade - voicing his concern over the possibility of a death in the family. Despite this, Dominique assured Noé that the matter wasn't nearly so serious, as her father had likely received word of the horrible display she'd made of herself at the bal masque when Veronica incapacitated her. Dominique then apologized, making it clear that when she'd brought Noé to Altus, she'd had good intentions, but now he'd been dragged into this whole big mess. Noé questioned why Dominique felt the need to apologize, telling her that she always worried about him and that it made him feel very happy. Accepting this, Dominique bid farewell to Noé - suggesting that they meet again, very soon.
Seeing that Noé is distracted, Lord Ruthven asks if something's the matter, which Noé denies - referring to his memories of Dominique's shock over him not knowing who Lord Ruthven was. Hearing this, Lord Ruthven tells Noé not to worry about it - when he'd heard that Noé was a pupil of The Shapeless One it all made sense. Elaborating, Lord Ruthven happily states that The Teacher despises him, hating to even say his name, making Lord Ruthven assume that it wouldn't take much to prompt The Teacher to strike his name from all of his literature. Noé notes that it does indeed sound like something that The Teacher would do, which, while on the subject of The Teacher, Lord Ruthven asks what The Teacher is calling himself these days as he often changes his name depending on his current move. Apologizing, Noé admits that he wouldn't know, as he hasn't made contact with The Teacher is almost half a year. Noticing Noé's interest in a nearby machine, Lord Ruthven identifies it as a Difference Engine, which he had gotten from Marquis Machina, while also introducing him to a light that runs on Astermite and other trinkets throughout the office.
Vanitas interrupts, suggesting that they get back on topic, to which Lord Ruthven apologizes before thanking both Noé and Vanitas for their efforts during the bal masque; revealing that Luca (identified as Lucius) had told him everything and that because of them there were minimal casualties. As Vanitas sips his tea, he asks what Lord Ruthven thinks about the attack, prompting Lord Ruthven to explain that he'd initially believed Charlatan to be illusions seen only by Curse-Bearers, however he'd since come to realize that the attack had been an attempt to eliminate Luca. As Vanitas agrees, Lord Ruthven mentions how the Curse-Bearers were likely meant to act as a distraction for the Beastia, and if Naenia is capable of altering the true names of Vampires it would explain how four Curse-Bearers could have appeared in the same place.
Confused, Noé asks if by "Lucius", Lord Ruthven and Vanitas were referring to Luca - and so Vanitas asks if Noé had really not figured it out by now, explaining that Luca's political power is second only to The Queen and that because of it many likely see Luca as being in their way; referring to Luca as "Lucius, Grand Duke Oriflamme". Vanitas then proceeds to confirm Noé's revelation that Grand Dukes were the closest advisers to The Queen, something which Noé marvels at. however, Luca informs Noé that he has the wrong idea - revealing that Lord Ruthven handles his duties as Grand Duke and that he actually has yet to be officially sworn in.
Looking to Luca, Lord Ruthven reveals that when he'd heard that Luca had crossed over the Border without leave to the human realm, his blood had run cold - suggesting that Luca needs to be more conscious of his position. Just then, Noé recalls that Luca had been searching for the Book of Vanitas in order to save his elder brother - asking where Luca's elder brother is now. Stunned, Lord Ruthven tells Noé that he can forget about that - suggesting that they not talk about Luca's brother. When Noé doesn't understand - he asks if the issue is that Luca's elder brother is a Curse-Bearer, which if that is the case then Vanitas can just heal him with the powers of the Book of Vanitas. Clenching his teeth, Lord Ruthven claims that Noé doesn't understand, elaborating that they do not need to heal Luca's brother, as salvation takes on many forms and releasing him from the curse may not bring him happiness.
Changing the subject, Lord Ruthven asks if he's right to assume that Noé and Vanitas had come to ask him about his research into Curse-Bearers; admitting that there is also much he'd like to ask Vanitas about in regards to Vanitas of the Blue Moon, the Book of Vanitas and Vanitas himself as a kin of the Blue Moon. Smiling, Vanitas rises to his feet and suggests that they do use their time to ask more worthwhile questions -asking first that Lord Ruthven fulfill a request of his. Asking what kind of request Vanitas has to pose - Lord Ruthven gazes upon the human before him with skepticism and curiosity. Then, Vanitas asks that Lord Ruthven take him to see The Queen.
Shocked, Lord Ruthven asks Vanitas to repeat himself and questions why he would make such a request; prompting Vanitas to explain that he believes the cause of the Curse-Bearers lies within The Queen. This sparks outrage from Jeanne, and Luca worriedly rushes to his feet as Vanitas continues. Vanitas suggests that his request isn't so outlandish as he intends no harm - he simply wishes to examine The Queen's body - and it shouldn't be a problem given Lord Ruthven's Grand Duke privileges. Vanitas then questions how long it has been since The Queen from public view and why she's become a hermit, furthermore is The Queen even still alive.
Instantaneously, Lord Ruthven unleashes his power - casting Jeanne and Noé to the ground while he holds Vanitas by his throat in the air and the remnants of his black flames singe the room around them. By this point, Luca has rushed to his uncle's side and wrapped his arms around him, asking Lord Ruthven to stop. Lord Ruthven looks Vanitas in the eye and orders him to leave Altus immediately, stating that everything he's said can be considered blasphemy toward The Queen, and he would never allow Vanitas to step foot in the castle ever again.A week later, Vanitas and Noé relay their experience to Count Orlok, Nox and Manet - explaining that they were then promptly forced through the Border, with Murr being sent through after them later, and since every inch of their bodies hurt the two of them had spent the majority of the last week resting. Count Orlok grows furious and calls Vanitas a damned fool for having the audacity to refer to The Queen in such a way - but as Nox and Manet attempt to calm down their master, Noé looks to Vanitas and remembers when they were forced back to the human realm, when Vanitas said that it was okay because he'd gotten the information he'd wanted.
Elsewhere, Luca rests his head on a bed - remembering what happened just after Vanitas and Noé had been expelled from Altus. Lord Ruthven voiced how Vanitas had gotten them - explaining how Vanitas had been looking to Luca rather than himself, as any normal Vampire would have flown into a rage upon hearing Vanitas insult The Queen like that. Lord Ruthven mentions that Luca should have, but instead in that moment of agitation Luca had all but confirmed Vanitas' suspicions. Lifting his head, Luca looks to The Queen as she lay motionless in bed and asks what he should do.
Vanitas states that, until everything blows over, he intends on avoiding Lord Ruthven for a while and intends to instead pursue more Curse-Bearers for the time being - asking that Count Orlok provide information on recent cases. However, with Count Orlok still enraged and throwing books at Vanitas, Nox and Manet tell Vanitas that Count Orlok doesn't have time to waste on Vanitas - prompting Vanitas to question if something else had happened. With that, Noé picks up some files from off of the floor - reading about how there have been three Vampire disappearances recently. This sparks the wrath of Nox and Manet - who order them not to read files without permission, resulting in thier kicking Vanitas and Noé out of Count Orlok's office.
Dante then reveals himself to have been waiting just outside with Johann and Riche. Noticing that Dante, Johann and Riche are in bad shape - Vanitas asks what had happened - only to have Dante ignore the question and suggest that Vanitas listen to him, as he has information about Curse-Bearers that he is willing to sell to Vanitas as a favor. Dante explains that the day before, he and Riche had finally narrowed down the location of a Curse-Bearer who had arrived in Paris a while back, however they found them in the process of being kidnapped. Riche had attempted to stop the kidnapper - but to no avail, resulting in Dante swooping in to save her; though Riche remarks that she didn't ask Dante to save her. As Dante and Riche continue to squabble, Johann delights in their childish banter. Johann then adds that when he was out on his own, he was mistaken for a Vampire and nearly kidnapped as well - though when the kidnappers realized that he was a Dham they took off, which Johann considered very rude.Hearing this, Noé is confused - prompting Johann to explain that a Dham, or Dhampir, is a hybrid: both Vampire and human. Johann remarks on how he, Dante and Riche are all Dhampir, before asking if Noé had really never seen a Dhampir before. Dante then throws a button that he'd managed to rip off of the kidnapper to Vanitas - Vanitas is shocked when he sees the symbol the button bears - which Noé identifies as a sword with six wings - coming to the realization that the ones who Count Orlok is after and the one's who have been kidnapping Vampires are none other that the church's anti-Vampire unit, The Chasseurs.
The Captain sits before the cross as two caped Chasseurs join him. One of the Chasseurs asks The Captain if he had heard the rumor about the human. The Captain confirms that he knows of Vanitas, explaining how not only had Vanitas been made a kin of the Blue Moon, but Vampires have recently been flocking around him in order to utilize his power. The Captain is brought to tears as he thinks of Vanitas as a poor miserable child, vowing to rescue Vanitas in the name of God.
- Alternate title: Glissand