"Korosu Takakau, of the Shikaku sect. Enter now."

The young woman pulled the black mask covering her face down and shoved herself away from the wall. She pushed the big wooden door open and walked inside. Her frighteningly dark black hair was so long that it barely made it through without getting caught in the door when it slammed shut. Her hot pink eyes were the only thing not dark about her, and they focused immediately on the Shidaime Kazekage when she stepped into his office. She slowly bowed, never taking her eyes off of him. She had learned long ago never to let her guard down - not even around her leader. "You requested my presence, sir?"

The Shidaime took in her looks and decided his references had not described the girl accurately. She wasn't as beautiful as they'd claimed; though seeing as most of his workers were hormone-crazed young men, he waved that fact aside for the time being. She was pretty enough; just nothing special. The only odd thing about her were her eyes, and they weren't even pretty. They were gaudy and blinding. He gave a heavy sigh and opened the folder on his desk before finally addressing the young lady. "You are Korosu Takakau?"

She nodded, keeping her fuschia orbs trained on him but never really making eye contact with this. "I am Korosu Seikaku Takakau, representing the best that the Shikaku sect has to offer you, Lord Kazekage."

"Let me tell you one thing right now, Miss Takakau. You are not the best." After noting her ennuyé expression, he flipped some pages in the folder. "If anything, you're my one last hope, so you'll have to do. Have I made that clear, Miss Takakau?"

Her eyes flashed dangerously for a moment, as if reflecting the shine of a kunai ready to strike, but then calmed, though the muscles in her face still revealed that she was offended. "Yes, I understand. If I may ask, what do you need me for, sir?"

"I understand that you are the only female among the ranks of the Shikaku sect, Miss Takakau."

"I am. And do you know why that is, sir?"

"Please, enlighten me."

She leaned forward, placing a hand on his desk. A fire burned brightly in her neon eyes as they narrowed in fury. "I am the only woman who bears the rank of assassin because I am the toughest. Want to know how I got in? I killed the man who had the position I was aiming for."

Not batting an eye, he looked right at her. "May I ask why?"

"He was in my way. I applied to the sect six years ago. I knew that none of the idiotic men there would take a ten-year-old girl seriously. So I had to prove it to them."

"And so you killed the man who had your desired position?"

"Tenth in command." A gleam shone hazardously in her eye, as if remembering an especially pleasant memory. "He had something I wanted, so the only viable option was to get rid of him. If I got rid of him, then I could easily get what I wanted. The man who had the position was a real bastard, too. He thought he could do everything. I knew I could never beat him with the odds evenly matched. So, as a ninja, I waited until my enemy fell asleep, and that's when I got him." A small but maniacal grin set itself on her lips. "Did you know that blood looks even more lovely in the moonlight, sir?"

The Shidaime raised an eyebrow before flicking his eyes back to the manilla folder of information in front of him. This girl's sanity was quite clearly fragile; her mind worked in an interesting but risky way. She thought differently than most, and to like the sight of blood... to always be looking for ways to admire it and each more pretty than the last. He brought a hand to his face and began to chew on his thumbnail as he thought.

This girl was his one last chance to finally get rid of the demon that had plagued his village for nearly thirteen years. But was it really worth it to send someone like her? She could lose her grip on reality at any moment, intelligent though she was. She was unpredictable, but this really was the last option he had right now.

He exhaled deeply before getting to his feet and offering his hand to the girl in congratulation. "Very well then. Miss Korosu Takakau, I award you with the once-of-a-lifetime chance."

A thin black eyebrow raised, revealing her patterned teal-and-white eyeshadow. "And that chance would be?"

"I am offering you the opportunity to go down in history. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assassinate my son, Sabaku no Gaara."

At this news, her eyes widened a little. "Sir, forgive my words but... are you completely insane? Have you gone senile? I don't know if I can accept a mission like that. Do you not remember what happened to Yashamaru? And all of the other assassins you've sent after that monstrosity? One of them was my God-damned father!"

"Miss Takakau, in this comments section of my intel, it says that you despise your family."

"Look... I hated them for abandoning me. My mother killed herself just weeks after giving birth to me, and then my father went on that stupid mission..." She snarled. "My mother was bad enough. But then dear old Dad chose the easy way out - go get killed by the demon instead of taking your own life. You'll look like a martyr instead of a pathetic coward. I hate them, I hate them all!"

"Then why not go after him? Why not kill the one who murdered your father? No doubt it'd make you feel better. A feeling of satisfaction and utter superiority. Revenge seems to solve everything for you assassins."

Her eyes narrowed even further. "Lord Kazekage, I will ask you not to compare me to the rest of my sect. I am not like them."

"You seem to like killing just as much."

"Why do you choose to do paperwork? Why are you the Kazekage?"

"It is my job to protect the village. It is the reason for my life."

"Killing is the reason for my life. I do it only as often as I must, but I relish the chance. I am an assassin because it gives my worthless life purpose."

"I see."

"Look... I just have one problem with this, alright?" She flipped her hair over her shoulders, showing off the bloodred polish on her nails and the large silver hoops in her ears. "If I go after Gaara, I'm never going to be able to attack him going head-on. He'd kill me, just as he has everyone else who's gone after him. How do you propose I get close enough to kill him before he kills me first?"

"I was getting to that." He pulled a file from the folder and held it out for her to take. "What you hold in your hand is a fake application form. A copy of it has been sent to a Jonin named Baki - the sensei for Gaara and his siblings, my other son Kankuro and my daughter Temari. I anticipated that you would accept, so I already had it sent. This copy is for your reference. For the duration of the Chunin Exams, you are not Korosu Takakau. Your name is Sakkaku Damasu, and you will be the fourth member of the Sand's only competing team. Well, not so much a member as... moral support. You will have to compete, but you will be competing alone. However, you will travel and stay with Gaara and the others - you will serve them, do whatever they ask. You are a medic and an expert on psychology - as such you will stay awake with Gaara and monitor his nighttime activities, due to the Shukaku spirit. That may get you on his good side. The rest, however, you will have to do on your own. Get him to trust you... and when he trusts you enough, that is when you betray his trust and kill him."

"A genuine stab in the back." Korosu's face had gone back to its bored expression as she looked at her meticulously manicured nails. "Well... I suppose I could give it a shot then. Who would really care if I died? Yeah... there's no harm in giving it a go, I guess. What time do I meet the team?"

"Tomorrow, three o'clock sharp, at the former Suna Academy, room number 636. Be prepared, because you leave an hour later."

"Great. I'll be there and I'll be ready." She turned to leave.

"And Miss Takakau?"

She turned around. "Yes?"

He was amused that she caught the hitai-ate he tossed at her without so much as blinking. "Congratulations on being the first official assassin accepted as a Sunagakure shinobi. Good luck, and try not to get killed."

Korosu = to kill

Seikaku = accurate

Takakau = fight to the death

Shikaku = assassin

Sakkaku = illusion (false impressions)

Damasu = to deceive