|Manga Debut||Memoire Vanitas 1: In The Event of Rusty Hopes|
Noé Archiviste is a Vampire and the main protagonist of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas. At a young age, Noé was orphaned by unknown circumstances, leading to him being the last known member of the Archiviste Clan in existence, and resulting in his adoption by The Teacher, being reared alongside The Teacher's granddaughter, Dominique de Sade in Averoigne.
In his later life, after having been sent to Paris to discern the nature of The Book of Vanitas by The Teacher, Noé encounters and forms a deep connection with a Curse-Bearer named Amelia Ruth, all while meeting the present owner of The Book of Vanitas, Vanitas. After proving the validity of The Book of Vanitas to Count Parks Orlok, thus saving Amelia from execution, Noé is roped into a partnership with Vanitas, meant to work under Count Orlok in order to aid in dealing with Curse-Bearers and tracking down Charlatan.
Noé is a gentleman vampire with dark skin, short silvery white hair and purple eyes.
Noé is 'simple country bumpkin who is several varieties of unfortunate because of his tendency to blindly follow any road that interests him', according to Dominique. All he sees is new to him and he is easily amazed by spectacular sights.
Noé was born as a Vampire of the Archiviste Clan on the night of the Crimson Moon by the result of The Babel Incident, thus allowing him to read people's memories when he drank their blood. At an unknown point in Noé's youth, the Archiviste Clan was all but eradicated, thus orphaning Noé. Abandoned in the human realm during winter, Noé was soon found by an elderly couple, who took it upon themselves to care for Noé until someone came for him; essentially becoming his adoptive grandparents. Through his adoptive grandparents, Noé learned about Vampires, and most importantly about how, just like humans, there were some who were good and some who were bad.
Eventually, Noé's adoptive grandfather became quite ill and passed away. Sometime afterwards, Noé's adoptive grandmother, Elaine, passed away peacefully in her sleep - once again leaving Noé all alone. One day, while searching for flowers to place on his adoptive grandparents' graves, Noé was kidnapped by Vampires who commonly kidnapped humans to be brought to Altus in order to serve Vampires. Upon discovering that Noé was actually a Vampire, his captors brought him to numerous places to be auctioned off - eventually being purchased by The Teacher.
Soon after Noé's purchasing, The Teacher began his lessons, bringing Noé to his castle in Averoigne, where he taught Noé about Paracelsus, The Formula Theory and The Babel Incident. 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 confirmed - 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. The Teacher then stressed to Noé the importance of a Vampire's true name, as it forms the constitutive equation of his existence; in other words, his true name is his very life.
From here, The Teacher introduced his two grandchildren Louis and Dominique de Sade and rejoiced about how everything that had happened fell on one of the days that Dominique was visiting his castle, informing Noé that he must leave at once, but that in the meantime he can ask Louis and Dominique anything he'd like to know about the place. Louis was quick to welcome Noé, greeting him fondly while Dominique muttered her own hellos from behind her elder brother; nervous about meeting a new friend. Shocked by Louis' response, Noé clung to The Teacher for comfort as he informed Louis that it was also nice to meet him. Louis then extended an arm to shake Noé's hand, however when Noé did the same, Louis grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him in close, stating that Noé had no luck in The Teacher taking a shine to him; sympathizing with the newly purchased Vampire
Later, while playing with some of Dominique's dolls, Noé revealed to Dominique that he was raised by humans. A shocked Dominique then asked if that meant that Noé had spent his entire life in the human realm, which Noé confirmed; prompting Dominique to question what had happened to Noé's parents. Noé admitted that he wasn't sure; instead explaining how his adoptive grandparents had found him. From a tree above them, Louis calls Noé a dummy for believing what the humans told him, instead suggesting that they'd kidnapped Noé to raise until he was big enough for them to eat. Outraged, Noé threw Dominique's doll at Louis, insisting that his adoptive grandparents weren't bad people. Noé's memories of his adoptive grandparents ultimately brought him to tears - much to Louis and Dominique's shock and confusion. As Noé insisted that Louis apologize for his harsh words about Noé's adoptive grandparents, Dominique glared at Louis and forced him to do as Noé asked in order to stop him from crying further. Soon after, Noé explained how his adoptive grandparents died and how he'd been kidnapped and brought to Altus. Dominique sympathized with Noé - believing his experience must have been awful; only for Noé to correct her by stating that because of what had happened he was fed regularly and got the opportunity to come to Altus, thus it was similar to travelling. This made both Louis and Dominique laugh, with the two of them coming to the conclusion that Noé was very odd.
From then on, Louis and Dominique became Noé's closest friends; playing and exploring together without end. At an unknown point, Noé went into the woods alone to pursue what he called a "rare bird". As a result, it took The Teacher and his search party four days to locate Noé, who had lost his way and could not return home. Eventually, Noé, Dominique and Louis happened upon some other Vampires from a neighboring village; befriending Mina, Fred, Gilles and Fanny and discovering a secret base together.
One day, Dominique discovered that Noé can read memories through blood; asking Noé about this while playing dressup. Noé confirmed what Dominique had heard, explaining that when he drank blood memories just rush in and he could see all sorts of things. Intrigued, Dominique offered her own blood to Noé and insisted that he view her memories. Noé obliged, only to encounter a lot of memories about him. Still curious, Dominique looked to her older brother, and while Louis denied wanting to have his memories read, Dominique and Noé tackled him to the ground so that Noé could drink some of Louis' blood. Upon doing so, Dominique asked what Noé had seen, but Noé remained silent; having seen that Louis felt alone and curled up in darkness.
While searching through The Teacher's collection room, Louis revealed to Noé that he had been left at his grandfather's castle for his own health soon after he was born when they'd determined that he was "sick". Confused, Noé wondered what Louis meant by that, though Louis himself was also unaware, and so Noé asked if Louis wanted to see his mother and father again - only for Louis to laugh; claiming that as far as they're concerned he was already dead. While Noé contemplated what he should say to Louis in order to make him feel better, Louis came across and read a small notebook that had been laid open on The Teacher's desk. Soon Noé dragged a frightened Dominique to the castle courtyard in order to view the Blue Moon's beauty. This made The Teacher laugh as he remarked on how there was no other Vampire who would be so delighted over seeing the Blue Moon. Long after, Noé sat with The Teacher, who asked if he was right to assume that Noé didn't fear the Blue Moon - despite the fact that it's light is said to be the symbol of Ill Omen and steals Vampires' powers. However, Noé, fascinated with the legends of Vanitas of the Blue Moon, told The Teacher that his eyes can see something lovely in the Blue Moon.
After that night, Noé began to notice that something had changed within Louis, as he often stared off into the distance, his face would occasionally contort around Dominique and most importantly he avoided speaking with The Teacher at all costs; prompting worry to grow within Noé as he wondered what he could say to Louis to make him feel better. Additionally, Louis began to carve stakes out of wood - prompting Noé to ask what he was making. However Louis would never answer him, instead claiming that it was a surprise because what he was making was meant to be a gift for Noé; quieting Noé enough as he patiently waited for Louis to finish his project.
One day, while Mina plays in the distance, Noé sats and read quietly alongside Louis; who asked him if he knew about the "Curse-Bearers" while carving a stake. Louis went on to tell Noé that The Teacher had once told him that a Curse-Bearer is a Vampire who becomes strange or violent out of the blue. Noé questioned whose curse it was, prompting an angered response from Louis - who stated that the answer was obvious, as his knife slipped and cut his hand, proclaiming that Vanitas is to blame. As Louis' hand began to bleed, Noé asked if he was okay - only to have Louis lick the blood from his wound calmly and ask whether or not Noé would still see the Blue Moon as beautiful if he had one of the Curse-Bearers standing right in front of him.
Later, when Noé was sleeping in the forests of Averoigne, Louis approached him; having heard that Noé wasn't drinking blood at all lately. Opening his eyes, Noé asked why it was such a big deal, as it wasn't as if he would die without blood. Louis admitted this much to be true, but added that he was curious as to the reason - given how much he knew Noé liked blood. Noé reasoned that it was because he was an Archiviste, though before delving any further, Louis sat beside Noé and used his knife to cut into the palm of his hand; offering his blood to Noé. While Noé seemed wary, but Louis told him not to worry - because even if Noé drank his blood, he wouldn't see anything anymore. With Louis' reassurance, Noé sat up and began to drink the blood from his friend's hand.
Noé would eventually notice that Louis had begun making something else, with Louis admitting that he'd messed up the carving he'd started before and had to begin anew. Despite what he'd said, Louis' present would never be finished, and to Noé it seemed as though he was sealing his emotions within it instead. With this in mind, Noé stopped Louis from carving further, desperately asking Louis what he could do to help. Just as Louis was about to reveal something to Noé, Dominique burst into the room; revealing in a panic that she had heard the maids talking. Before Dominique could say what they'd been talking about however, Louis asked if Dominique was referring to Mina's execution to be held the next day. Shocked, both Noé and Dominique look to Louis, with Noé asking why Mina was to be executed.
Louis bluntly revealed that it was because Mina was a Curse-Bearer, which confused Dominique, thus Louis coldly revealed that Curse-Bearers were to be executed by The Bourreau, as that was the rule. Noé finds himself in disbelief that Louis had already known about Mina, though Louis doesn't say anything, prompting Noé to vow that he would go and save Mina right away. Louis however told Noé not to be a fool, asking how he could possibly save Mina when he knew it was impossible to erase the curse of the Blue Moon. Noé asked how Louis could talk like that, with Louis brushing it off as mere fact, only for Noé to retort that they can't know anything unless they try. This set something off within Louis, who asked if Noé if he was saying that he could do it, if he could cure Mina, grabbing Noé and insisting that if he's so sure, then he should do it right then and there. Realizing what Louis had said, Noé just looked to his friend in disbelief. Louis then put Noé down and blankly confirmed what he'd already said, that there was not a single thing that Noé could do. Noé pushed Louis away, calling him a jerk as he left the castle with Dominique in tow; stating that she wanted to save Mina too and asking if they couldn't get Fred, Gilles and Fanny to help get Mina away from the village to escape her execution.
Taking Mina to their secret base in order to hide, Fred attempted to calm Mina down as she seemed to come more and more pained as the night went on, Mina eventually snapped and killed Fred - biting his neck and draining him of his blood in order to satisfy her own uncontrollable thirst. As Gilles and Fanny backed away in fear, Mina lept forward, intent on killing Noé and Dominique next. However, as Noé shielded Dominique, Mina was thrown against a nearby wall. Lifting his head to see what had happened, Noé sees Louis as he rips Mina's head off of her body. Happy to see that Noé and Dominique were safe, Louis began going rogue himself, chasing after Gilles and Fanny, killing them in an attempt to quench his insatiable blood lust.
Noé ordered Dominique to run, though before she could do so, Louis set his sights on the two of them, with Noé defending Dominique and asking if Louis was mad about earlier; apologizing for not listening to Louis and admitting that this had all been his fault. Noé begged Louis to listen to him and go back to his old self, striking a chord within Louis, who - in a moment of lucidity - asks that Noé kill him. As Louis fell into Noé's arms, he stated that he couldn't go back to normal and that The Bourreau would cut off his head soon, so if he was meant to die anyway, he'd rather die by Noé's hand. With a broken Louis in his arms, Noé told his friend that he couldn't bring himself to kill him. Just then, Louis lost control once again and attempted to kill Noé, only to be swiftly decapitated.
As Noé collapsed to his hands and knees, The Teacher - in a twisted monstrous form - noted how close that had been and how hurrying home seemed to have been the right thing to do after all; asking Noé if he was all right. Noé then states that he'd thought that from the bottom of his heart it was abominable that, even in a situation as dark as this, he felt relieved to be alive. Covering his mouth in horror and crying over the corpse of his best friend, Noé confirmed to The Teacher that he was all right.
Years later, Noé received a letter from The Teacher, which explained that The Teacher wanted Noé to fly to Paris immediately, as there had been rumors that The Book of Vanitas had been found there. The Teacher then specifically ordered Noé to discern The Book of Vanitas' true nature.
Parisian Excursion Arc Edit
Immediately setting out for Paris, Noé boards La Baleine - where citizens clamor about the threat that Vampires pose in light of the recent attacks by the Nine-Fold Murderer in Paris. As Noé listens to the gossip from afar, he notices a young woman wrapped in a shawl begin to waver; as she appears to be unwell. As she falls, Noé rushes to her side and catches her in his arms, asking her if she's alright.
Noé brings the woman to a café, where she thanks him for his kindness as they enjoy some tea together, though Noé tells her not to worry about it, and asks if she's certain she is all right with him not bringing her to the doctor's office. The woman however claims that she should be fine with a little rest. Moving in frighteningly closer to the woman, Noé examines her and objects that she has a poor complexion, which worries him. The woman just shrugs it off and states that it's just her anemia, asking that Noé not worry about it, while promising that she'd go see a doctor later. Upon noticing Noé's confusion, the woman sips her tea and admits that she has no intention of seeing anyone other than her doctor for a variety of reasons - thanking Noé again for all his help.
The woman then notices something out of the corner of her eye. Just then, Murr - Noé's cat - jumps out from underneath the table toward the woman - prompting Noé's order for Murr to behave. As the woman sits and pets Murr, she gushes about how cute and warm he is. Turning back to Noé, the woman introduces herself as Amelia, and asking Noé's name in return. Noé, misinterpreting Amelia, assumes she means the cat - and so he introduces Amelia to Murr - however before Amelia can object, the captain of La Baleine announces that they'd be arriving in Paris in about an hour.
Hearing this, Noé rushes to the window to look for Paris as they grow nearer and nearer to the city. Growing anxious when he's unable to see it, Noé asks Amelia where Paris is. When people begin to notice Noé's odd sense of excitement as he rushes around La Baleine, Amelia subtly tells Noé that she doesn't think that they can see Paris yet from the airship, which disappoints Noé. Despite this, Noé voices how amazing he thinks it is that one could reach Paris in the blink of an eye aboard an airship like La Baleine. As Noé giggles with excitement, Amelia asks if this is the first time that Noé has ever rode on a dirigible, prompting Noé to ask what gave it away. Noé explains that he's always been confined within the forests of Averoigne, so this is his first time seeing and riding in such a large airship. Amelia, having not heard of Averoigne, assumes that it must be an incredible rural area - though Noé carries on about his astonishment over how something so heavy can float through the sky and how he's heard that Paris rivals London in terms of steam mechanisms; hence his looking forward to arriving in Paris.
Curious, Amelia asks if Noé is going to Paris to do some sight-seeing. Unexpectedly, Noé grows more serious and proclaims that his purpose in Paris is to find something calls The Book of Vanitas. Noting the shock on Amelia's face, Noé asks if she's heard of it, explaining that it's the name of a cursed book that introduces the fairy-tale about the Vampire of the Blue Moon; with Noé elaborating on the legend for Amelia's sake, detailing Vanitas' curse that was set on The Book of Vanitas to bring the existence of Vampires to its end.
As the clock tolls, Noé voices his surprise that it’s already so late. Picking up Murr – who gnaws on Noé’s sleeve – Noé states that they’re going to have to get ready to leave La Baleine soon enough, and offers to walk Amelia back to her room. Amelia agrees passively, though she’s notably distracted as she can only focus on how cold she feels. While Noé walks Amelia back to her room, Amelia asks if Noé truly believes that The Book of Vanitas exists. Noé says that he’s unsure, but he’d recently received a letter that detailed The Book of Vanitas’ presence in Paris from his master. Thus, whether or not The Book of Vanitas is real, Noé must journey to Paris to verify it.
Suddenly, Amelia collapses once again, but as Noé attempts to help her, Amelia tells him not to touch her – her reaction causing a light nearby to shatter behind Noé. Murr hisses at Amelia as she rises, with Noe finally realizing that Amelia is a Vampire as her eyes turn red and she bears her fangs. With that, Vanitas and Dante crashes through a nearby window – glad to have finally found Amelia. As Vanitas lands in front of them, Noé cradles Amelia in his arms. Intrigued, Vanitas claims that he’d thought it’d be easy to catch her, but asks what Noé’s part in this is. Turning the question around, Noé adds that the same can be said for Vanitas – who reveals that he’d only come for Amelia and that it’d be within Noé’s best interest to just put her down, suggesting that he’ll get hurt if he doesn’t. However, Noé refuses, only to have Vanitas immediately retaliate with his knife.Though Noé is able to dodge enough of Vanitas’ attack, he falters soon enough, as Vanitas notes that he can’t move effectively while carrying Amelia. Vanitas then clicks a button on his knife, transforming it into a whip. Not long after, Vanitas manages to knock Noé off balance as he struggles to deal with Amelia, sending Amelia flying into the air. While Vanitas and his Partner believe that they’d won, Amelia stops mid-air and floats above them – confusing Vanitas long enough for Noé to retaliate and throw Vanitas into a nearby wall before catching Amelia and fleeing the scene.
Noé delivers Amelia to one of the officers aboard La Baleine and requests that she be taken to a doctor immediately. The officer asks what Noé intends on doing now – prompting Noé to explain that he intends on finding the one who attacked Amelia and having him explain what exactly is going on. Hearing this, Amelia springs forward and wraps her arms around Noé, telling him not to go. Suddenly, Amelia starts panting – while she thinks of how it’s so cold that she could die, which is why she desires something warm. Amelia then sinks her teeth into Noé’s neck, consuming his blood – which frightens the passengers observing the situation. As Noé drops to his knees he thinks of how much his strength is fading and forces Amelia off of him.
Amelia remains frozen in the air, dripping black tears from her eyes and chest as she grows more and more thirsty for blood. Amelia realizes that the blood made her feel warm again, and so she insists that Noé give her more of his blood, summoning shadowed thorns from the black tears pooling on the floor. Amelia sends the shadowed thorns after the human spectators and lunges at one of her victims – only to be stopped by Noé – who asks that she stop what she’s doing, as Vampires are not allowed to attack humans and if she continued to do so she’d be disposed of. It is at this moment, with Amelia in his grip, that Noé realizes that he can’t move his body properly and that it was likely due to poison from Amelia’s bite
Just as Amelia is about to kill Noé, Vanitas intervenes – casting her away and standing in front of Noé to keep him protected – reminding Noé that he’d warned him about getting hurt. Vanitas announces that, just as he’d thought, Amelia’s symptoms had started to show – but Dante states, as he’s helping the civilians, that Vanitas had already known that. Admitting this, Vanitas points out that Amelia had been so cold that she could hardly stand, black tears fell from her eyes and chest and with the shadowed thorns it meant that Amelia’s ill omen name was Eglantine. Confused, a shaky Noé questions what Vanitas means by an “ill omen name”, with Vanitas explaining that because of her disease Amelia received an ill omen name, which acts as the shadow of her distorted true name. It had been because of this distortion of her true name that Amelia lost her very self, and thus was succumbed to her thirst for blood more easily. Concerned, Noé asks if Vanitas intends to kill Amelia, and whether or not he’s a Chasseur from the church or one of The Bourreau sent to dispose of her. This makes Vanitas laugh, denying that he is either, Vanitas takes out The Book of Vanitas and claims that he is a doctor and that Vampires are his specialty; surprising Noé.
Vanitas proceeds to open The Book of Vanitas, which shines forth a bright light as Vanitas suggests that they return Amelia’s true name to her. Vanitas speaks Amelia’s true name: Florifel, she who guides spring – believing it to be very fitting for Amelia. Amelia, shown to have regained complete control of herself is crying as she’s shocked to hear her true name, subsequently thanking Vanitas for returning it to her. Amelia then slumps in Vanitas’ arms – prompting Dante to ask if she’d died – but Vanitas assures both Dante and Noé that Amelia is simply unconscious.
Suddenly, two officers make their presences known as they approach from behind and aim their guns at Vanitas and Dante. Looking around, they see the damage Amelia had done and question what had happened there and ask if they aren’t the two trespassers that had crashed through the observation room. Vanitas admits this much and stands, advising the officers that they don’t want to have anything to do with them, or else they are going to get hurt. Unexpectedly, a piece of debris falls from the ceiling and hits Vanitas on the head – catching him off balance so that he falls back and out of La Baleine through a hole in the wall. Noé rushes to catch Vanitas, grabbing his ankle as the two of them plummet into the streets of Paris; though not before Noé makes note of the Blue Moon.
Noé sits in the rubble within the church that he and Vanitas fell into as he remembers his past, while Vanitas laughs as he remains upside down with his face in the pews – questioning how they survived the fall and laughing at their pathetic landing attempt. Noé then lifts Vanitas out of the pews and asks what he did to Amelia on La Baleine. As Vanitas gets on his feet, he explains that it was simply an inverse operation; having used the power of The Book of Vanitas to make contact with her true name and remove the unnecessary part. Clenching his fists – Noé asks how Vanitas can take it all so lightly when what he’d done was so amazing, asking if he’s right to assume that The Book of Vanitas isn’t a cursed grimoire like the legend says. Laughing, Vanitas admits that it’s a first to see someone so starry-eyed over The Book of Vanitas – prompting Noé to ask if what he’d said was really so funny. Vanitas says that he finds Noé interesting, asking Noé to introduce himself. After Noé does so, Vanitas remarks that his name means child of the ark and that it’s a nice name. Vanitas introduces himself to Noé, elaborating that while he’d inherited The Book of Vanitas and his name from the Vampire of the Blue Moon, he’s simply a human. Continuing, Vanitas asks Noé to lend him his strength, as Noé is strong, sturdy and a substantial fighter – there’s not a doubt in his mind that Noé would make a great shield. Confused, Noé immediately turns Vanitas down – which doesn’t come as a shock to Vanitas at all. Vanitas asks if Noé had noticed earlier that there’s a surge in situations where a Vampire’s true name is afflicted by a disease and the Vampire goes out of control. If this continues to happen without searching for any cause to it, then eventually Vampires would be wiped out completely - and he intends on preventing that from happening, despite their intention he’ll save them all.
Vanitas and Noé walk through the streets of Paris, where Vanitas persistently asks Noé to lend him his strength; only to be shot down immediately afterward. Vanitas argues that Noé couldn't possibly have a reason why they couldn't join forces, as Noé's yet to listen to what he has to say yet - suggesting that if Noé were to talk it out with him he'd better understand the situation; while also questioning where Noé was going and announcing that he's hungry. Noé simply tells Vanitas that he's quite annoying, admitting that his head feels heavy and that there's somewhere they must go first - which Vanitas accepts, suggesting that they run Noé's errand first and then talk afterwards.
Noé leads them back to The Baleine, prompting Vanitas' concern, where he states that he needs to retrieve Murr and his luggage. Soon after, Vanitas and Noé were spotted by the guards from The Baleine, who identify Vanitas as the intruder and proceed to take both of them into custody.
Ten hours later, Noé regains consciousness, only to find that both he and Vanitas are locked in a prison cell - prompting him to ask Vanitas what had happened. After Vanitas explains the situation, he mentions that he's forgotten that Noé had been stricken with Amelia's poison, so his mind wasn't likely functioning properly, so if Noé had pushed himself in battle he'd have likely collapsed. Then, when they arrived in prison, Noé slept like a rock for nearly half a day in order to get the poison out of his system. Vanitas asks if Noé understands the situation now - but he still claims not to, because even though it was true that Vanitas had infiltrated The Baleine, he just happened to be on the scene, so why he was arrested as well was beyond him; but Vanitas reveals that he'd told the guards that Noé was his accomplice.
Noé then realizes that his wallet is missing, and so Vanitas explains that the guards had taken all of their possessions upon their arrest - which brings Noé to the frightening realization that they'd also taken The Book of Vanitas. Noé asks how Vanitas can be so calm about all this - prompting Vanitas to ask if Noé wanted The Book of Vanitas for himself - which Noé denies, explaining the true purpose of his mission: to find The Book of Vanitas and see the true nature of Vanitas of the Blue Moon for himself. Thinking it over, Vanitas states that The Teacher had been awfully vague about what he meant. This brings Noé to the realization that Vanitas is right, as his The Teacher had not told him to steal The Book of Vanitas, or even to destroy it, making Noé question what The Teacher motives could be.
Remembering when Vanitas announced that he would save Noé, Noé decides that before they move any further, he needs to ask Vanitas just what he is exactly. Vanitas wonders what Noé means by that, and so Noé elaborates that he wants to know how Vanitas inherited The Book of Vanitas and how exactly he's connected to Vanitas of the Blue Moon. Stopping Noé, Vanitas brings forth questions of his own, stating that if Noé really is after The Book of Vanitas, then why not come along with him - why does Noé insist on being so stubborn and continue refusing help? Realizing that Vanitas is right, as he needs to discern The Book of Vanitas so it'd be beneficial to remain close to its owner - Noé attempts to discern why he was so against accepting Vanitas' help in the first place - suspecting that the reason is because he doesn't like Vanitas very much. While a deflated Vanitas remains silent, Noé explains that, while remaining at Vanitas' side would be beneficial for the mission The Teacher had sent him out on, he doesn't believe he can obediently listen to someone he dislikes - as it's not good for his mental health and seems psychologically impossible.
While Noé attempts to decide what to do - a guard comes in and hands him a piece of paper and orders the two of them out - admitting that they're unable to hold them any longer. Stretching, Vanitas claims that they'd held them for longer than he'd thought as he and Noé leave their prison cell. Vanitas takes the paper Noé had received, which states that as far as humans are concerned, Vampires are "forgotten beings", and so any Vampire-related incidents that occur on the side have to be completely erased. Noé asks if that means that the humans are covering up what happened on The Baleine - which Vanitas confirms, stating that the Vampires likely arranged things with the humans - which puts Noé's mind at ease as it likely means that Amelia is safe as well. Vanitas then points out that the paper also has a message from "The Count" on it - who tells Vanitas and Noé to go to the labeled address in order to retrieve their confiscated possessions. Vanitas tells Noé to follow him, earning Noé's thanks as he's never been in Paris before and has no idea where they're going. As they venture out into the streets - Noé is encapsulated by the beauty of Paris - complete with the flower petals drifting through the sky all around them. Noticing Noé's reaction, Vanitas smiles and introduces him to Paris, the city of flowers.
Though Noé is distracted by the various wonders along their journey, eventually he and Vanitas arrive at their destination: Galerie Vivienne. Noé asks why Vanitas seems so tired - only for Vanitas to explain that it's because Noé kept disappearing every time he took his eyes off of him, even for a second - comparing Noé to a child. As they enter Galerie Vivienne, Noé asks if he's right to assume that the Vampire who'd had them released was there, which Vanitas confirms; explaining that since the old war, Vampires were forbidden to drink human blood, so most retreated beyond the barrier. However, some Vampires continue to live among humans - there's even a Vampire appointed by The Queen to keep a watchful eye on Vampire activities in Paris and maintain the balance between the human and the Vampire worlds. That man is the one who'd set them free, the Lord of the Otherworld: Count Parks Orlok.
Upon entering Orlok's office, Noé and Vanitas are surrounded by Nox and Manet - Orlok's personal security - who suggest that the two are intruders, as the door had been locked. While Vanitas admits to having unlocked the door - Count Orlok looks up from his work and identifies Vanitas. While Murr and most of Noé and Vanitas' items are returned, Vanitas makes note of how The Book of Vanitas had been kept from him; prompting Count Orlok to reveal his skepticism in the grimoire's abilities. Vanitas then outright demands that Orlok return both The Book of Vanitas and Amelia to him, as he's yet to finish asking her questions and he'd like to ask that Orlok doesn't take liberties with his former patient. Confused, Noé asks if Amelia is all right, voicing how he'd thought that she'd have been released right away just like they had been. Orlok tells Noé not to worry, as they've decided to take full responsibility for what had happened and intend on disposing of Amelia, as Curse-Bearers cannot be allowed to live. Orlok continues to explain that once The Bourreau arrives, they will make the proper formalities will be undergone. Noé objects to this, claiming that Amelia is no longer a curse-bearer, as she'd been cured - which prompts Orlok to reveal The Book of Vanitas, asking if it was what Noé claims to have cured Amelia. Noé confirms this - revealing that he'd seen it with his own eyes, but Orlok slams his fist into his desk and insists that it's utter nonsense, having been taken aback by the fact that Noé puts faith in Vanitas' lies - as cursed grimoires don't exist - making The Book of Vanitas worthless.
While Count Orlok, Nox, Manet and Vanitas bicker, Noé is reminded of how Mina had become a Curse-Bearer and how he'd failed to save her. Thus, when Nox and Manet make a move against Vanitas - a frustrated Noé kicks Nox across the room into a desk. In response, Count Orlok stands and throws his own desk across the room. Deciding on what path to take, Noé takes The Book of Vanitas and asks if he's right to assume that the Vampire that's terrorizing Paris right now is another Curse-Bearer - stating that if that's the case, he'd capture the culprit himself, bring them before Count Orlok and have Vanitas use the power of The Book of Vanitas to cure them right before his eyes. Orlok accepts Noé's terms - stating that he'd stay Amelia's execution by one day. Thanking Count Orlok, Noé asks what Vanitas is waiting around for and orders him to get a move on - forcing The Book of Vanitas into his hands. Vanitas asks if this means that Noé is finally ready to help him - only to have Noé define their relationship: that he isn't helping Vanitas, Vanitas is helping him. Entertained, Vanitas laughs as he, Noé and Murr leave the Galerie Vivienne, saying that he knew Noé was interesting. Thinking back to when his companion told him that there was nothing he could do to save Mina, Noé cites this as untrue because this time things are different, and this time for sure he'd save Amelia.
As Noé storms out of Galerie Vivienne, Vanitas asks him to wait a second and whether or not he even knows where he's going. Noé admits that he has no idea, which Vanitas had initially assumed and proceeds to grab Noé by the shoulder and tell him to calm down while they figure things out; much to Noé's discontent. Before he make much of a fuss however, a bat flies into Noé's face, though Noé only gets to examine it for a short while before it turns away and flies back to its master, Dante - who remarks that Vanitas looks to be having some difficulty. Vanitas is stunned to see Dante again, while Noé passively remarks that Dante was the one who'd helped Vanitas break into La Baleine, while running over to Dante Vanitas accuses him of simply leaving Amelia and running off to save himself, to which Dante explains that it wasn't his job to protect the target; mentioning that he does more work than he's paid for as it is. After a quick trade of insults, Vanitas notices that Noé seems rather confused and out of place, deciding that he'd better introduce Noé to Dante, adding that Dante is an information broker he uses frequently - only to correct himself by calling Dante a "jack-of-all-trades" who is willing to do pretty much anything so long as you pay him. Dante voices his surprise that Vanitas is working with Noé, prompting Noé to remember that Vanitas had called Dante "baldy" on La Baleine - frustrating Dante, who'd rather not be remembered like that, as he's not even bald.
Dante ultimately reveals that he'd come to provide information on the Nine-Fold Murderer to Vanitas, revealing that he's sent Riche out as bait to lure Thomas Berneux out of hiding, and after being paid Dante allows his bat to lead Noé and Vanitas to Riche. Looking around, Noé realizes that it'd be much quicker if they traveled by rooftop - grabbing Vanitas and jumping to the top of the nearest building in order to follow Dante's bat - making Dante question what Noé's all about. As Noé carries Vanitas across the rooftops of Paris, Vanitas explains that the Vampire they're after is named Thomas Berneux, with Thomas having come from across the barrier two months ago and has devoured nine people since then in rather rapid succession. Vanitas reveals that he'd been tracking Thomas up until he received a letter from Amelia - making Noé realize that Vanitas was the doctor who Amelia told him she intended on seeing about her condition while in Paris. Confirming this, Vanitas explains that from Amelia's letter he deduced that her symptoms could manifest at any moment - so he set aside his search for Thomas and boarded La Baleine to treat Amelia. Vanitas then mentions that Thomas' previous crimes would suggest that his symptoms are cyclical and that if he were to strike again he'd likely do so today. Suddenly, a large booming sound fills the air, and looking to the source of the sound, Vanitas states that it'd come from the Riverside Factory District; imploring Noé to hurry.
Noé and Vanitas arrive on the scene just as Berneux is about to consume Riche. Without hesitation, Noé throws Vanitas at Berneux; only for Vanitas to bounce off of Thomas' shoulder and rebound into a stack of nearby crates. Rising from the wreckage, Vanitas asks if Noé is trying to kill him before realizing that Noé has successfully pinned down Thomas. Vanitas then hurriedly takes out The Book of Vanitas and uses its power to administer a shock to Thomas that temporarily tranquilizes him; which would allow them to tie Thomas up now and bring him back to Count Orlok.
While Noé is satisfied with how quickly they had dealt with Berneux, he doesn't truly understand the danger of the situation. A child and a young woman then emerge from the shadows, introducing themselves as Luca and his chevalier Jeanne; Vampires seeking to receive The Book of Vanitas in order to destroy it. Luca attempts to enter negotiations with Vanitas, revealing that his elder brother is a Curse-Bearer and that The Book of Vanitas does nothing more than instigate Vanitas' Curse for every cure it provides. Both Vanitas and Noé are shocked by this accusation, with Luca suggesting that Vanitas himself may be a victim of The Book of Vanitas' power. When Luca sees that Vanitas is confused by what he's suggesting, he reveals that he'd heard of a type of grimoire capable of taking control of your consciousness the minute that it's picked up, so the only way to save Vanitas and the Curse-Bearers is by destroying The Book of Vanitas. Finally, Luca states that as its bearer, Vanitas would likely have to receive the appropriate punishment alongside The Book of Vanitas as well.
Noé steps in and asks that Luca not destroy The Book of Vanitas, reasoning that Luca and Jeanne could do whatever they wanted to Vanitas, but at the moment they're in a hurry and it would be best if they had this conversation another time. Angered, Luca insists that he doesn't have much time either - given his brother's situation - demanding that Vanitas give him the grimoire. Hearing that Luca believes the Curse-Bearers will revert back to normal if The Book of Vanitas is destroyed, Vanitas asks Luca who told him such nonsense. Vanitas asks Luca to listen to him, telling Luca that he's a doctor and that he's using the power of The Book of Vanitas to save Curse-Bearers. Furthermore, if Luca really does want to save his brother, then Luca can take him to them and he'll heal them as soon as he's done with Berneux. Enraged, Luca claims that the Curse of the Vampire of the Blue Moon is why his brother is suffering, writing off Vanitas' suggestion to take him to see his brother as absurd. Drawing attention to what Luca had just said, Jeanne motions forward, while a regretful Luca puts his hands over his mouth in shock. Vanitas then thinks over the fact that Luca's older brother is a Curse-Bearer - pondering what that might mean for Luca.
Taking matters into her own hands, Jeanne slams her coffin into the ground, sending Vanitas flying backwards - only to be caught by Noé. Luca is shocked that Jeanne would act in such a way - but Jeanne assures him that further talk is pointless and encourages him to give her an order while continuing to swing her coffin at Vanitas - who effectively manages to dodge her attacks and retaliate; cutting off Jeanne's hood in the process. As Jeanne falters, Luca rushes to her side, though she's now more determined than ever. Luca asks if Vanitas is set on his decision to not give them The Book of Vanitas willingly no matter what - to which Vanitas smiles - although he is deeply hurt by it he knows the situation calls for more extreme measures, with Luca addressing Jeanne; who knows what Luca wants and promises to do her best to take Vanitas in alive. With appreciation for Jeanne's dedication, Luca orders Jeanne to do everything in her power to take The Book of Vanitas from Vanitas.
Jeanne then reveals that, within her coffin, lies a Crimson Gauntlet. Concerned, Vanitas tells Noé that it's time to run, and as Noé asks for clarification, Vanitas reveals that Jeanne is Lord Ruthven's Bourreau. While Noé is confused he follows behind Vanitas, who explains that during the war, when thousands of Vampires betrayed their kind and sided with the humans, one Bourreau is said to have wiped them all out, she who wields the Crimson Gauntlet - Carpe Diem - one who slays her own kind and was given the name of a saint: The Hellfire Witch, Jeanne.
Having put on her Crimson Gauntlet, Jeanne sends a blast of fire in the direction of Vanitas and Noé, throwing them, as well as Thomas and Riche, to the ground. As Jeanne swipes at Vanitas with her gauntlet - Vanitas jumps over the attack while Noé jumps in front of Vanitas and grabs Jeanne's arm, stating that he can't have Vanitas dying on him yet. Unexpectedly, Jeanne's gauntlet begins to spin, putting Noé off balance while Jeanne draws her sword. Before she can strike however, Vanitas lassos the arm with her sword. As Jeanne looks to him, Vanitas tells Noé to run, only for Jeanne to blast more fire throughout the alley they're in. Once the fire clears, Jeanne is shocked to discover that Vanitas and Noé disappeared but before she can seek them out someone throws a flashbang grenade which blinds Jeanne long enough to allow Vanitas and Noé to escape.
Running through a nearby factory, Noé exclaims that he'd never seen a weapon like the Crimson Gauntlet before - though Vanitas tells him that this is no time to be impressed. Just then, a nearby wall is blasted open with Jeanne running through and digging the claws on her Crimson Gauntlet into Noé's shoulder. Before Jeanne can finish Noé off though, Luca comes running into the factory - distracting her long enough to let Vanitas and Noé flee the scene. Vanitas makes note of Luca's hold over Jeanne as they escape, and once they reach a safe distance, Vanitas asks that Noé to take off his coat so that he could stop the bleeding, despite Noé assuring him that it'll heal on its own so long as he leaves it alone. Vanitas admits that a Vampire's healing capabilities do surpass humans' - but before he can finish what he's saying Noé recalls Count Orlok's reaction to them and now with Luca and Jeanne he assesses that city Vampires aren't good at listening when people are talking. Vanitas asks what Noé's getting at, as Orlok's, Luca's and Jeanne's reactions are the usual type of reaction Vampires give when they encounter him. When Vanitas sees that Noé doesn't quite understand, he explains that it's normal for Vampires to have some knowledge and fear of the Vampire of the Blue Moon drummed into them, and that's why when he finds a patient he neither tells them his name or about The Book of Vanitas. Vanitas admits that it's only natural, as the Curse-Bearers believe that what's happening to their bodies is the Curse of Vanitas, additionally what Luca had said wasn't entirely inaccurate.
Vanitas admits that, while it's true that The Book of Vanitas can interfere with Vampire's true names, if one were to warp those true names they become malnomen - but alternatively one can also use The Book of Vanitas to restore those true names - which he considers to be treatment, meaning that it's all in how one uses its power, so it's only natural to fear The Book of Vanitas. Noé retorts that whether you can or not and whether you did or not are two completely different issues, because even if The Book of Vanitas was made to destroy Vampires, Vanitas undeniably used it to save Amelia - and to him that is something he felt was overwhelmingly right. Noé then admits that it's because of that that he wants to go back and save Amelia - which makes Vanitas laugh as Jeanne would find them again if they did. Vanitas tells Noé that he really is an interesting fellow - standing, Vanitas claims to have steeled himself and he really has no idea whether "it" is going to work, but if it does then it will get them back quickly. Before Noé can question what Vanitas is talking about, Vanitas tells him that he's found one, and only one, way to win against Jeanne.
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.
Noé then reveals himself to Jeanne, acting as bait and drawing her away through the streets of Paris. Jumping from building-to-building in pursuit of Noé, Jeanne dives down and attempts to strike Noé with Carpe Diem, demanding 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.
While Vanitas successfully manages to distract Jeanne long enough for Berneux's paralysis to wear off so that Berneux could incapacitate Jeanne, while also allowing Vanitas to cure Berneux as a Curse-Bearer - Noé tracks down Luca, grabbing him from behind and detaining him. Meanwhile, Nox and Manet reveal themselves to have been following Vanitas and Noé on behalf of Count Orlok and continue to pursue Berneux - who has escaped - all while Jeanne pushes through and remains firmly opposed to Vanitas. Having created the field in which Vampires could not fight in to prevent Jeanne from causing further damage. 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.
Despite not being able to hear Vanitas and Jeanne's conversation in detail, 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. Vanitas abuses Jeanne's weakness with Luca, using him to get close enough to her to kiss her, making Jeanne an emotional wreck.
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, and upon 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. Jeanne vows to kill Vanitas the next time that they meet before fleeing the scene to regroup elsewhere with Luca. 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 how it seems as though things are about to get quite interesting; making Noé question what is wrong with Vanitas. Vanitas and Noé later show up at Galerie Vivienne, only to be shooed away by Nox and Manet - telling them to come back in the morning. Nox gives Noé and Vanitas the address of Hotel Chouchou - which would put them up for the night - while Manet sends Murr along with them; as they had left Murr behind and he'd found his way back to one of Orlok's rooms.
The next morning, Noé wakes to find Murr, smashing a vase in order to grasp his attention. Suddenly, Noé hears a knocking from outside his window - seeing Vanitas hanging upside down from the outside - who's glad to see that Noé is finally awake and asks him to come out for some breakfast. Noé and Vanitas eat their breakfast on the rooftop of Hotel Chouchou, with Noé remarking on how pretty Paris is, as he'd previously heard that it was much sootier and the air quality was bad, so he'd assumed that it wouldn't be as nice as it is. Hearing this, Vanitas tells Noé that the city used to be more like that not too long ago, but mostly everything now is run on Astermite, with tighter restrictions being placed on the use of coal in order to protect the townscape. With this in mind, Noé mentions his astonishment over how a rack was able to create a mineral that hadn't existed in the world before, further mentioning that the Babel incident was astounding as well for rewriting the principles of the world as it did. Vanitas just stares coldly at Noé before standing to stretch and suggesting that they head over to Galerie Vivienne to speak with Count Orlok.
Upon entering Count Orlok's office, Orlok reveals to Noé and Vanitas that Thomas Berneux is dead, with Manet adding that by the time he and Nox had found Berneux, he was already turning to ashes, and that from the method of his death it does not appear to have been suicide. A worried Noé asks who could have killed Berneux, but Orlok assures him that they don't know and that they're presently looking into the matter. Understanding that Noé is worried about Amelia, Vanitas asks Count Orlok what would become of her, prompting Orlok to motion to the door - explaining that Nox and Manet had reported to him about the powers of the Book of Vanitas, and while he's skeptical he's ultimately decided to suspend Amelia's execution for the time being. As Nox brings Amelia into the room, she's ecstatic to see both Noé and Murr again - though as they celebrate, Orlok reveals that because they can't be sure that Amelia won't lose control again she will have to stay where they can keep an eye on her. Turning to Nox, Orlok states that Hotel Chouchou is looking for maids at the moment, and so Nox makes note of this and will make preparations for Amelia to be employed at Hotel Chouchou as live-in help so that she can be monitored
Vanitas mentions that Parks Orlok is exactly as he'd heard, when Noé asks what Vanitas means, Vanitas elaborates that Orlok knows that Amelia's neighbors would have gotten wind about her condition as a Curse-Bearer, and so she has nowhere else to go - thus Count Parks Orlok is being easy on his own kind to the very end by providing Amelia with sanctuary - which Vanitas thinks makes Orlok seem like a joke. Orlok slams his fist into his desk, revealing that the same goes for Vanitas as well, confusing Vanitas and prompting Orlok to explain that while he recognizes a small portion of The Book of Vanitas' power, he doesn't intend on allowing Vanitas to just run around freely. Which doesn't surprise Vanitas, as he'd expected that he hadn't been killed because Orlok viewed his use of The Book of Vanitas as beneficial to him. Vanitas tells Orlok that he can use him as much as he'd like, as it will provide a quick resolution to any incidents involving Curse-Bearers, while also providing himself with information regarding Curse-Bearers and thereby saving him the trouble of looking for patients.
Vanitas addresses the fact that they don't need to be friends, and that if one of them goes against the other, they will just part ways. With this, Orlok gives Vanitas a letter, suggesting that he give it to the front desk at Hotel Chouchou, as he intends to have them keep a room available for Vanitas and Noé while they're in Paris; which Vanitas knows is so that Orlok could keep an eye on them. This sparks confusion in Noé, who hadn't really had any further intention of working with Vanitas - though Orlok had assumed that he was Vanitas' guardian. When Noé attempts to deny this, Vanitas agrees and states that, if anything, he's more like Noé's guardian. Vanitas then changes the subject and suggests that they get down to talking to business, which confuses Count Orlok, only for Vanitas to remind him that he'd come to speak with Amelia, which Orlok allows; knowing that their "talk" has to do with Curse-Bearers.
Vanitas attempts to have Amelia recall her memories prior to becoming a Curse-Bearer, though he is met with limited success - prompting Count Orlok's suggestion that they use Noé instead; revealing Noé's name to be Noé Archiviste; stunning both Noé and Vanitas. Noé asks Count Orlok how he could know about him, prompting Orlok to reveal that before Noé and Vanitas had come to Galerie Vivienne the day before, he'd received a letter from The Teacher that had Noé's name and requested that he assist Noé in everyday matters while in Paris. Vanitas simply clenches his teeth in shock, muttering the name "Archiviste" to himself.
Amelia then asks Noé if there really is a way for him to see into her memoires, encouraging him to do so if there is; admitting that she'd be very happy if there was a way she could be of use to him. Upon further begging, Noé agrees, sitting beside Amelia and gently biting her arm to drink her blood - shocking and confusing Amelia, as well as Manet. While Amelia trembles at the mercy of Noé, Vanitas looks upon the scene with a cold sense of seriousness.
Noé finally finds the memory he's been looking for, pushing through and finding Amelia walking alone with a basket full of apples. Looking up, Amelia gasps and questions where she is, reasoning that she'd been on her way home and now she's lost in a thick fog; meanwhile Noé question if this really happened or if this was something that Amelia dreamed up. Then, numerous horrifying figures begin to emerge from the fog, amalgamations of claws, skulls, machinery and music. While Noé questions what's going on, a path opens in the crowd, opening Amelia's sight to a dark figure, who welcomes her to the Parade of the Charlatan. Screaming, Amelia attempts to run, with Noé feeling her terror every step of the way, as she knows that the dark figure is something very wrong and that if he were to catch her, she'd be done for. Reaching a lamp post, Amelia feels as though she's made a safe distance from the dark figure and puts down her basket for a moment so that she can catch her breath. However, the dark figure curls his body around the lamp post from above, ecstatic to have found Amelia. The dark figure opens its mouth wide and asks Amelia to show him her true name. Meanwhile, Noé is overcome with his thoughts, as the lines between him and Amelia begin to blur and he fears the dark figure and Charlatan, taking on Amelia's thought and knowing that it would would defile him, break him and destroy him. Noé grabs onto his head and screams in terror - terrifying Amelia, Manet and Nox in the process. While Amelia attempts to help Noé as he covers his mouth and collapses into her lap, Vanitas stares at the scene with concern.
A knock on the door diverts the attention from Noé, and while Nox goes to see who their visitor is, Noé recovers and reveals that he encountered Charlatan. While Noé admits that he's unsure whether or not it was a dream or reality, what he is sure of it that Charlatan was responsible for the warping of Amelia's true name. Noé then attempts to draw what he'd seen - only to reveal that Noé has no skill as an artist - but what he is attempting to say is that if the black figure is truly the embodiment of the Curse-Bearers, then he'll never forgive it for what its done.
Just then, Dominique storms in, laughing as she explains that she'd heard everything; shocking Noé. Dominique claims to have missed Noé before professing that Noé is her fiancé - though Noé is quick to deny this; despite her protesting that it's no fun to give up on the joke. While Dominique teases Nox, Vanitas asks about Dominique, with Noé revealing that she's a childhood friend, while also introducing him to Chrysler - Dominique's automaton attendant who has been showering her with roses since her arrival. Reviewing Dominique's surname, Vanitas asks for confirmation as to whether or not that makes her the daughter of Count de Sade - the lord of the "otherworld", which Noé confirms. Vanitas admits that he's shocked that Noé had friends in within the aristocracy - only for Noé to reveal that The Teacher is Dominique's grandfather, so he and Dominique often played together in their youth. Dominique then apologizes to Count Orlok for barging in unannounced - only for Orlok to suggest that the De Sades have been rude for generations before Dominique - with this, Dominique makes one more act of rudeness, putting a collar and leash on Noé and dragging him out of Galerie Vivienne.
Noé attempts to have Dominique tell him what's going on, with Dominique telling Noé that she'd received the leash and collar from her older sister not long ago and stating that it suits Noé well. Noé reestablishes his question, instead asking where Dominique intends on taking him - leading Dominique to explain that she intends on taking Noé beyond The Border; explaining that she'd been invited to a Bal Masque over there and decided to take Noé with her - only when she'd arrived in Averoigne to retrieve him she'd found out that he'd gone to Paris on an errand for her grandfather. Noé reasons that Dominique could've brought someone else rather than venturing all the way to Paris in pursuit of him, only for Dominique to state that she did it because she was worried about him. Dominique elaborates that Noé is a simple country blumpkin who is several varieties of unfortunate because of his tendency to blindly follow any road that interests him. When Noé denies this, Dominique insists that he doesn't lie, reminding him of the time he'd wandered into the forest in pursuit of a rare bird and that it took them four days to find him, suggesting that Noé hasn't changed at all. While Noé objects, Dominique further states that, even now, he's completely at the mercy of a human - Vanitas - revealing that she'd gotten information about Noé and Vanitas' actions in Paris from Dante prior to coming to Galerie Vivienne; calling Vanitas an enigma and assuring Noé that Vanitas is probably only using him.
Arriving at a bookstore, Dominique asks the shopkeeper if he's "ever seen the stars bloom red", to which the shopkeeper tells Dominique to go ahead, directing her to go on through a hidden passageway behind a bookcase to reach The Border. Noé reviews what he knows about The Borders, identifying them as distortions in space that lead to Altus - the realm in which Vampires dwell. Noé voices his disbelief that a Border would be in a bookstore, with Dominique having assumed that Noé had already known; revealing that she's heard there are several others in Paris as she logs a card into a processing machine in front of The Border. The Border doors open and state that it's recording the current time, wishing Dominique a pleasant trip to Altus in the process. Noé, however, reaches out to stop Dominique, saying that he still wants to talk to her about Vanitas. Coldly, Dominique reveals that Lord Ruthven will be at the Bal Masque as well, prompting Noé to remember Jeanne and Luca, explaining that she'd heard rumors that Lord Ruthven had been independently researching Curse-Bearers; thus Noé could likely get some information about Charlatan from him.
Just then, Vanitas calls out to Noé and jumps through The Border - prompting fear within Noé, as he knows that The Borders are thought to have been created across the world by an experimental accident called The Babel Incident - and that only Vampires created by The Babel Incident may access The Borders. Knowing what would happen if a human crossed one of The Borders, Noé quickly grabs Vanitas, and he Dominique and Vanitas are transported to Altus. Furious, Noé yells at Vanitas - asking what he was thinking - only for Vanitas to explain that he knows he wouldn't have been able to return to either world if Noé hadn't grabbed him, also revealing that this is not his first visit to Altus and so he's aware that so long as he was touching one of them he would be all right. As Dominique, Noé and Vanitas gather themselves, Dominique directs them outside; asking why Vanitas wants to follow them in the process. Grinning, Vanitas states that it is because Dominique's goal was to separate him from Noé.
Outside, Noé is starstruck by Altus - surprising Vanitas - though Dominique assures him that it's because Noé spent his whole life deep in the forests of Averoigne; with Dominique leading them both toward a carriage she has waiting. At the carriage, Noé expresses his disbelief - as the carriage is a little large - but Dominique insists that they can't go to the Bal Masque dressed as they are. Dominique brings Noé inside the carriage and leaves Vanitas outside to wait while she changes inside. Noé asks that if Dominique insists on changing that she release him from the collar and allow him to wait outside with Vanitas. When Dominique doesn't respond, Noé asks if she's angry about something - assuming that it's because he'd brought Vanitas along - though he reasons that if they're going to talk about Curse-Bearers he'd rather have Vanitas there with him, he'd neglected to think of Dominique's position on the matter and promptly apologizes.
Dominique admits that Vanitas is not the problem, revealing that she knows Vanitas has The Book of Vanitas and that Noé is on an errand for her grandfather, but for Noé to become directly involved with Curse-Bearers makes her wonder if Noé blames himself for what happened to Mina. After releasing Noé from his collar, Dominique embraces him, with Noé taking the opportunity to compliment her in hopes of being allowed to drink her blood. Amused by Noé's begging, Dominique allows him to drink her blood - just as she'd done when they were younger.
At the Bal Masque, 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 the 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 in attendance.
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. While Vanitas and Dominique talk, Noé takes off his mask and finds himself distracted by a nearby automaton, running off on his own in order to inspect it for himself alongside Murr. 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.
As Noé begins his search for his lost friends, someone runs into his hastily from around the corner. Noé is surprised to see that the individual is none other than Luca, who worriedly asks why Noé is there and if he'd followed them to Altus. When Noé attempts to deny this, he is apprehended by Luca's 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.
Soon after, both Noé and Luca are drawn to a scene in the ballroom, where Vanitas has situated himself atop a chandelier. Vanitas reveals himself to have been a human member of the Blue Moon Clan that had been fed upon by Vanitas of the Blue Moon. Furthermore, he'd inherited his name and The Book of Vanitas from the Blue Moon Vampire in order to enact the Vampire's revenge against the Vampires of the Crimson Moon; proving his by revealing his Mark of Possession. Vanitas however admits that he has different motives in mind, curing Vampires with The Book of Vanitas in order to tarnish the reputation of the Blue Moon Vampire instead. Vanitas then welcomes any Vampire worried that they may be a Curse-Bearer to step forward for treatment; prompting a riot among the partygoers. While Noé finally feels as though he can make sense of Vanitas' previous actions, Luca asks what Vanitas is thinking by starting an uproar there, of all places, though Vanitas' current motives are a mystery to Noé.
As the Veronica de Sade rallies for Vanitas' execution, Vanitas is swiftly saved by a masked Vampire, who cuts down the chandelier and makes off with Vanitas in their arms. Determined to destroy Vanitas, Veronica calls for a human hunt and readies parties to cover the entirety of., the host of the Bal Masque's, Marquis Machina, estate. Looking to Luca, Noé asks if he's right to assume that Jeanne was the one who'd saved Vanitas, which Luca confirms - though he's baffled by the fact that Noé knew it was her because she had been wearing her mask. Noé questions why Jeanne would save Vanitas, only for Luca to reveal that she did it because he'd asked her to - as he wanted to see both Vanitas and Noé again. Luca then extends his deepest apologies toward Noé, addressing him as "monsieur", as he'd seen with his own eye Vanitas return Thomas Berneux's true name, but because he was so angry at the time he was unable to make a rational decision, admitting that he should've listened to Vanitas more closely. Accepting Luca's apology, Noé asks that Luca just call him by his name, suggesting that they go find Vanitas - because if he dies then both of them will be in trouble; to which Luca agrees.
Just then, an eerie piece of music resounds throughout the ballroom, which Noé describes as a jarring amalgamation of human voices and mechanized sounds. Inexplicably, several of the Vampires in attendance begin to feel unwell - to the point where they begin screaming in agony. At this point, all the unwell Vampires become violent and begin attacking the other Vampires in attendance, revealing themselves to be Curse-Bearers. When the Curse-Bearers begin attacking Vampires close to them, Luca questions what's going on, only for Luca's attendants arrive moments later, happy to see that their master is safe; only for both of them to be murdered shortly thereafter by Charlatan One and Charlatan Two.
When Charlatan One goes after Luca, Noé defends him and demands to know what they are. A concerned Luca calls out to Noé, only to be told by him to stay back as he continues to fend off Charlatan. As Charlatan Two attacks Noé, Noé successfully manages to break its sword and cast it back - but this gives an opening for the Charlatan One. Even so, Noé manages to outmaneuver Charlatan Two, and ultimately kicks it across the hall - asking it once again what exactly it is. Charlatan One then answers with "Charlatan", and the black figure Noé's familiar with emerges from behind its comrades, revealing itself to Noé.
Seeing the black figure, Noé stomps his foot against the floor, cracking it upon impact - causing Luca to grow concerned. Noé then charges at the black figure, furious as he explains that "it" was because of Charlatan. As he knocks Charlatan One out of the way and attempts to grab the black figure's head in order to kill it, the black figure twists its ethereal body in order to get a closer look at Noé, confirming what he'd already known, cradling Noé's face in its hands and reveal that it'd seen Noé before through the eyes of another - the eyes of Louis.
As the black figure says Louis' name, Noé is consumed by his last memories of Louis. Luca yells Noé's name in order to try and get his attention back, though he finds himself locked in his memories of Louis.
The black figure then embraces Noé, consoling him for being unable to save the friend that he loved. Stating that he's sure it hurts, The black figure asks Noé if he'd like to be taken to see Louis, suggesting that if he did - Noé wouldn't have to be lonely anymore - and all that's being asked in return is that Noé gives Charlatan his true name. Remembering how Louis had said that there wasn't a single thing he could do to save him, Noé nearly submits to the black figure - only to remember when Vanitas had told him when they first met: that he was a human doctor specializing in Vampires and that he'd come to cure Amelia.
Suddenly, the black figure is cast away by Vanitas, who has come to Noé's aid; asking if Noé had sprained his leg dancing or something as he squares up against Charlatan. As the black figure recognizes Vanitas as the one who's been curing her victims, Charlatan One emerges from the rubble and sets his sights on Luca. As Charlatan One lunges to attack Luca, he's stopped by a torrent of flame, as Jeanne steps in front of her master with Carpe Diem in hand; ordering Charlatan One to stay away from Luca. Noticing the blood on Vanitas' neck, Noé questions if Vanitas is hurt in some way, but Vanitas simply covers it up and teases Noé by saying that he's not telling. Jeanne addresses how their foes had called themselves "Charlatan", asking what they were and if she was right to assume that they'd caused the chaos at the Bal Masque. Amused by the challenge before her - the black figure calls the situation fun - only to be shut down by her accomplice, who calls her by the name "Naenia", and orders her to stop.
Looking to Charlatan One, Naenia seeks an explanation - thus Charlatan One elaborates that they had already gone over the time they'd been allotted, and that Veronica and Machina will catch on to them soon. Frustrated, Naenia voices that what Charlatan One was suggesting was boring, then reciting a piece of vocal music - the same which had been used before to turn all the Curse-Bearers in attendance at the Bal Masque. With that, hoards of crazed Vampires come crashing through the hole in the wall which Jeanne had created with Carpe Diem; allowing Naenia to escape with Charlatan One and Two from off of the balcony. However, Naenia looks back and addresses Noé, stating that she'd decided she likes him - asking him that the next time they meet, he give her his true name. Confused and furious, Noé asks what Naenia is and why she's been creating Curse-Bearers, even mentioning his confusion in relation to her and Louis - but rather than answer Noé, Naenia simply bids him farewell and follows her associates off of the balcony.
Noé thinks about how he should go after Charlatan alongside Jeanne, however before he can, Dominique arrives on the scene - glad to see that Noé is okay as she explains that there had been a ruckus in the great hall. Before Dominique can ask if Noé is all right, he embraces her and places his head on her shoulders for consolidation; thinking back to their horrific childhood. Dominique understands, but focussing on the task at hand she tries to bring Noé to his senses - sating that he had to pull himself together because several Curse-Bearers had appeared in the great hall all at once; revealing that the ones who had lost their senses went strange because of the Curse-Bearer's voices.
Powers and Abilities Edit
- Enhanced Strength, Speed and Endurance.
- Memory Reading - as a member of the Archiviste Clan, Noé possesses the ability to read an individual's memory's by ingesting their blood.