|“||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), born Maribel Boroñal (マリベル・ボロニアル, Mariberu Boroniaru), was an alchemy student at the Third Library and the famous Mask Maker serial killer who terrorized Lotto Valentino in the early eighteenth century.
Monica has long blonde hair and blue eyes. When in Huey's company, she often flushes bright red out of embarrassment or shyness.
While Monica normally wears dresses for school and work, her Mask Maker attire is completely different: she wears trousers for ease of movement, and keeps the rest of her body and head completely swathed in dark cloth. Most prominent is her signature white mask, which has a floral design on its left cheek.
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 surrenders to House Dormentaire.
Monica is born sometime around 1690 as Maribel Boroñal, the second child of the wealthy and powerful aristocratic Boroñal Family. The first ten years of her life are happy ones, spent with her older brother Esperanza and her parents at the Boroñal estate in Spain.
When Monica is ten years old (around 1700), she and her parents attend a party hosted by House Dormentaire at the Dormentaire estate. Her parents introduce her to Gardi Dormentaire, the Dormentaires' 'kindly-looking' son and heir that her parents treat with great deference.
Gardi eventually leads her away from the partygoers to an empty bedchamber, where a young girl's naked corpse lies sprawled on the floor. Naïvely, Monica assumes the girl is asleep and wonders if she is not cold. It is only when Gardi callously shoves the body under his bed that she realizes something is wrong, and she attempts to flee.
Gardi flings her onto the bed and begins to strangle her, but her parents barge into the room and confront him in the nick of time. He stabs them to death with a long candlestick in front of Monica's very eyes, and when she unthinkingly grabs a nearby candlestick in turn, the candle topples from its perch and sets the room ablaze. Once Gardi turns, she fatally stabs his neck with the candlestick.
Monica is rescued from the conflagration by the Dormentaires' servants, to whom she confesses the truth of what has occurred. 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 exile Esperanza to the Boroñal's vacation home in Lotto Valentino, appointing him as the city's governor, and arrange for 'Maribel' to begin a new life as the identity 'Monica Campanella' in the same city. As the other girl's corpse has been burned beyond recognition, the corpse is buried as 'Maribel Boroñal'.
With her old identity 'dead', Monica—terrified and traumatized at the tender age of ten—has no choice but to accept a whole new identity and life.
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 Parmedes Branvillier; after lessons, she goes to her home at a patisserie, where the patisserie owner looks after her. In return, Monica helps the owner with her shop. Their next-door neighbor, Freya, appears to be an alchemy student as well.
Sometime after she first began her studies, she develops a crush on her classmate Huey Laforet. Due to her crush, she follows Huey to his headquarters and discovers that he is actually a counterfeiter capable of replicating gold so expertly that it is nearly indistinguishable from real gold. What is more, he is responsible for the counterfeit gold that has been circulating the city.
In order to assist Huey's operations, Monica becomes the Mask Maker: a serial killer that targets key members of a drug trade, as well as any individuals who witness her crimes. She kills her victims with a silver stiletto, and leaves white masks on their faces before departing the scene. At least twenty-seven murders are attributed to her, one of which is witnessed by Niki.
When Monica finally manages to confess her feelings for Huey in summer, Huey demurs and says that he will think about it. Five days pass without incident, until Renee—after her morning lecture—announces that they will be joined by a new classmate the next day. She asks Huey to make the new student feel welcome, as the student is similar to him. Monica closely monitors Huey's physical cues all the while.
That evening, Huey notices her following him in the marketplace and asks her to give him more time to consider her confession. She agrees, and accompanies him a little ways until they come across several Rotten Eggs delinquents manhandling Niki—a girl their age. Huey tells Monica they should just leave, but when a delinquent confronts him, has no other option but to attack in self-defense. The other two delinquents, upon seeing their friend fall, kick Huey to the ground.
The situation is salvaged when Huey provokes a nearby ox into a rampage, which leads nearby cattle and horses to stampede and throws the marketplace into chaos. Monica seizes the opportunity to seize Niki by the hand and flee (with Huey following), eventually coming to a stop in an otherwise deserted alley. There, Monica expresses anger over the delinquents' actions, but Niki warns her and Huey to not involve themselves with her if they value their lives: she is a witness to a Mask Maker murder, so the Mask Maker is almost certainly going to murder her soon.
Several members of the City Police burst into the alley, led by 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 arrest Huey and Monica while the bald man kicks Niki over and over, and escorts them to the police's jailhouse.
Huey and Monica spend some time there in separate jail cells, though they are released together. As they leave the vicinity, Huey theorizes that their professors pulled some strings to let them out and remarks that Monica seems oddly happy. She explains that she is happy that she now has a shared memory with Huey (apparently not caring that the memory is a harrowing one) and asks if Huey consciously pretended not to see the delinquents assaulting Niki. When Huey concedes this was the case, Monica assures him that she not only did not find his decision disgusting, she agreed with it. However, she did not have the confidence to leave herself.
Monica changes the subject to that of the new classmate, remarking that their classmates were disappointed that he is supposed to be like Huey; they have apparently taken this to mean that the classmate will be as aloof as Huey is. She asks if Huey is angered by this, and when he says that he is not, concludes that he really does hate everyone - herself included. Even so, she knew all that when she confessed to him. When Huey outright agrees that he does hate everyone, including her, his allusion to his past leads Monica to think that he might get along with the new classmate after all: according to Renee, the new classmate is supposed to also be the son of a witch.
The next day, the new student misses morning classes but arrives for afternoon classes, for which Monica is present but Huey is not. He is introduced as Elmer C. Albatross, and not only livens up the classroom but even manages to keep Renee on topic.
That evening, Monica spots Huey in the marketplace and attempts (and fails) to scare him. As she accompanies him to the central square, she remarks that he had briefly stopped reading his book during morning classes and asks if something was the matter. Huey 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 claims that he had been wondering where the new student was, and Monica explains how Elmer had shown up for and brightened up afternoon classes.
Her apparent approval of how Elmer had kept Renee on topic leads Huey to accuse her of 'taking his side'. Elmer, who has been eavesdropping on them for a little while, interjects that Huey must be jealous that 'Moni-Moni' is talking about Elmer rather than him, an idea which causes Monica to flush beet red. When Elmer declares that he and Huey could make a great team, Huey rejects the notion with a vehemence that startles him and Monica both.
Huey yanking his hands away from Elmer causes Elmer to drop his book, which Huey recognizes as Huey recognizes as Giordano Bruno's De l'Infinito Universo et Mondi, a book banned by the church. He is alarmed that Elmer is carrying a church-banned book in public, but Elmer is not and points out that Lotto Valentino has only one church. This is just one of the reasons that Elmer finds the city strange, and he readily shares some of his other concerns. Huey treats him with open disdain. Once Elmer leaves, Monica and Huey discuss him and his assertion that something is off about the city. During their conversation, Monica admits that she is jealous of Elmer since Huey treats him honestly.
The next day finds Huey once again absent from classes, and Monica deeply regretting admitting her jealousy to Huey the day before. She spends the days lessons fretting that Huey has rejected her feelings completely, and is unable to concentrate on her studies. Elmer takes notice and, once lessons end and they are alone in the classroom, asks if she is all right. She coldly rebuffs his friendliness, though internally she chastises herself for taking her anger out on him; not bothered, Elmer deduces that she is concerned he will steal Huey away from her. Since all of Huey's smiles are fake, he probably never shows genuine emotion. Therefore, Monica must be jealous of Elmer for causing Huey to express just that.
Elmer has hit the nail on the head, causing Monica to flush and pound her fists against his back in protest. Elmer assures her that he has no intentions of being Huey's lover (he has no romantic interest in men, and Huey hates him as it is); in fact, he believes Huey and Monica would make for a great couple, and he plans to cheer her on.
Monica takes Elmer up on his suggestion that they visit Huey - he took Renee's assumption that Huey has a cold at face value – and they set off to visit their classmate together. Thirty minutes after the fact finds them walking together toward the marketplace, only for Monica to realize she does not know Huey's address. Elmer laughs and replies that he does – according to headmaster Dalton Strauss, Huey lives at a storehouse at the harbor. Monica's resumed concern that Elmer might be romantically interested in Huey after all gives way to a deeper unease when Elmer reveals that he knows where she and their other classmates live as well.
Though he clarifies that he simply thought it would be useful in case of an emergency, Monica's fear is not alleviated. She asks him how much Dalton told him about her; Elmer does not think anything he heard was dangerous, but he will not tell anyone what he knows. Monica warns him not to pry too much into people's pasts - would he not be upset if people knew he was a witch's son? His response is indifferent, but he promises anyway to keep what he has learned to himself.
The phrasing of "setting me aside" bothers Monica, but before she can think it over, several children playing nearby start singing about a 'demon' who masks everyone's faces – a popular street song about the Mask Maker. Monica asks if Elmer knows anything about the Mask Maker, and he comments that he has 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 Maiza Avaro (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 remarks that he still intends to learns 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 had 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?
Elmer says that he wants to make people smile - and while ignorance is not a crime, he does not want to make anyone sad due to any ignorance on his part. However, as Monica is clearly unsettled about the addresses, he will try to be careful from now on. He then 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 at the sound of the 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 staggers off the harbor edge and into the water below.
When Elmer climbs back onto the pier, Huey reluctantly allows him and Monica into the the first floor area of the storehouse (after informing them he had been absent due to feeling unwell). Elmer shivers from the temperature change, having developed a cold, and Monica spends the next ten minutes apologizing in the face of his nonstop sneezes.
Fed up, Huey points out that Elmer should at the very least wring out his shirt. When Elmer peels off his shirt accordingly, Monica is rendered speechless: Elmer's skin is covered in countless scars; scars from knife wounds, from his skin having been picked open, and a gigantic burn scar 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 to wait until he puts on his shirt, as his injuries are worse in the front, and resumes humming as if nothing is wrong. 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.
Several hours later, Monica retires to her room after finishing prep work for the patisserie. As she opens her bedroom windows, she muses over what she should do if Huey returns to classes - only to find a masked individual staring at her from outside the window above her desk. 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 so that she will be free to spend time with Huey; since Huey makes Monica so happy, Elmer is fully on board with making them a couple.
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 escort her home for her safety. When they arrive at the patisserie, they are shocked to find strange men interrogating the patisserie owner for Monica's whereabouts. The owner screams for Monica to escape; confused and surprised, Huey and Monica flee from the patisserie and take refuge in one of Huey's hideouts - aka the base of Huey's counterfeiting operation. Huey reveals that he is behind the counterfeits, but Monica does not reveal what she knows about the situation.
Later, Elmer barges into the storehouse with Niki in tow, wearing a black cloak, brandishing a pistol, and carrying a white mask. Huey demands Elmer explain how he knew of the hideout, but Elmer's explanation largely amounts to a confession that he has been the Mask Maker all along. Fed up with Elmer's lies, Huey snatches the pistol from him and takes aim. Monica positions herself between Elmer and the gun and reluctantly confesses that she was the one who told Elmer about the hideout. Then, she switches attitudes.
Speaking in a cold, haughty tone, she orders Elmer to stay quiet before taking the mask from him. She places the mask over her face, smiles, and greets Niki as the Mask Maker. Huey is completely at a loss, and she explains that she knew about the hideout because she had 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 is not going to say 'hi.' Monica will not - the only girl Esperanza is not 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 to see a play together. Later, Monica is walking with Elmer along the harbor when they spy a black Dormentaire ship making port. The prospect of her past catching up with her horrifies her, and she spares not even one glance Huey's way during their morning class the next day. Her behavior is clearly abnormal, as she usually spends class staring at him.
Despite himself, Huey is concerned by Monica's behavior – concerned enough that he approaches her once Renee's lecture finishes and says that he is interested in going to the play after all. Everyone in the classroom is stunned, as to do such a thing is highly abnormal by Huey's standards. Monica is similarly shocked, but claims that she is unavailable today and that she might be available next week.
Keenly aware that his classmates' eyes are on him, Huey exits the classroom so as to escape their attention. Monica follows, a move that sparks a fresh round of gossip among their peers. She informs him that break time is coming to an end, only to watch him leave the library altogether - apparently intending to skip their remaining lectures – and follows him rather than return to class.
Huey comes to a stop in a deserted alleyway and asks 'what happened' to her, commenting that something is clearly wrong. She looks away; when she does not give him an answer, he asks if the problem is something she cannot tell even him, which she affirms is the case. Huey says he will not force her to tell him what is wrong, and approaches her; she tries to turn away fully, but he takes her by the arm and leads her up a grassy hillock.
At the top, Huey remarks that their classmates have changed over the years; he does not think they would have made such a commotion once upon a time. Monica supposes this is due to Elmer's influence and, when Huey concludes that their classmates must be as eccentric as Elmer (given that 'birds of a feather flock together'), breaks out into laughter – out of the whole class, Huey is the one closest to Elmer.
Huey plunks himself down on the grass, dismayed that his relationship with Elmer comes across as 'best friends' considering how much Elmer irritates him and wastes his time. As Monica joins him on the ground, she speaks of her jealousy and envy towards Elmer: despite having known Huey longer than Elmer, it is with Elmer whom Huey spends much of his time. However, as she platonically likes Elmer as well, she cannot easily hate him.
They sit in silence for a little while, until Huey eventually remarks that he not only 'wastes time' with Monica as well, he just might have spent more time with Monica overall than with Elmer. Monica bursts into tears; when Huey shakes her and asks what is wrong, she assures him that she is crying out of happiness. However, she swiftly puts herself down for being 'stupid', given that she and Huey are not actually going out; through her tears, she admits that it was because of Elmer that she started to care about and like her classmates at all - which consequently led to her liking Huey even more than she already did. Furthermore, while she had initially assumed that sharing the Mask Maker's secret with Huey would bind them together, she now realizes that she is much happier in this moment, with Huey talking about 'normal' topics.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Monica despairs that she does not have the right to that sort of happiness, that she had tried to forget and run away – and then she abruptly falls silent, afraid of saying too much. Before her emotions can swallow her whole, Huey pulls her into an embrace and once again assures her that he will not pressure her about her past. He does not care how checkered her past might be - he cares about Monica in the present, and makes her a promise: even if her true face is revealed and the world turns against her, he will make her a new mask.
Monica appears to go back to normal over the next few days, and she and Huey attend the play one week after their hilltop conversation. While they enter the theater in genuinely good moods, their happiness is shattered when they realize the play is based on Huey's past – something he had told Monica several years prior. After the play, Monica –desperately trying to hold back her sobs – tries to tell Huey she was not responsible for the play's contents, but Huey leaves her alone without word.
Both Huey and Monica effectively vanish from the public eye for a few months, avoiding school, their homes, and usual hideouts. It is only after those few months have passed that Elmer admits to Niki he knew where the two of them are all along, and that he has finally decided 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. When Huey confesses his feelings for Monica, they reconcile and embrace each other, soon officially becoming a couple.
The next few months are happier ones than the ones before them, but that happiness comes to an end when a new play is unveiled at the theater. This time, the play is based on Monica's past, focusing on her murder of 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 play's 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. Monica hurries for the deck of the ship, where she is greeted by a silhouetted individual dressed as a Mask Maker whom she assumes is Huey. Her joy morphs into horror when the man gleefully asks, "Did you really expect things to turn out so well?" and swiftly plunges a silver stiletto (her signature weapon) into her body.
She collapses onto her back; resigned to her fate, she takes comfort in the notion that her death will at least enable her to repent for her crimes. The thought of the "nameless girl who had been sacrificed in her stead" ten years prior fills her with guilt and she inwardly apologizes to the girl as her consciousness slips further still.
At the sound of Huey calling her name in the distance, she uses what strength she has left to stand and grip the burning ship's railing. Not long after, she spots Huey dressed in Mask Maker attire sans the mask and making a rapid approach in her direction on another black Dormentaire vessel.
Monica is thankful - so thankful - that the last thing she will ever see is Huey Laforet (hallucination or no). She vaguely recalls that she had planned to do something once she was reunited with him, but cannot remember what until she spies Elmer shouting at Huey's side. Memory thus jogged, she gives Huey and Elmer a smile that is entirely genuine and full of love. At the sudden horror in Huey's expression, she silently assures him that she will never die – she will simply 'disappear for a while' and that the two of them will reunite one day. Out loud, she says her last words: "...Let's meet again".
With an unbelievably radiant smile, Monica leans forward as she deliberately pushes herself off the railings and her body disappears into the churning sea below. Her corpse has never been recovered.