|“||Even if your true face is revealed and the world turns against you. I'll make you a new mask.||”|
Monica Campanella (モニカ・カンパネルラ, Monika Kanpanerura) was a citizen of Lotto Valentino during the 1700s. She was classmates with Huey Laforet and later Elmer C. Albatross at The Third Library under the watch of Dalton Strauss and Renee Paramedes Branvillier, her alchemy teachers.
It was eventually revealed to her friends that she was born Maribel Boroñal, the younger sister of Count Esperanza C. Boroñal, and that she was actually the Mask Maker who had been committing a spree of murders around the city.
Monica has long blonde hair and blue eyes. When around Huey, she often flushes bright red out of embarrassment or shyness.
Monica normally wears dresses. Her Mask Maker attire is completely different: the most prominent part of her costume is her signature white mask - the rest of her body is completely swathed in dark cloth, (including her head) and she wears trousers for ease of movement.
Monica's demeanor and manner of speech changes depending on whomever she is talking to, as well as their current situation. It must be emphasized that these drastically different comportments are not different personalities, but rather all her own singular personality. In other words, she is not putting on an act at all, not once. She is both the 'stuttering, lovesick teenager' and the 'cold' and 'mature' serial killer - each are entirely genuine facets of her personality. To elaborate on her comportments, she is often rendered hopelessly shy and stutteringly hesitant when around Huey - so twitterpated that she will blush beet red at the very thought of loving him. Sometimes, she is just like any typical teenger her age - cheerful, occasionally immature (like when she beat Elmer with her fists), and prone to emotional outbursts. On the other hand, she can be cold and haughty - speaking with confidence, firm statements, and a maturity that overrides any undue bursts of emotion.
Her love for Huey is no small thing - she is infatuated with him, devoted to him. She has followed him upon occasion; she stares at him endlessly in class; she notices the tiniest of his movements (she notices when he stops turning the pages in his book briefly, and assumes he is upset). She is devastated at the thought of hurting him (and of him hurt), and utterly destroyed at the prospect of him completely rejecting her (she would accept no love from him - even accept him not liking her - but to not have Huey in her life at all...). It is for his sake that she goes on a murder spree, and for his sake that she turns herself into the Dormentaires.
Monica is born sometime around 1690 as Maribel Boroñal, the second child of the heads of House Boroñal, a powerful and wealthy family from Spain. The first ten years of her life are happy, spent with her older brother Esperanza and her parents.
When Monica is ten years old (around 1700), she and her parents attend a party at the mansion of House Dormentaire (the hosts). She and her parents talk with Gardi Dormentaire, a 'kindly-looking' man that her parents treat with great deference.
Gardi leads her to an empty bedchamber, and upon entering the room she spots the naked corpse of a young girl on the floor. Naïvely, she assumes the girl is asleep and wonders if she isn't cold. It is only when Gardi callously shoves the body under his bed that she realizes something is wrong. She attempts to flee.
Gardi flings her onto the bed and begins to strangle her, but his plans for her are interrupted when Monica's parents barge into the room. Through her coughing fit, she witnesses Gardi stab her parents to death with a candlestick. Unthinkingly, she grabs another nearby candlestick - its candle topples from its perch, and sets the room on fire. Gardi turns, and she stabs his neck with the candlestick.
She is rescued from the conflagration by the Dormentaires' servants, and she tells them the truth of what has occured. Not wanting Gardi's crimes to be made public (and wanting to avoid a court trial with House Boroñal), the Dormentaires blame the murders of Gardi and her parents on an unknown intruder. They have Esperanza into exile (sending him to the Boroñal's vacation home in Lotto Valentino), and Monica is forced to assume the new identity of 'Monica Campanella' and flee to the same city. Meanwhile, the nameless corpse was so badly burned she could not be identified - and the Dormentaires buried her as 'Maribel Boroñal.' With her old identity 'dead,' Monica has no choice but to accept her new identity - her, a terrified young girl of ten.
Five years after the incident, Monica's new identity is firmly established in the local community. She is known as the illegitimate half-sister of Esperanza, and she lives her life as an alchemy student. In the morning, she goes to the Third Library to study alchemy under Renee Paramedes Branvillier and other professors. After lessons, she goes to her home at a patisserie, where the patisserie owner looks after her. In return, Monica helps the woman with her shop.
Sometime after she first began her studies, she develops a crush on her classmates Huey Laforet. Due to her crush, she follows Huey to his headquarters and discovers that he is actually a counterfeiter responsible for replicating gold so expertly that it is just about indistinguishable from real gold.
In order to assist him, Monica becomes the Mask Maker - a serial killer that targets key members of a drug trade, and any persons who witness her crimes. She kills her victims with a silver stiletto, and leaves white masks on their faces before departing the scene. A total of twenty-seven deaths are attributed to her. During her killing spree, she runs into a girl.
One day, Monica confesses her feelings for Huey, who demurs and says that he will think about it. The two of them walk through the streets when they see a brunette girl (Niki) enduring physical abuse from delinquent members of the Rotten Eggs. Huey makes to walk away, but one delinquent confronts him. Put out, Huey brutally takes down the man -- but the other two delinquents come to his rescue and kick Huey to the ground.
The situation is salvaged when a rampaging ox (dragging a laden cart behind him) storms down the streets, causing nearby cattle and horses to stampede. Monica is separated from Huey in the chaos, but she rejoins him -- and Niki -- soon after. Monica expresses anger over the delinquents' actions, but Niki warns her to not get involved. After all, she (Niki) will be killed soon - she has seen the Mask Maker.
The City Police arrive on the scene. In the lead is an unaffiliated bald man, who accuses Huey and Monica of attempting to kidnap his workshop employee. When Niki tries to protest, he slams her against the alley wall - causing Monica to scream. The police bind Huey and Monica while the bald man kicks Niki over and over. One of the officers hits the unresisting Huey in the back of his head.
The police hold Huey and Monica for some time in separate jail cells. The two are released together, and make their way back home. They assume that their professors pulled some strings to let them out; meanwhile, Huey notes that Monica is happy. She guesses that Huey had deliberately pretended not to see 'the girl' earlier, and denies that he was disgusting. Rather, she agreed with his decision - but she didn't have the confidence to leave herself.
She changes the topic to the new classmate they're supposed to be getting tomorrow - and that the other classmates don't want him to be 'like Huey' - in other words, aloof. Hesitatingly, she asks if Huey is mad at the description. He is not. She concludes that he really does hate everyone, including her -- but that's fine. She knew that when she confessed to him. Monica confides that Renee told her the new student is "a witch's son" just like Huey.
The next day, the new student misses morning classes (thanks to Huey) but shows up for afternoon classes, at which Monica is present. He is introduced as Elmer C. Albatross. That evening, Monica spots Huey in the marketplace and attempts (and fails) to scare him. The two head for the center square, and Monica - who had noticed that Huey had temporarily stopped turning his book pages in class - asks him if something is wrong. He mentions the new student, and she recalls how Elmer had entertained everyone during afternoon classes.
Elmer himself is at the square, and he cheerfully inserts himself into their conversation. He has already given Monica a nickname (Moni-Moni) which Huey takes umbrage with. Monica turns beet red at the thought that Huey is jealous over her. Huey is alarmed to see that Elmer is carrying a church-banned book, and his demeanor towards Elmer grows increasingly more hateful. Once Elmer leaves, Monica and Huey discuss him (much to Huey's chagrin).
The next day, Monica frets over Huey - assuming that he has rejected her confession completely - and is unable to concentrate on her studies in class. Elmer takes notice, and approaches her after their last class ends and the classroom empties. She coldly rebuffs his friendliness (as a way to vent her anger). Elmer deduces that she's concerned he'll steal Huey away from her, and muses that since all of Huey's smiles are fake he probably never shows genuine emotion (like he had with Elmer the day before). So Monica must be envious.
Elmer has hit the nail on the head. Monica flushes and pounds her fists upon his back in protest. Elmer assures her that he has no intentions of being Huey's lover (and besides, Huey hates him and Elmer isn't romantically interested in men) -- in fact, he thinks Huey and Monica make a great couple, and he'll be cheering Monica on.
Thirty minutes later, Elmer and Monica walk together through the same marketplace from the previous day. Elmer suggests that they go visit Huey (who'd been absent from class - with a cold, according to Renee). Monica's anxiety is overridden by her desire to see Huey, and she agrees. Only - she does not know Huey's address. Elmer simply laughs at her distress, and replies that he does. Huey lives at a storehouse at the harbor. How does he know? He asked their headmaster, Dalton Strauss. Furthermore, he knows where Monica and all the other classmates live too...all by asking Dalton and Renee.
He adds that he thought it would be useful in case of an emergency, but Monica is not appeased. Filled with fear, she asks how much Dalton told Elmer about her. Elmer doesn't think any of the information was dangerous, but he won't tell anyone what he knows. Monica warns him not to pry too much into people's pasts - wouldn't he be upset if people knew he was a witch's son? His response is indifferent, and then he reiterates that "setting [him] aside," he doesn't plan to spill what he knows to others.
The phrasing of "setting me aside" bothers Monica, but before she can think it over the local children start singing a song about a "demon wearing a mask." Monica asks if Elmer knows anything about the Mask Maker, and he comments that he's heard that the Mask Maker kills anyone who sees them. He asks for Monica's opinion on the Mask Maker (she is surprised that he knows so much about the witnesses), but before she can come up with an answer Elmer is confronted by the bald man (Niki's master).
The bald man screams that Elmer tell him where Niki is, and he raises his fist in the air. Before he strikes, he spots a man with sharp eyes behind the pair and turns tail at once. Monica asks who this new man is - but Elmer has the answer yet again. He correctly identifies the man as "Aile," the leader of the Rotten Eggs. Aile has heard that Elmer's been looking into the Mask Maker and the city's drug trade, and he warns Elmer not to "pry too much" if he wants to live a normal life. Monica refuses to make contact with Aile, unnerved by how terrifyingly sharp his eyes are - as if they could see her very soul.
Elmer blithely says that he still plans on learning more about the city. Aile mutters about the City Police, and at Monica's question says that the police side with the common people over the aristocrats. He once again warns them to live in ignorance if they want to be assured of her lives. Monica trembles at the coldness in his tone, but Elmer concludes that Aile is "a nice person."
The two reach the storehouse district. As Elmer looks for Huey's storehouse, Monica (completely preoccupied with the talk with Aile) explodes and asks what Elmer was thinking, investigating the Mask Maker so nonchalantly. Elmer admits that early that morning he'd been asking random people questions at the marketplace about the killer. Stunned, Monica grabs him by his collar and shakes him mercilessly, accusing him of being an idiot. Why does he want to know much anyway?
Elmer says that he wants to make people smile - and while ignorance isn't a crime, he does not want to make anyone sad due to any ignorance on his part. However, Monica is clearly unsettled about the addresses -- he'll be careful from now on. He apologizes for being dense - something that 'Speran' (Esperanza) accuses him of frequently. Monica counters that sometimes ignorance can be bliss, and that sometimes the truth can make more people unhappy than happy.
Huey emerges from one of the storehouses (they'd been making a racket) and asks what the two of them are doing. Monica realizes that she is still holding onto Elmer's collar. Panicking, she shoves Elmer away from her -- and he loses his balance and staggers off the harbor edge and into the water below.
When Elmer climbs up back onto the pier, Huey reluctantly lets him and Monica inside the the first floor area of the storehouse (after informing them he'd been absent due to feeling unwell). Elmer shivers from the temperature change - what's more, he has developed a cold, judging from all the sneezing. Over the next ten minutes, Monica apologizes to him over and over again (his sneezes do not cease).
Finally, Huey (fed up with the sneezing) points out that Elmer should wring out his shirt. Elmer steps away from Monica, and peels off his shirt accordingly. Monica is rendered speechless - Elmer's skin is covered in countless scars - scars from knife wounds, from his skin picked open, and a gigantic burn over his upper back that seemed to cover even more injuries. The sight is so horrific that for once her attention is completely focused on something other than Huey.
Huey mumbles Elmer's name - Elmer, suddenly cognizant of the situation, stops and hurriedly apologizes that they had to see something 'like that.' He advises them that "it's worse in the front," so they should wait until he puts on his shirt. He resumes humming. Huey and Monica know that Elmer would probably happily talk about his past if they asked - but neither of them can bring themselves to do so.
The incident does not exempt Elmer from her misgivings. Based on their earlier conversations, she is highly concerned that Elmer knows too much about her, and that her Mask Maker identity might be compromised). That evening, she dons her Mask Maker garb and visits her brother's manor to threaten Elmer. She sneaks into his bedroom while he is near sleep, and drops a warning note upon his face. The note orders him to stop investigating the city, and below that adds, "this pain is a warning." Elmer is confused. Monica leaps up onto his bed and stabs his arm with her stiletto - delivering the pain in question.
Monica retires to her room several hours later, only to find a masked individual staring at her from outside her window. Spotting the blood-soaked cloth wrapped around the individual's arm, she lets him inside and immediately identifies him as Elmer. Elmer explains that he knew Monica was the one who stabbed him, and continues to answer every one of her cold questions. Finally, he asks for her Mask, suggesting that he take over as the Mask Maker in her stead. Then she'll be free to spend time with Huey - because his goal is apparently to make Huey and Monica a couple (since Huey makes Monica so happy).
He suggests that tomorrow Monica should pretend to have seen the Mask Maker so that Huey will pay more attention to her. The next day she does just that, and Huey agrees to walk home with her for her safety. When they arrive at the patisserie, she is shocked to see strange men interrogating the patisserie owner for her whereabouts. The owner screams for Monica to flee; confused and surprised, Huey and Monica run away from the patisserie and take refuge in one of Huey's hideouts (where he hides his counterfeit go). Huey reveals that he is behind the counterfeits, but Monica does not reveal what she knows about the situation.
Later Elmer comes barging in with a girl they had saved earlier, named Niki. Elmer is wearing a black cloak, and holding a pistol in one hand and a white mask in his other. Huey demands an explanation how Elmer knows of his hideout, and Elmer announces that he is the Mask Maker. Fed up with Elmer's lies, Huey snatches the pistol from him and points it at the other boy. Monica protests, and moves between Elmer and the gun. Reluctantly, she confesses that she was the one who told Elmer about the hideout. And then she switches attitudes.
Speaking in cold, haughty tones, she orders Elmer to stay quiet before taking the mask from him. She places, the mask over her face, smiles, and greets Niki - revealing herself as the Mask Maker. Huey is completely at a loss, and she explains that she knew about the hideout because she'd been watching Huey for a long time, and she really is the Mask Maker. She informs Elmer that she will not hand over the Mask Maker to him after all, and that she does not need her pity. Her speech about sacrifice quickly stutters to a halt when she thinks about loving Huey.
Elmer looks out the window, and remarks that "everyone's gathered in just the right position" before scrambling to the roof to fire off the pistol. Thanks to his and Esperanza's planning, the angry mob that had gathered at the patisserie is promptly arrested. Elmer returns the pistol to Esperanza; after the Count leaves, Elmer asks Monica if she isn't going to say 'hi.' Monica will not - the only girl Esperanza isn't nice to is herself.
Elmer (with Monica's tacit permission) clarifies that Monica is actually Esperanza's sister - which is news to Huey and Niki. Huey decides to merge the Mask Maker and the counterfeit operations together, making Monica, Huey, Elmer and Niki the founding members of the Mask Makers.
For four years, the relationship between Monica, Huey and Elmer remains close as they maintain their illicit operations.
One day in late autumn 1709, Huey rejects Monica's offer see a play together. Later, Monica walks with Elmer along the harbor when they spy a black Dormentaire ship making port - she is horrified at the prospect of her past catching up to her. The next day, she spares not one glance towards Huey -- which is obviously strange, since she usually stares at him.
Hoping to cheer Monica up, Huey offers to go to the play after all . Monica rejects the offer for another day, and leaves him alone. Worried, Huey follows Monica (skipping the rest of the day's class) and the two of them end up at a tall hill, gazing down at the buildings of Lotto Valentino. Although Monica is happy to be alone with Huey, she is unable to summon enough courage and confide her troubles to him.
The encounter does her some good, as she has resume some of her normal behavior by the next day. They attend the play a few days later, only to be severely emotionally shocked when they realize the play is based on Huey's past. Monica weeps as they leave the theatre, apologising over and over again for having taken Huey to the play. Huey begins to harbor doubts about Monica's loyalties.
For the next few months, they both disappear and avoid school and their usual homes. After those few months pass, Elmer admits to Niki that he has known where the two of them are all along, and that he finally decides to take action. He first confronts Huey at the hideout he is living in, and persuades him to trust Monica again. Huey confesses that he thinks that he would like to love Monica.
Afterwards, Elmer arrives at Esperanza's manor (where Monica has been staying). He instructs her to visit a certain abandoned house later that night to confront the writer of the play and ask how he discovered the story. Monica does as she is told, but she is greeted by Huey at the house instead. Huey confesses his feelings for Monica, and the two reconcile and embrace.
The two of them officially become an couple. The next few months are happier ones than the ones before them -- until a new play is unveiled at the theatre. This time, the play is based on Monica's past -- of how she murdered a Dormentaire aristocrat. There are noticeable changes in the play - the play's previous protagonist (based on Huey) is present, and the ending is different from reality.
Afraid that the villagers will identify her and Huey as the plays' protagonists (and thus afraid for Huey's safety). Monica surrenders herself to the Dormentaires; by now, she is pregnant with Huey's child, though it is not known if she was aware of the pregnancy at the time of her surrender. She spends the next one hundred and eighty-eight days confined to a room aboard a Dormentaire ship under the watchful eye of Carla Alvarez Santonia. During her imprisonment, she describes Gardi's true nature to Carla.
When Monica is finally freed from her prison cell, it is thanks to the playwright responsible for so much of her misery -- one Jean-Pierre Accardo, who claims that Huey sent him to retrieve her. At Huey's name, Monica enthusiastically heads for the deck of the ship. There, she is greeted a silhouetted individual dressed as a Mask Maker - she assumes he is Huey. Her joy morphs into horror when the man - filled with glee - asks "did you really expect things to turn out so well?" and he swiftly plunges a silver stiletto (her signature weapon) into her body.
She falls backward onto the deck. Lying there, she thinks that she will now be able to repent for her crimes. Guilt fills her at the thought of the "nameless girl who had been sacrificed in her stead" ten years ago, and she silently apologizes to the girl, her consciousness growing ever fainter. And then - she hears Huey, calling for her somewhere in the distance. With what strength she has left, she stands and grips the ship's railings. The black Dormentaire ship approaches her own (burning) vessel; upon its decks she can spot Huey. He is dressed like the Mask Maker but bereft of his mask, calling her name over and over.
Monica is thankful - so thankful - that the last thing she will ever see will be Huey Laforet (hallucination or no). She recalls vaguely that she was "supposed to do something," and as her eyesight dims she can just make out Elmer shouting beside Huey. At Elmer's face, she remembers what she had planned to do once she was reunited with Huey.
With the last inklings of life, she gives Huey and Elmer a genuine smile, unforced and full of love. The black ship draws close, and she realizes that Huey's expression is changing. She silently assures him that she will never die - that she'll just 'disappear for a while' and that they'll reunite someday. Out loud, she utters her last words: "...let's meet again." With an unbelievably radiant smile, she leans forward and deliberately pushes herself off the railings. Her body disappears into the churning sea below.