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The Case Study of Vanitas 3

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The Case Study of Vanitas 3 is the third volume of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas series.

Volume CoverEdit

Vanitas and Noé float on water, separated by a golden frame. Ivy wraps around the frame, and at the center of its top edge lies a cracked skull. The right side of Vanitas' neck is stained with blood, while the left side is stained with the same purple tint as the chain on the Book of Vanitas. Vanitas' right forearm is exposed to reveal the Mark of Possession left by the Vanitas of the Blue Moon. The Book of Vanitas rests upon Vanitas, and the chain dips beneath the water, traveling to Noé who holds the other end of it.

Publisher's SummaryEdit

The masked ball has ended, but the music plays on. As Noé and Vanitas return disgraced from Altus, the curtain rises on a new battle. News of kidnapped curse-bearers sends the pair to the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris, where a melody of intrigue echoes and a superhuman foe awaits! Humans or vampires: Who will be the hunter, and who the hunted?

Chapters ListEdit

Memoire 11: Point of Departure -Deux Ombres-Edit

MangaVan11 - Noe Vanitas titlecard

Cover of Memoire 11: Point of Departure

"All too easily, memories of the beginning summon memories of the end."

Looking to where Catherine's body turned to ash, Noé holds Vanitas up by his shirt and states that he doesn't understand; asking Vanitas what "salvation" is. Vanitas, in turn, replies that he has no idea, instead suggesting that Noé mull it over on his own. At that moment, Veronica steps forward - content to have finally found Vanitas.

Elsewhere, the guests all clamor over something - drawing Marquis Machina's attention. As Machina pushes through the crowd he finds that Dominique had been bound and suspended from the ceiling. Though Machina is clearly frazzled - Dominique implores him to ignore her and instead hurry to stop Veronica. Veronica then sends spiked pillars of ice toward Vanitas and Noé - catching them both off guard - as she comments on the stench of men and humans being the worst of all. Dodging the deadly spikes - Noé voices his amazement over the fact that, even with her vision obscured by the mask she's wearing, Veronica is capable of altering formulas to a great extent; something Vanitas calls extremely impressive. Vanitas then goes on to address Veronica by name - complimenting her extraordinary eyes and identifying her as a Beastia in the process. Enraged, Veronica declares that her name is something for humans to use so casually - summoning airborne chunks of ice and hurling them toward Vanitas - who dodges most of the assault, but is hit in the foot; resulting in the ice wrapping around his leg and making him immobile. As Vanitas notes the severity of the situation, Veronica exclaims that she'd freeze him first and then shatter him to pieces in front of Dominique for trying to stop her.

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Memoire 12: PauseEdit

12 - Vanitas Noe

Cover of Memoire 12: Pause

Admitting his own ignorance, Noé brings forth a question to Vanitas, who eagerly urges Noé to come out with what he's trying to say. Noé then looks Vanitas in the eye and asks him what on earth "love" is - shocking Vanitas as the two dance together.

An hour earlier, Noé is seated at a table with Dominique, Luca, Vanitas and Jeanne, at which he is presented with tarte tatin. While Noé is overwhelmed with joy, Dominique confirms what she had told Luca - which Luca thanks her for - though he'd never thought that Noé would be so enthusiastic about it.

A monologue opens while Noé happily devours the tarte tatin, in which he writes to The Teacher. Wishing The Teacher well, Noé reveals that he's presently at a cafe in Altus Paris with Luca, and how he'd requested an interview with Lord Ruthven in order to get more information about Curse-Bearers and Charlatan, but unfortunately Lord Ruthven had already gone. Luca had told Noé that his uncle had already left for the day and instead invited him to venture into town with them.

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Memoire 13 : Glissand -Glissando-Edit

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Cover of Memoire 13: Glissando

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.

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Memoire 14: Catacombes -Where the Dead Sleep-Edit

MangaVan14 - Vanitas Noe Murr Riche Dante titlecard

Cover of Memoire 14: Where The Dead Sleep

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

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

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

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Memoire 15: Chasseurs -Those Who Hunt Crimson-Edit

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Cover of Memoire 15: Those Who Hunt Crimson

Vampires are inhuman beings whose origins are said to lie within the Babel Incident. Their thirst for blood lead to their association with the legends of Eastern Europe, and thus they came to be known as Vampires. In addition, Vampires possess red eyes with the ability to interfere with The World Formula. By doing so, Vampires are able to create a phenomenon that could be termed "magic". This allows Vampires to strengthen themselves, transform their bodies and in some cases even produce fire and ice from empty space. As fear grew among the humans, the church defined the act as heinous, as it warped the principles of the world God had created, spurring hate among humanity towards the Vampires.

From his cell, Vanitas instructs Noé to retreat, as he cannot fight Laurent in such bad condition. Still dazed and confused, Noé argues that he can't leave Vanitas. Vanitas contests that now is not the time to be worrying about others - especially when Noé ignored his initial warnings; though Noé simply suggests that Vanitas be more clear next time.

Hearing Noé say Vanitas' name, Laurent runs over to Vanitas and cups his face in his hands, noting his black hair and blue eyes and excitedly embracing him; thanking God for having guided him to Vanitas. Laurent reasons that this must mean that the rumors about Vampires using Vanitas' power for themselves are true - questioning if Noé had been manipulating some kind of weakness of Vanitas'. Sympathizing with Vanitas for being taken as a kin of the Blue Moon Vampire, Laurent weeps with joy with Vanitas in his arms. However, this strikes a chord with Vanitas, who then scratches Laurent's face, telling Laurent that he never does anything against his own will, defining that his association with Noé, the infiltration of the Chasseurs' base and especially harming Laurent were all done of his own accord. Vanitas then condemns Laurent for being under the thumb of God, insisting that he not assume that he is the same.

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Entr'acte: Chambre D'EnfantsEdit

MangaVan15.5 - Louis titlecard

Cover of Memoire 15.5: A Dream Of The Sound Of Rain

Louis reads alone in his room as a thunderstorm breaks out over Altus. Thinking of how peaceful the sound of rain is, Louis anticipates Dominique’s arrival. Shortly thereafter, there's a knock on the door, with Dominique asking Louis if she can sleep in his room for the night. Louis admits that there's no avoiding it and permits Dominique's request, prompting an ecstatic Dominique to parade into Louis' room with Noé not far behind her; much to Louis' chagrin. As the two climb into his bed, Louis comments on how difficult it can be to sleep with Noé, as he moves too much in his sleep - though Noé denies this to be true. Reinforcing his statement, Louis call Noé a liar and proclaims that Noé also gets "muzzy headed" right away - once again being met with denial from Noé.

Noé and Dominique promptly latch on to Louis, with Louis asking if Noé is afraid of lightning as well - only to realize that Noé had immediately fallen asleep. Dominique explains that Noé had said that sleeping alone on rainy days made him feel lonely, so he decided to come with her. Dominique then reminisces about how the three of them used to sleep like this all the time, but they don't anymore because they'd gotten too old for it. Mulling over the situation, Dominique tells Louis that she wishes that she could stay with their grandfather all the time too. Louis is shocked by this, and so Dominique elaborates that whenever she goes home, all she does is take lessons and study, and their parents do nothing but compare her to Veronica and get mad at her as a result. Furthermore, Dominique mentions that Count de Sade is scary and that she has a lot more fun playing in the forests of Averoigne with everyone; claiming that she envies Louis.

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