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Comment: Vanitas no Carte 25 — Endroit Approprié, Melee

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Boy does this lad have a short fuse...

[WARNING!] This post contains spoilers for chapter 25 of Vanitas no Carte! (duh)



Quick Summary

Memoire 25 「Endroit Approprié 混戦」(Endroit Approprié, Melee)

Roland and Olivier, wandering around what seems like the Chasseur headquarters, talk about the Beast of Gévaudan. Roland asks Olivier if he’s heard that they’ve already sent Astolfo to investigate the case, and Olivier says he has, adding that a man named Gano (ガノ) is meant to meet with them when he finishes his business in Carcassonne. Roland remarks that it’s very odd that they’d send Astolfo first, and Olivier agrees… why send someone like Astolfo, of all people, when a false step could potentially give the Extremists a reason to start another war with the vampires?
Back with Astolfo and Noé; Noé questions why Astolfo murdered those people even though they were human, and Astolfo tells him it’s because they thought he was a woman. Astolfo warns Noé not to misunderstand: a Chasseur’s job isn’t to protect humans, but to kill vampires. He pulls out his weapon, a lance, and attacks Noé. “Red eyes. I thought as much. You are a vampire,” he says as he charges forth, smiling and aroused by the battle.
Noé is deeply shaken by his attitude—he is nothing like Roland and the others. He’s actually enjoying the fight. One of the Dragoons on the floor moans, diverting Noé’s attention, but Astolfo quickly kills him, regretting that someone would interrupt just as he was having fun. He kicks and stabs the dead body, and then injects himself with the same drug Roland used in the catacombes.
Noé charges at him, infuriated, but Roland is too fast and skilful. He knocks him down and straddles him, and gets ready to deal a death blow—but lo and behold, saved by the bell, as they say! The beast comes rushing through the treeline chasing after Jeanne. Vanitas&co. follow suit, and Dante shoots his gun at Astolfo, assuring Noé’s escape. Vanitas meanwhile begs Jeanne, engaged in full battle with the beats, not to kill it yet, but she seems too distracted to hear.
The man we saw at the train station in M.23 with Astolfo joins his paladin, freaked out by the situation, and Astolfo deals him a blow to shut him up. Astolfo stares at the beast and promptly recognises the Hellfire Wish, and cannot believe how lucky he is. To think he’d get to see not just the beast but the Hellfire Witch with his very own eyes today!!
Meanwhile; Johann, who’s sticking close to Noé, promptly recognises Astolfo. He is the Paladin of Garnet, the monster who at the young age of 15 became the youngest paladin ever. When Johann asks Noé if all his wounds were inflicted by him, Noé insists that he’s fine and tries to chase after Astolfo but— Vani slaps him in the face with the back of his hand and tells him to calm (the fuck) down. He asks him if Astolfo is stronger than Roland, and Noé tells him he isn’t—Roland was way stronger. Vani asks him, “Then why are you so in tatters?” Did he think he could talk things out like he did with Roland? Vani points out that Noé has lost his cool and is too agitated to bring out his full power. He tells him that there’s a right person for every job.
Vani inhales and then begins to tease Astolfo, saying that he's so glad this paladin isn't Roland of Jasper, because if not they'd have to prepare to die, but if it's only this little girl then they'll make it somehow. The taunts work and Astolfo snaps. Vani giggles, satisfied. He tells Noé that after the mess in the catacombes he investigated the Chasseurs. This is Astolfo of Garnet — also known as the Chasseurs’ problem child, who absolutely hates Roland. This kind of person is Vani’s speciality. Vani tells Noé he’ll take care of him, and that Noé should instead stop Jeanne. If the beast is truly a metamorphosed curse-bearer, then they’ll be in deep trouble if either a Bourreau or a Chasseur kills it before they’ve even deduced its malnomen. He tells Noé, “I’m here to save vampires. Are you here for some other reason?” Noé tells him that there’s no way he is, and runs off after Jeanne.
Meanwhile; Jeanne flashes back to when she heard about the beast from Ruthven. She begged Ruthven to let her go because “if this beast that's been sighted is really her, then it's my responsibility,” because she wasn’t able to kill her in the past. Jeanne rushes towards the beast and calls a name: Chloé (クロエ).
Edited from the summary I posted on tumblr, plus quotes from the official English digital release.

Terminology

The order: Japanese term, followed by special furigana reading in parenthesis if there is one, followed by romanisation in italics if I consider it necessary, followed by the official English translation, followed by definition after the hyphen.
Terms with a red flag have appeared before, but now have new information!
  • 正義の柱 (ルイゼット) [ Pillar of Justice, Louisette ] — Though there has been no specific definition of what this is, it's likely the name of Astolfo's lance-like weapon, in the same way that Roland's was named 'Durandal.'
  • 柘榴石 zakuro-ishi [ Garnet ] — The jewel Astolfo has been honoured with as a paladin.


Comment

please don' hurt me

Alright ya'll, if my comments stop coming assume I have been punished for my sins. Astolfo may be topping the bishonen charts, but he's not fucking around. He is a natural disaster and the last person you want to mess with. And hands down guys— There is nothing that I like more than a character that is off his trolley. (That fury stare, that dexterity with murder. All that blood. Doesn't it just make you want to pet him?). It's no wonder Vani tags himself into the fight—Noé is too pure to deal with this level of malice, and it almost seems like he can't compute that someone could enjoy the act of murder, or be this unwilling to listen to reason. It's okay, Noé; let Vani take care of the toxic waste. Sometimes you just gotta fight fire with fire.
Now, the fact that Vani is able to identify Noé's predicament so quickly is a whole other trip of feels, and that slap in the face is the best moment in the history of ever, but right now I'm more concerned about how Vani plans to defeat Astolfo... Verbal attacks are good an all, but those can only get you so far. What on earth is his plan?

And seeing as we're on the topic of Astolfo; there isn't anything in the text that indicates how much time has passed since Alfy (will he gut me for that?) joined the paladins at the outstanding and unbelievable age of 15, but methinks we're still within that same frame and that he cannot be any older than Vani-chan (18). I had assumed this bro got along stupendously with Roland, but that might've been a misconception brought on by the iffy English translation of M.18 — in the English translation, when Roland opens up to Olivier about his enlightenment, Olivier persuades him to chill by posing the problem of, "if you're gone, who do you think is going to keep Astolfo company?", which makes it sound like Astolfo and Roland are cool besties that hang out at the pub. The original, however, is more ambiguous:「誰がアストルフォの相手をすると思っている」.  The expression 相手をする (aite wo suru) can have a wide range of meanings, but essentially means to be someone's partner in something or to engage in something with someone, and though "keeping someone company" is a viable translation, it can also be used to talk about facing someone in battle. Which has me suspecting that, given that we now know Alfy is A.K.A-ed the "the Chassers' problem child," it's most likely Roland is the one who has to deal with this little shit's berserk tantrums, be that because he's the only one with the patience to do so, or because he's the only one strong enough to match him and not end up skewered like the poor Dragoons in this chapter. Aaaand I don't know about you guys, but that is a dynamic I am all up for seeing. (maybe that's why he can't stand Roland's face? because he's the only paladin he can't beat? eesh this kid is worse than those spoilt children in reality shows)
Which no doubt explains both Olivier and Roland's concern over Astolfo being sent to Gévaudan ahead of everyone else...

It's quite interesting to see Olivier agree on the strangeness of the situation, as I'd taken him for a loyalist that would never dare question the decisions made higher up, but evidently that's either not the case or this kind of questioning doesn't count as insubordination. But more importantly— Oooooooh boy. Something is afoot, Watson!! Ordinarily this is where I'd question the Church's motivations for sending Alfy The Rabid Boi and wonder if someone up top is actually looking for an excuse to start another war, which is precisely what I'm suspecting, BUT! There's more to this than that. Because that's the Extremist faction (過激派) that Moreau was a part of that they're talking about there when they worry that a misstep could cause the outbreak of Vampires VS. Humans II, and who is Moreau being endorsed by?

...Yeah. THIS bad boy.

Now, I'll be real: it's a bit of a stretch, and maybe this conspiracy theory is getting too twisted. Ruthy endorsing Moreau's batshit crazy experiments doesn't mean that he's tied to the Extremist faction as a whole, especially because Moreau was exiled and it's possible he has no connection with them whatsoever now. But bearing in mind that Jeanne is also involved in this mess, it wouldn't surprise me if Uncle Ruthy turned out to be one of the people pulling the strings from behind. (Also, I admit I might just be looking for a reason to point fingers at him.) I am, however, stuck wondering what possible reason could both the Church and a man as high up in vampire society as Ruthven could possibly want out of starting another war, besides blood and murder of course...

And speaking of Jeanne; What went down in Gévaudan, and does it have anything to do with why Jeanne was put into an induced state of slumber after the war? My speculation is that the Gévaudan attacks happened after the war, which wold mean there was a gap between the end of the war and the attacks where Jeanne was still awake. Presumably the witch of the silver forest is the beast itself, whose name is apparently Chloé... but who is she to Jeanne? A sister? A friend? The plot thickens.

Well then my lovelies, that's all from me for today. As short as it was, I had a lot of laughs with this chapter and it really put my spirits up in this endless torment of deadlines I'm currently storming through. Apparently we'll soon be meeting (hopefully) one mysterious Gano, who I've been unable to place amongst the existing paladin names in the Matter of France, so perhaps he's not a paladin at all. If you have an inkling as to whom MochiJun may have based his character on, share your thoughts below! (also if you ever questioned Astolfo's gender, plis consider hiding under your bed.) As a parting thought:

can we all appreciate how amazing this man's sombrero is?
(also this guy probably has the toughest job in the world)

See you all for Mémoire 26!


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Posted on: 23/04/2018

PS. This probs won't resonate with those who don't follow the other series I blog about, but Jeanne's massive gauntlet had me thinking she would make a good pair with Kija...
(from Akatsuki no Yona)



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