The Project ( プロジェクト ) is the forty-sixth chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series.
A panicky Mayu stops Nana from burning any more yen notes and quickly realizes, that Nana is completely unfamiliar of what the yen notes represent. Against a firm denial of such ignorance, Mayu plays a trick and tells her a story about their supernatural abilities, which scares Nana into admitting her lack of common knowledge. Mayu apologizes for her deceit and then tells her that she envies her relationship with her 'papa,' Kurama, who obviously cares deeply for her, to entrust her with so much money. Nana takes heart from this, then realizes they are both hungry, so Mayu helps guide her into correctly spending it on some food while asking if she knows Nyu since they both have horns. An alarmed look on her face shows that she wonders if Nyu is Lucy.
At the Diclonius Research Institute, Chief Kakuzawa only shot Arakawa in the shoulder, after which he demands to know the identity of the second person whose footsteps were in the lab his son died in and therefore saw his horns. Realizing that he means Kouta, she denies of knowing any details about who he is or why the student was there, beyond the fact that he was looking for his professor, who she does not reveal was Professor Kakuzawa.
As blood loss takes hold of her and she hears a muted compliment on her skills as a scientist, Arakawa flashes back upon her life, her childhood dreams of becoming a scientist, and the sacrifices of not having a social life. She realizes that all of those things have become pointless and that they led her to a sad end.
Weakened, she recalls out loud that the student Chief Kakuzawa seeks was looking for a girl he'd left in Professor Kakuzawa's custody. She realizes that the girl in question was probably Lucy, given the fact that his son died in the manner he did, and that the identity of that student could lead him to her. He offers her a chance to work with him, which she, at first, spurns, until he offers her the opportunity to continue the research and gain ultimate fame and recognition as the nurse-maid to the new Diclonius race, with her name held in reverence for thousands of years to come.
- Nana appears in profile on this chapter cover, slightly resembling 'art school' adverts once prevalent in the US during the 70's and 80's.