Nanowrimo 2016 : Fire Chapter 13

Author's Note : Since this was written in November on a whim, the stories structure are haphazard when it should taking turns between Sasuke + Naruko point of view and then Genos + Sonic point of view. So in the next few chapters, the story will be of Sasuke + Naruko's side of story before moving back to Genos + Sonic.


Chapter 13

Naruko arrived almost two minutes before 8.30 am and the line at the registration counter was already longer than the line at the bank on salary day. She quickly made way to the end of the line and stood behind a woman wearing a little black dress. As she came to stand behind the woman, the line moved slightly forward. Naruko stepped up with the line as she peered at the women queuing before her. There was no specific looking women among them. There were tall women and short women, some with long hair, some with a crew cut, seemed like physically the demand was varied. There were blondes, redheads, brunettes, pinkettes, purples and blue haired women.

Naruko straightened her dress which was slightly crumpled as she made a dash from her house to the bus stand to get to the Grand Leaf. There were plenty of people at the bus stop and Naruko had decided to take a taxi so she could arrive earlier to fight the morning crowd. She thought that maybe arriving early would help ease her nervousness to face the audition session.

As the queue began to move a little faster forward, Naruko glanced at the file she had brought along. She had brought her resume, a full sized picture of herself and a few 4R sized picture. There was no details about what to bring or how to prepare herself, so Naruko had googled for information regarding Uchiha Works for the past few days as preparation. The least she should know was who were the CEO and big names behind Uchiha Works, their main business and their local products. The who what why where when and how, of Uchiha Works.

“Attention ladies, those with surnames starting with N to Z please move to the counter we opened at the other side of the stage. We have set another counter to ease registration. Please proceed according to your name. Thank you.”

Naruko quickly followed the movements of a few participants who were quick on their feet to follow the new instruction. She found herself walking across a stage adorned with a lot of purple and silver balloons. There was something written on the background of the stage but she did not care to read it now, what was more important was to queue first and not be left behind. When she reached the other side she saw a woman in pink hair wearing a grey skirt and white shirt with one hand on her hip. She was standing next to a table with a sign reading ‘Registration Booth 2’. Naruko guessed that this must be the second counter which the announcer had mentioned just now.

A handful of women began queuing up beside a velvet rope barrier and Naruko was quick to stand behind the last one. Naruko was relieved to see that she was participant number ten which meant that she did not have to stand for long. Everyone was smiling nervously while a woman who stood behind Naruko was laughing in between panting, maybe from running from the other side of the floor to the other side.

“My name’s Yugito Nii, what’s your name?” the blonde haired woman spoke as she offered her hand to Naruko.

Naruko smiled and took it, “Naruko Uzumaki. Pleased to meet you.”

“So we are the shortlisted ones, where do you work now?”

“I am not working, I am student at KU.”

“I am doing my research here, but I am attending Iwa Uni for my masters.”

Naruko slightly nodded to acknowledge the information, so the shortlisted women were varied in education too.

Yugito Nii was wearing a dark coloured long skirt and a crisp white shirt. She handed a business card to Naruko and said, “If you need a photographer or need to print anything, come to my shop. We offer printing services with a special discount for bulk orders.”

“I’ll keep this for future needs,” Naruko said. She read the name of the company on the card to Yugito as simple courtesy. “Kumo Printing and Photography.” Naruko frowned as she knew that Kumo was a town two hours from Konoha.

“Are you local?” Yugito asked as Naruto slipped the card into her bag.

“I consider myself local since I attend primary and secondary school here. I also worked here before I studied.”

“So, you have working experience. Where do you work?”

“With Sarutobi Toys as a photographer,” Naruko said.

“Oh, so you are a photographer,” Yugito said dramatically.

“I was not a professional photographer, just attending a few workshops at Konoha Poly.”

“Ah, I see. Would you like to come work with me if you don’t make this audition, not that I am hoping you would fail this, I mean it is rare to meet a fellow female photographer.”

“I have to decline, I still have a few years of studying and internship. I am not looking forward to working full time.”

“Oh, that’s ok. If you are not searching for work, then why are you here?” Yugito asked.

“I e-mailed the organizer and they said, the activity will only be done during weekends and since none of my class are held during weekends, so it’s ok to join.”

Naruko wondered how old Yugito Nii was. Then she got her answer, as if Yugito knew what was on her mind.

“I think I must be one of the oldest participant here, I am going to be 31 this July and I am just here for the experience.”

“So, you are just here for fun?” Naruko asked as she walked to the front according to the movement of the person in front.

“Not really, I am not sure what I would do if I was picked but I thought I’d go along the process if I make it to the next level. I have never attend anything like this, more like don’t have the time.”

Naruko was soon only one person away from the counter. The pink haired woman she saw earlier was now sitting down on a chair frowning at her phone. Naruko approached the table acting as counter as soon as the person before her left.

“May I have your ID?” the woman who was handling registration asked.

“Sure,” Naruko said while handing her ID which she had been holding in her palm since she began queuing.

The woman took Naruko’s ID and card using a portable machine which could read the identity card. She looked up to turn to Naruko and smiled.

She handed Naruko a plastic file and said, “There will be two stages today. Please fill the forms inside this folder, you can use the seats in front of the stage to sit down. First stage is an online quiz to assess where your general knowledge lies, read the flyer inside and download the quiz apps. Your phone will be unlocked for other application while you answer the quiz. A precaution for anyone wanting the easy way. You have an hour, and the earlier you finish the quiz, the faster you can reach the second stage. The second stage is an interview and photoshoot, inside the hall at the back of the stage. If you can’t find it ask any of our purple dressed reps. And here are your coupons for breakfast and lunch, you can get the food from any of the outlet in the food court. Good luck.”

“Thank you,” Naruko told the woman.

Then she noticed that the pink haired woman had her fingers tapping on her phone but her eyes was locked on Naruko intently. Instead of acting offended by the unwanted attention, Naruko smiled at her. The pink haired woman did not smile back but frowned slightly before returning to look at her phone. Naruko stopped herself from showing confusion over the woman’s negative reaction and decided to mind her own business. She headed to the chairs to sit down.

In the files were a few pamphlets about Uchiha Works current products and services. There were three forms for her to fill up with her details and also a brochure on how to install the quiz app. Naruko read the brochure briefly before taking out her phone and opening up the Application Store to download the compatible version.

“UCHIHA GIRL?” she read the app before pushing on the Download button.

The application took less than fifteen seconds to install and Naruko looked at the first page addressing her.

“Hello, are you confident that you are the Uchiha Girl?
Please enter your full name and assigned number on the form before starting on the quiz.”

Naruko took out the form once more and saw that the form was numbered, she tapped the number into the app and filled in her name and her age before pushing the Enter button.

The app paused for a second before showing off an online quiz. The first question was, “What are the five pillars of nation building in Konoha?”

Naruko typed in her answer in the box below, “Unity regardless of race and belief, Belief in the democratic society, Loyalty to the leader and country, Rule of law, Good behaviour and morality.”

The second question was, “When was Konoha established?”

Naruko typed in “1631”. She was not really sure about the year but she knew Konoha was almost 400 years old.

Third question was, “Where is the Field Of Hero located?”

Naruko had been there plenty of times, “In West Village.” The Field Of Hero was a memorial to honour the dead individuals who shaped Konoha. They included past figureheads of Konoha, he long dead ninja leaders called the Hokage and now the present day mayors.

The next ten questions were about a little history on Konoha. And then there were questions touching on popular knowledge. Luckily they were all objective question so each answer had a twenty five percent rate of being right unlike the early questions which she had to write down the answers.

Who won the most awards at the Grammy Awards in 2016?

Konoha Mayor lined out the National Plan For Youth in 2015, what were some of them?
Agrotourism is one of Konoha’s main business, which of these agricultural activities are available in Konoha?

Which Konoha skater made it to the preliminary round of the Winter Olympics?

Naruko sighed, this sure was tougher unlike what the woman at registration had said. There were forty five questions in all and she continued to answer until her stomach grumbled. Suddenly a pop out window appeared on the apps.

You have another forty minutes to do the quiz, you can do it!”

Naruko continued with the next question and answered quickly on her whim. She hoped that she had a better chance at the interview since she could barely be confident with the quiz.

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Naruko had headed straight to lunch just as she finished answering the quiz. She chose a sushi bar for she could eat anything she wanted today, without using her own money. The Sushi Queen was an awesome sushi bar, and Naruko promised to come later with Shion for another eating session.

She had answered all 45 questions just within the hour allocated, but whether she got high score, Naruko was not sure at all. The questions were rather easy if you were the kind to always browse the news and scan your social media, but Naruko barely had an active online presence, and she had long ditched the television in favour of watching anime DVD and a whole tonne of online drama. She only caught up with the elections, sports or sometimes entertainment when Shion shared something with her.

She walked to the room at the back of the stage with her phone in her grasp. There was a kind of room behind the stage, which had its entrance covered by a thick black curtain. Just as she was thinking about entering the curtain, pausing questioningly whether to enter or not, she saw Yugito Nii walking past her and waving at her.

“So, you have answered all of the questions? Let’s get in now,” Yugito said as she waved at Naruko.

Naruko wasted no time to follow Yugito and they both entered the room. A dark haired woman stopped them both at the entrance.

“Hi, please read me your quiz registration number, the one which was stated on your form and then drop your forms in the in tray on the first table.”

Yugito Nii was standing first in line and she gave her number “N-5.”

“Thank you, now please proceed to the first glass box and sit with the person in the red warrior half mask.”

“Thank You,” Yugito Nii said and did as she was requested.

“Your number please,” the dark haired woman asked Naruko.

“U-1,” Naruko said as she peered at her form in her bag.

“Ok, please proceed to drop your forms there and then enter the glass room with the person in the black and purple half mask of Amaterasu.”

“Thanks miss,” Naruko said and proceeded to the table in front. She opened her bag and took out the folder and picked out the forms. She looked for the last time at the form and dropped them into the In tray. There weren’t huge piles of forms on the table and Naruko thought that maybe they had cleared the previous participants forms so they won’t clutter.

Naruko repeated the words of the dark haired woman and then walked towards a few glass boxes which had been set up next to each other. Yugito Nii had already entered the first glass box. Naruko saw the Amaterasu mask and entered the glass box next to the one Yugito had entered.

She held onto the knob and twisted it open. Naruko was confused as to why the interviewers needed to wear a mask. The person in front of her was wearing a black robe with red finishes on the sleeves and the neck lining. Naruko turned slightly around to close the door and moved towards the seat which was empty.

“Please sit down,” a male voice said.

“Hi, thanks. How do I address you?”

“Mr Uchiha is enough. We are all part of Uchiha Works, so we are Uchiha for the day. So how was your day?” the man said, he moved slightly to address her.

“Pleasant, I came here with a taxi, usually I would get a bus but I did not want to be late.” Naruko was blabbing, she was =very nervous. This masked figure was adding more stress to her than she needed.

“That was good, you believe in the concept of honouring people’s time. So tell me about yourself.”

“My name is Naruko Uzumaki, I am …” she eyed the glass box before continuing. “I am 26 years old and currently studying at Konoha University.

“So you continued studying from after school?”

The man had a voice which Naruko found pleasant and she was eased little by little. He sounded like he was genuinely interested to know her though he had not offered her hand or anything.

She answered him, “No, I worked for several years and this opportunity for studying came from the mayor. I had to go against a few people to get this studying scholarship.”

“So what do you hope from entering this audition?”

Naruko decoded to be frank with him, “I wanted a better opportunity in life. I am not getting any younger therefore i would like to work with one of Konoha’s best company for as long as i am permitted. I have prior experience in photography and I can draw decently.”

“That’s great, you can speak quite gracefully, have you ever worked as an emcee before this?”

“No, but since I have to communicate with a lot of people during photoshoots at my old company, so I learned to speak to all kinds of people.”

“So, what do you think about love?”

“What kind of love?” he asked.

The person behind the mask tilted his ahead aside and then turned to look at the person in the red mask warrior. The other person somehow turned too and waved at the dark haired man. The man waved at the other person and looked back to Naruko.

“How far would you go to save a person if you loved him, like if he was a prisoner.”

Naruko frowned, “That is a tough question to answer, but I think I would wait for this person as long as he needed. But let’s say if I ever met someone down the year and my love permitted me to leave him, I wouldn’t know what to do at all too… I may not leave at all, maybe I’ll break in and ask him to leave with me, but that will mean that we are being fugitives in the run...”

Maybe seeing Naruko having a problem to answer the question, he said, “Well relax, that was a surprise question. I am quite sadistic when it comes to interviews, here’s an actual question from this audition, are you ready?”

Naruko visibly tensed but then smiled at the man. “I came here prepared for a battle, I’ll answer your question.”

“Hmm, what preparation do you do to emcee an event?”


From the back of the man’s mask a single ponytail flowed into the back of the robe he was wearing. The man had decided to ask all his interviewees to wear a mask today just for the fun of it and decided to wear his brother's favourite folklore’s mask today.

Itachi Uchiha took it upon himself to join Sasuke’s bridal search party, Sasuke had groaned but he relented after Mikoto told him to let his brother see the candidates himself.

This is an intriguing candidate, maybe i should send her to the next stage, Itachi said as Naruko answered his question.


Read all the chapters here Fire - A Fanfiction





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