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Until now, things were harsh for me.

Nana to Mayu, appreciating all they have and yet also tempting fate

He was a walking nightmare. He was the end of the first and only extended peaceful time the residents of Maple House would ever know. He was possibly more loathsome than his superior, the series' true main villain. His time in the series was incredibly brief; his downfall and death lacked all dignity, and he would be unmourned by any.

Yet quickly as he came and went, the character fans came to call The Unknown Man locked his sights on three of the most innocent characters in Maple House, ones who needed no more suffering, and intended to inflict pain and even death upon them for no other reason than he could.

Typically, a criminal wishing to rob a business or place of residence, will, barring heavy lockdown, attempt to do this when the chances of encountering someone are at their very lowest. This is logistical and perhaps also a moral consideration of sorts; an empty residence or business can be entered and left with less fuss. Also, they understand that a harsher sentence is likely if someone is injured, and may themselves not wish to physically harm anyone, viewing their other activities as transactional.

While the home invader may have the same view (or delusion) about themselves in some cases, by and large they are considered a different breed from a simple burglar. One one level, they seek out a home where everyone is present so that they can best get all available funds and goods from the residents, like forcing them to go to the bank and withdraw all their money, but this is far from any idea of things not being personal. Dealing with the residents as long as they do, their identities are often compromised, and some do not bother to hide them, since they by and large have no intention of allowing them to use that information. One horrific and in some respects typical home invasion is spoken of here.

If the common burglar goes in hoping and planning to avoid any sort of confrontation, the home invader plans for it and even relishes it, and by extension, all the pain they can inflict. While not seeking monetary gain, the sadistic bent of a home invader is embodied in the Unknown Man. Against what is known of him, even the exemption from 'Complete Monster' status given Chief Kakuzawa by his love for his daughter Anna is placed into question by his employment and toleration of this grim figure.

The time immediately before this was an almost blissful one at Maple House. Nyu had shown no signs of becoming Lucy and had even matured from her infantile state. Mayu's suspicions of Kouta were now long past, and Nana was getting on better with him as well. Yuka, feeling that she now knew Kouta's feelings towards her, had calmed somewhat in dealing with him. Nozomi was staying more and more often, and some indications from the timeframe of her backstory meant that she had overcome familial opposition to her singing. Mayu had just agreed to aid Nana in finding Kurama, who at that time, Nana had not seen for more than six months. This simple act of sisterly affection overwhelmed Nana, who sat with Mayu and joyed over all they now had. Perhaps things really were that good, for even Mayu, almost honed to suspect when things were too good, did not hesitate to agree with her wholeheartedly. She then did something also contrary to her experience, merely trusting that the person she heard at the door was Kouta.

Yet Nana knew this was not Kouta, who even she now held in some affection, even before the knock at the door. In a telepathic flash, Nana received a vision of a pathetic, repulsive creature warning her of dire pain soon to come. But as she cried out a warning, it was too late and the Unknown Man casually entered, looking for all the world like a shadow falling upon the room. To be certain, the thin walls of Maple House would likely have never prevented this villain from getting in. But like a dark figure of myth, his rampage would seem all the more sinister because he was invited in, especially by someone who had prior shown that she knew better.

Unknown Man had found Maple House while searching for Lucy, to recapture or persuade her back into the custody of Chief Kakuzawa. He was also involved in a sick wager with Doctor Arakawa for this same goal, which he was now hours away from winning. Yet immediately, he could see that Nana was not Lucy, and his cruel nature played out as enraged petulance, that bizarrely was by this point an accidental mercy.

In order to meet his goal and win the bet more certainly, Unknown Man had engaged in his most hideous known atrocity. Taking custody of an unfortunate Silpelit called Number 28, he brought the misery of her existence to hellish new levels. In short order, she was raped, surgically cut in two at the torso, and attached to devices that would briefly extend her life while both tapping into her ability to sense other Diclonius. Her vocal cords were severed as well, and a pain-inducing device installed to deprive her of the ability to form her species' telekinetic vectors, this despite the fact she had never once demonstrated the ability to do so. Her remaining body and the equipment were placed inside a leather back-pack case while he used her in his hunt for Lucy. Somehow, it had been # 28 that had called out to Nana, her form in and out of the vision a nightmare of pain and a life not worth continuing. Upset that he had not found Lucy, Unknown Man smashed her case against the floor, finally ending her life. The predator turned his attentions to the two young girls in the house. Disabling Nana with the spiked toxic bolt from his specialized crossbow, he immediately began to try and rape Mayu. In her lowest moment, Mayu's fear and pain would shake her from paralysis to resolve.

Mayu had changed from the uncertain girl who had debated whether to move into Maple House, including again coming to trust Kouta, even if that relaxed guard now haunted her and seemed likely to kill the two girls. Yet as memories of her stepfather's single most demeaning and humiliating demand upon her surfaced, in the desire to avoid such submission again, she fought back long enough to place a single phone call, said phone also becoming a makeshift bludgeon against her attacker. As Unknown Man again restrained her, he repeated his insults of her body, vowing to top off her rape with complete disfigurement. Fearful or forceful, it seemed Mayu was doomed until suddenly, the phone that couldn't fend off her attacker now called in one who was more than capable of that.

In a heartbeat, the arrived Bando tore through both Unknown Man and his proffered excuses, even managing through sheer will power to overcome his spiked toxic crossbow bolts, driving the monster out, his escape only due to Mayu's well-meant desire that Bando not sully himself with the blood of a man she merely wished gone. In a cliche made real, the Unknown Man was gone as quickly as he arrived, yet the dead # 28 and the gravely wounded Nana plus her own torn clothes made it clear that while he had been a nightmare, his passage was all too real.

Like a dark prophet, Unknown Man began the end of Elfen Lied. Following almost immediately from his invasion was the inevitable rematch between Bando and Lucy, as well as the discovery of Maple House by the forces of Chief Kakuzawa, and all the hell that followed after. To paraphrase HG Wells, a time of prosperity and peace was also one where intelligences vast, cold and cruel viewed what the residents of Maple House had with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against them.


Wait! There's been a misunderstanding!

Unknown Man, to Bando, who understands him only too well

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