Memoire 4: Love

4 - Luca titlecard

Release Date Tuesday March 22nd 2016
Chapter 4
Volume 1
Story Arc Parisian Excursion Arc
Chapter Guide
Memoire 3: Jeanne
Memoire 5: Archiviste

Femme Fatale is the fourth chapter of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas.

Synopsis Edit

Johann and Dante race across the rooftops of Paris - with Johann expressing his outrage that Dante would send Riche out after a Curse-Bearer all alone and asking what Dante could've possibly been thinking. Dante voices that the blame doesn't rest only on him, as Riche said that she wanted to help and so he simply allowed her to do so. Johann states that Riche was obviously just worried about Dante because of all of his recent idiotic stunts, mentioning that he hopes Riche is okay. Hearing this, Dante tells Johann that he's over protective and suggests that he instead allow Riche to take care of herself - only for Johann to quickly tell Dante to shut up and explain that this is why he can't stand brutes who can't understand a girl's feelings.

Luca is shown leaning against a wall - remembering how Jeanne had told him to find some place safe to hide. Determining that he can't just hide while Jeanne fights for him alone, Luca takes off in search of Jeanne in order to help her.

4 - Jeanne

Jeanne chases Noé through the streets of Paris

Meanwhile, Jeanne chases Noé throughout the streets of buildings - jumping from building to building while Noé runs through the streets below. As Jeanne dives down and attempts to strike Noé with Carpe Diem, she demands to know where Vanitas disappeared to, only just missing Noé as he moves out of the way in time. At this moment, Vanitas jumps through a nearby window in an attempt to drop kick Jeanne - though she simply grabs him by the ankle and throws him at a nearby wall - though fortunately Noé catches him before he can make contact. Vanitas commends Noé's abilities and asks if he can throw Noé in return - which Noé outright denies just as Vanitas slashes a pile of crates that fall onto Jeanne while Noé swings away on a nearby bridge. Noé admits that Jeanne is amazing, as her reactions are so quick that he can't get close enough to deal with her Crimson Gauntlet - which Vanitas agrees with, though he mentions that Jeanne is a lot more tame than he'd thought - and while this confuses Noé, Vanitas mentions that it is beside the point and that the plan is to go as he'd told Noé earlier.

Emerging from the rubble, Jeanne powers up Carpe Diem and charges at Noé and Vanitas. Seeing this, Noé puts Vanitas down and asks him to go on ahead while he stalls Jeanne. As Vanitas escapes, Jeanne orders Noé to move - though he refuses, prompting Jeanne to attack him repeatedly. Fortunately, Noé is able to dodge every one of Jeanne's attacks - shocking Jeanne - and while Noé notes that Jeanne is strong, she's not nearly as strong as The Teacher. Jeanne makes one last move against Noé, but he dodges her attack once again and vaults himself overtop of her. Believing that he can defeat Jeanne, Noé reaches out to grab Jeanne from behind - only for her to turn her around and kick Noé into a building. Crawling out from the hole his body created in the wall, Noé is ragged and confused, looking down to his hand with concern - clenching his fist, Noé says that it's time to see how Vanitas' plan will unfold.

Riche sits watching silently on a rooftop above the scene, where Johann's bat greets her bat shortly before Johann and Dante arrive themselves. Johann wraps his arms around Riche - glad to see that she's all right - only for Dante to tell him to shut up. It's then that Johann notices what Riche had been watching - seeing that Vanitas and Jeanne are standing across from each other on the apparent battlefield below.

4 - Jeanne - 2

Jeanne, as Lord Ruthven's Bourreau

Vanitas asks if he's right to assume that Jeanne had finished Noé off already - with Jeanne assuring him that she hadn't killed Noé - which Vanitas knows is because of "Master Luca's orders". Vanitas admits that it's quite the disappointment, explaining that the Vampire of the Blue Moon had often told him stories of The Hellfire Witch, a young warrior maiden who raced across the battle fields and slaughtered her own kind. Vanitas explains that he'd heard Jeanne was forced into an induced slumber, and so he was thrilled to hear that Lord Ruthven had reawakened her after all this time - though he never would've imagined that she would have degenerated so much. Frustrated - Jeanne asks what Vanitas was trying to say, and so Vanitas reveals that he's grown tired of playing with her - dropping The Book of Vanitas as he realized that he has yet to properly introduce himself to her; revealing himself to be a human doctor who had inherited his name and the Book of Vanitas from the Vampire of the Blue Moon himself. Furthermore - as someone from who the Vampire of the Blue Moon once fed, Vanitas explains that he possesses a portion of the Blue Moon Vampire's power and is a member of the Clan of the Blue Moon; shocking Jeanne. Vanitas admits that he'd hoped that he wouldn't have to use this power unless absolutely necessary, but as he removed the glove on his left hand, Vanitas tells Jeanne to prepare to face his true form.

4 - Jeanne Berneux - 2

Berneux bites Jeanne

This intrigues Dante, who's unsure what Vanitas means by his true form. Meanwhile Jeanne assesses the situation, questioning what kind of power Vanitas could have from the Blue Moon Vampire and why he would have dropped The Book of Vanitas. Admitting that whatever is going to happen can't be good, Jeanne resolves that she must stay on her guard. At that moment, Thomas Berneux rises to his feet behind Jeanne. Having finally found Jeanne, Luca sees the imminent danger and attempts to warn her, only to be grabbed from behind and silenced. Berneux then reverts to a mutated form and rushes Jeanne from behind, shocking her as she recognizes the nine-fold murderer. Berneux bites Jeanne shortly thereafter, though as he begins drinking her blood - Jeanne propels herself backwards so that Berneux hits his head off of the wall behind them - incapacitating him temporarily. With Jeanne distracted, Vanitas comes forward and states that it's just as he thought - as fighting monsters is best left to other monsters, before landing a cheap shot against Jeanne - sending her flying backwards. Though Jeanne had realized that it was all a ruse to keep her distracted, it was too late, and Jeanne's body slams into the ground.

Dante voices his shock from above, with Riche realizing how Vanitas had been stalling until Berneux's paralysis wore off and Johann adding that the fact that Vanitas had used a Curse-Bearer as a pawn and Dante continuing with the fact that Vanitas had hit a woman in the gut without any mercy - all together Dante, Riche and Johann agree that Vanitas is a jerk.

4 - Berneux - 3

Vanitas cures the Curse-Bearer

Walking up to Jeanne, Vanitas mentions that there's no way he'd have such an ace up his sleeve, asking Jeanne to sit by and watch what he's going to do next. Turning to Berneux, Vanitas states that he'd left Berneux waiting long enough and assesses his Malnomen. Noting that Berneux has a lupine appearance alongside prowling in search of life blood during moon-lit nights, Vanitas comes to the conclusion that Berneux's Malnomen is Loup Garou - he who hunts crimson. Vanitas then opens the Book of Vanitas and suggests that it's time they return Berneux's true name. Vanitas manages to discern Berneux's true name as Bucolicus - he who composes idylls - before finishing the purification is a blast of light, leaving a cured and exhausted Thomas Berneux to collapse to the ground. While Johann and Riche marvel at what Vanitas has just done, Vanitas realizes that Berneux was meant to be cured in the presence of Count Orlok. Luckily, Nox and Manet reveal themselves to have been watching from a nearby rooftop, stating that there's no need to worry, as they'd been acting as Orlok's eyes and will report what they'd seen to him.

Vanitas then hears something from behind him - turning to see that Jeanne has managed to get back on her feet. Shocked, Vanitas asks how this could be possible, as Jeanne had taken in the poison from Loup Garou's bites and was subject to the same paralysis as Berneux - but Jeanne insists that she's not done yet and can still fight. Hearing this, Vanitas asks that Noé come out of hiding, prompting Noé to come out from around the corner with Luca in his arms. Jeanne cries out in horror after seeing Luca's present state, and so Vanitas asks if Jeanne understands what he's getting at: if she makes one false move then he'll have Noé snap Luca's neck in a heartbeat; which Dante, Johann and Riche note makes Vanitas seem like a jerk even more. Noé looks on from afar, not able to hear what Vanitas and Jeanne are saying, though he remembers what Vanitas had told him about his plan.

In a flashback, Vanitas tells Noé to "collar" Luca - and when Noé asks what for, Vanitas claims that it's for Luca's own safety. Elaborating, Vanitas states that he intends on entering negotiations with Jeanne and will use the Book of Vanitas to create an area where Vampires cannot fight - though doing so would put a great amount of strain on a child's body, so it's up to Noé to keep him as far away from them as possible and observe from afar. Vanitas also directs Noé to keep Luca's mouth covered, but in return Noé questions why he shouldn't just take Luca out of the area entirely - but Vanitas reveals that it is important for Luca to lay witness to their negotiations to the very end, which Noé understands.

4 - Jeanne Vanitas

Vanitas kisses Jeanne

In the present, Noé wishes Vanitas luck, reminding himself that Vanitas claimed he'd be able to defeat Jeanne without fighting and stating that he believes in Vanitas. Jeanne then grabs Vanitas' shoulder, asking him to wait, promising that she wouldn't do anything else, stating that she loses and that Vanitas can do anything he wants to her so long as he doesn't hurt Luca. As Jeanne begins crying, Vanitas laughs as he realizes that Luca really is Jeanne's weakness, asking why she's crying and why she has such weak attitude. Vanitas adds that Jeanne gave herself something to protect and that is why she's so weak, but this is good, and while Vanitas takes back his previous statements against Jeanne, he persists that she has grown weak but that weakness also heightens her beauty. Thus, as Vanitas cups Jeanne's face in his hands and moves close to her in her startled state as Jeanne notices that her strength drains away at his touch. Vanitas admits that Jeanne has come to be of great interest to him, prior to kissing her.

4 - Luca Jeanne Vanitas

Fire bursts from Luca's body as flies into a rage over what Vanitas had done to Jeanne.

Frazzled, Jeanne claws herself away from Vanitas and melts to the ground. As Jeanne looks up, Vanitas tells her that her vulnerability is terribly enticing as well, commending Jeanne for it. Vanitas then asks what's happening as she makes note of the throbbing of his heart in his chest and how he can't take his eyes off of Jeanne. It is then that Vanitas begs for more as he wants to see every single side of Jeanne, finally understanding that what he's feeling is love. Grasping Jeanne's hand, Vanitas drops to his knee and professes that from now on he'll love her dearly, stating that he must have all of her and requesting that Jeanne marry him.

While a shocked Dante asks if Vanitas is crazy, Luca becomes overwhelmed with anger, spouting fire from his body as he openly protests Vanitas' insolence and questions what he'd done to Jeanne. The fire surrounds the entire area, even reaching Dante, Johann and Riche on the roof; confusing Dante as to where the fire was actually coming from. Remembering that Vanitas had mentioned "a large formula revision", Noé comes to some sort of realization in regards to Luca, but before he can voice this realization he is blown back by Luca's flames. Concerned, Jeanne gathers herself and sprints to Luca's side, grabbing him and jumping to safety on a nearby roof; telling him that they will withdraw for now. Turning to Vanitas, Jeanne tells him to remember that the next time they meet she'll kill him, she'd hunt him down and kill him. Vanitas, overjoyed that Jeanne is going to seek him out next time, teases her further, only for Jeanne to scream in frustration while holding Luca back. Luca begs Jeanne to let him go so that he can kill Vanitas, but Jeanne tells him that he mustn't kill Vanitas as he'd said they have to avoid killing anyone at all cost. Jeanne and Luca then take their leave, jumping across the rooftops of Paris.

4 - Berneux

Nox and Manet discover Berneux's corpse

Meanwhile, Nox and Manet descend to the streets, only to find that Thomas Berneux is gone, with Nox suggesting that he must have slipped away in all the confusion; leading the chase after the nine-fold murderer.

Vanitas stands firm with a grin on his face as he waves goodbye to Jeanne, falling backwards into the rubble surrounding him suddenly and laughing hysterically. Vanitas says to Noé on how it seems as though things are about to get quite interesting; making Noé question what is wrong with Vanitas.

4 - Malnomen

Charlatan escapes into Paris

Elsewhere, Thomas Berneux is seen running feverishly through the streets of Paris. Berneux questions what had happened to him, making note of how his true name has been restored. Realizing that there's no time for questions, Berneux continues to run, knowing that since he killed people he wouldn't be getting off easy if they bring him to in Count Orlok. Just then, Berneux hears an noise from behind him, only to turn and see a familiar face emerging from the shadows - though he's unable to identify them before the air fills with the sound of a sudden snap. Soon after, Nox and Manet find Thomas Berneux - his body on the ground, dead with a snapped neck and broken limbs. Manet questions who could have killed Berneux, looking around for any suspects - though finding none. As Berneux's body begins to turn to ash - Nox suggests that they make haste and report back to Count Orlok immediately.

In a dark alley, a faint jingling can be heard, as the black figure that had tainted Amelia continues on her way, giggling as she declares that the Parade of Charlatan is about to begin. Digging her claws into the wall and carving out a path for her claws, the black figure comments on how she'd warped Berneux's true name so nicely for him, asking who's true name she would be taking next.

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  • Secondary Title: Femme Fatale

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