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There is a text world connection here. It is clear that many new immigrants have difficulties adgusting to a new country or culture. Many have problems learning in school, or learning a new language. This adjustment reflects the major theme of this book. I would rate this book a 4 because it is very realistic. It really captures the adjustment to a new culture that immigrants must make. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books about families adjusting to a new culture or country. Dec 03, Kathleen rated it really liked it Shelves: I really liked this book; but it helps that my extended family just adopted two little girls from Haiti, so that added to the poignancy of the story.

Her age is never mentioned journal entries. It takes place in Haiti in and follows her journey to America as she and her family struggle to adjust. I feel like this book had the potential to provide great insight, but there were so few details given about the situation in Haiti and the fact that so little happened made this book fall short. May 10, Arminzerella rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. Celiane and her older brother Moy live with their mother in a rural village in Haiti, while their father, who has gone to the United States to work sends them money and makes recordings of his voice so they can keep in touch. When Celiane and her mother are injured in bombings due to the elections while traveling between the city where their aunt lives and their home, both father and aunt try to expedite the immigration process so the family can be together in America in time for Christmas.

Li Celiane and her older brother Moy live with their mother in a rural village in Haiti, while their father, who has gone to the United States to work sends them money and makes recordings of his voice so they can keep in touch. Life in the states is very different. Celiane must adjust to a new home, new school, new friends, and life in the big city of New York. Not only that, but their long separation has made them all practically strangers to one another. Celiane makes a few friends who help her navigate the large and confusing city and finds a comfortable routine in her studies.

Moy and father, however, continue to butt heads until father impulsively throws Moy out. They eventually reconcile, and Moy is able to begin following his dream of becoming a painter even father is able to recognize his talent. Edwidge Danticat is also a Haitian immigrant whose family was split up when her parents moved to the states she and her brother were raised for several years by other family members in Haiti , so she writes from personal experience. Celiane delivers her story through diary entries that are rich with a sense of place. This short, lyrical title would be of interest to those who enjoy reading about other cultures and places, and may have some current interest in light of the earthquake that devastated Haiti.

Edwidge Danticat writes realistically about the problems immigrants might face and the unstable political climate of her former country. Aug 03, Elaine rated it really liked it Shelves: Behind the Mountains was the first book Danticat wrote for children, and she wrote it as part of a Scholastic series of first-person stories written by immigrants to share the experience of immigrating to the U. Intended audience is about the 6th-grade level, though some advanced younger readers, and definitely some older readers could be the intended audience as well.

It is written through the eyes of a young protagonist, giving children someone to relate to, but there is much to be gained fr Behind the Mountains was the first book Danticat wrote for children, and she wrote it as part of a Scholastic series of first-person stories written by immigrants to share the experience of immigrating to the U. It is written through the eyes of a young protagonist, giving children someone to relate to, but there is much to be gained from this book even for older readers.

Young Adult, Realistic Fiction chronological order, first-person diary format, progressive plot Subjects: Jul 16, Justins rated it really liked it Shelves: Behind the Mountains is about a girl name Celiane. She is the main character in this book, as well as her brothers Moy and Manman.

They lived in a house that was built by their father in Haiti. Their parents were divorced because they went through hard times together. After they got divorced, their father moved to New York, and the mother died in a car accident. So one day their father sent them money to come to New York. Celiane and her brothers were happy on their journey to New York, but it w Behind the Mountains is about a girl name Celiane. Celiane and her brothers were happy on their journey to New York, but it was also rough because they were traveling by themselves and they didn't know anyone, until they met a lady named Tante Rose that helped them through their journey.

Reading this book, I made a text to self connection. This book was about a girl from Haiti that traveled to Brooklyn. My friend Badi traveled from Africa to New York. Badi and Celiane both speak another language other than English. Badi and Celiane had a good life in New York. They had a good experience seeing new people and eating different food. I give this book 5 stars. It discusses a lot about traveling and facts about Haiti. It also talks about how Celiane had a new life in Brooklyn. The characters are well developed.

I like how Celiane and her brothers reacted when they came to Brooklyn. The reason I gave this book five stars is because it showed each character's personality. Mar 05, Sienna rated it really liked it. I've read a book that is part of this "First Person Fiction" set of books and I really liked it so I decided I wanted to read this one too.

Both this book and the other I read were written in journaling style, and for me, books like that seem to go by so much faster. I like it, but it's sad when it's over. This book is about a girl name Celiane living in Haiti during a time of election of their president, when some violent people are causing trouble by setting off bombs and killing and harming p I've read a book that is part of this "First Person Fiction" set of books and I really liked it so I decided I wanted to read this one too.

This book is about a girl name Celiane living in Haiti during a time of election of their president, when some violent people are causing trouble by setting off bombs and killing and harming people. Her father is living in Brooklyn, New York to provide for them. Celiane's home is in the mountains where she would've been safe from the bombs, but at this time she goes to visit her aunt living in the capital city Pourt-au-Prince where the politics are more of a big deal to the citizens.

She and her mother are returning home on a tram or something like that when a bomb is set off near it. Luckily she and her mother survive, but her mother has a huge cut on her leg and many others who were riding the tram died. Worried for their safety in Haiti and wanting to be with their father and husband, her family eventually is able to make it to New York to be reunited with him. It's a wonderful story again, about the strength and courage of a young girl, and how she finds and decides where her true home really is.

Aug 16, Laura rated it it was amazing Shelves: I love Edwidge Danticat. Her writing is poetic but not overdone; it's deceptively simple and graceful. Her characters are complex and beautiful, and Danticat has a perceptive sense of relationships dynamics between characters. This book takes the form of a diary written by Celiane and tells the story of Celiane's family living in Haiti at the time of the election of Aristide.

The first half of the book takes place in Haiti, and the second half takes place in New York City. Therefore, it's a I love Edwidge Danticat. Therefore, it's a great combination of both the experience of living in Haiti and the experience of being a Haitian immigrant in the US. I also really like how Haitian and American history are subtly interwoven into the story, and I feel that, when I read this book with my ESL students, there will be a lot of different themes and topics to research in relation to the story.

The best stories, in my opinion, are the ones through which you learn not only more about the characters and the world they live in but also the world that you yourself live in and the corresponding history. Danticat's stories always make me want to learn more about history, race, culture, and language. I highly recommend any book by Danticat. Nov 21, Bookreaderljh rated it really liked it Shelves: Danticat is one of my favorite authors.

Fiction or non-fiction I don't believe there is any book she has written that I didn't like. This book would really be a good YA novel especially for a Haitian immigrant child. It's a fast read - achingly simple as it should be as it is written from a child's perspective - and yet it is so real and descriptive as it tells essentially two stories. A short period of time in Haiti with a family that has been separated from their father and struggle between Danticat is one of my favorite authors.

A short period of time in Haiti with a family that has been separated from their father and struggle between rural and city Haiti themes. And then the beginning of the family's story as they are reunited with the father in the diaspora of New York City. Family joy and sorrow are convincingly depicted in the little things of life but you keep reading as it is a fascinating story of a young girl just beginning to value the power of words.

Her letter to her father brought tears to my eyes. Family dynamics and the story of her brother show that sometimes love isn't enough to avoid problems but it is enough to get through them and come out on the other side OK. Our fears from the "streams of our dreams" can be fought and overcome but it's not an easy path.

Sep 08, Vera rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Feb 23, Victoria Alvord rated it really liked it. The book Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat is a first person fiction book about a woman named Celiane who tells a story about her family's hard times in Haiti and New York. It is election time in Haiti right now and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and during that time Celiane and her mom take a visit to Haiti to see their home and are nearly killed.

Celaine wants to gain a full family again, and the only way to do that is to move to New York City where their Dad The book Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat is a first person fiction book about a woman named Celiane who tells a story about her family's hard times in Haiti and New York. Celaine wants to gain a full family again, and the only way to do that is to move to New York City where their Dad lives and has been working for a while. Being in New York has not been a comfortable atmosphere for Celiane. Celiane has a lot of difficulties living in New York like getting used to the culture and also a lot of school violence as well.

This book was a very good book and I definitely recommend to everyone! It was definitely a grab the reader book! Feb 04, Renee rated it really liked it. It was a very visual type of text, which led you to feel like you where in the middle of the harsh winter setting that were repeatedly mention. The author of the novel used her own connection and story of emigrating from Haiti to New York, and then transformed it into a very well developed reading. The main character Celiane has a similar story to the author, moving from the capital city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince to Brooklyn, New York.

The amount of detail of the election time bombing settings in the text made it a sad reading. Although many parts of the novel left nothing but melancholy feelings it was still a good book. I was so pleased to see that Danticat had written a middle grade novel! I live and teach in a community with a large Haitian population, so books set in that part of the world are especially valuable for my library.

But I only got through half of this. It feels Important, but it's boring. Some of this is, I think, the fault of the diary format -- for instance, when the main character is caught in a bomb blast, that should have been a riveting action scene, but we have to hear about it at a remov I was so pleased to see that Danticat had written a middle grade novel!

Some of this is, I think, the fault of the diary format -- for instance, when the main character is caught in a bomb blast, that should have been a riveting action scene, but we have to hear about it at a remove a few days later when she gets around to writing about it in the hospital. Some of it might be that writing for middle schoolers is different from writing for adults, and even the most brilliant adult authors often don't get it.

But when I have to force myself this hard, kids will too -- it isn't worth it. Dec 07, sydney rated it liked it. This is another young adult book written by Danticat. The protagonist, Celiane, lives in Haiti with her mother and brother, and they anxiously await the day that their father will send for them to join him in New York. Meanwhile, they prepare for the upcoming election while violence explodes around them. Set against this political backdrop, Celiane's story also focuses on more kid-friendly topics, like her best friend's crush on her older brother, her feelings about her father's absence, and her This is another young adult book written by Danticat.

Set against this political backdrop, Celiane's story also focuses on more kid-friendly topics, like her best friend's crush on her older brother, her feelings about her father's absence, and her struggle to make new friends at school. I'm not the intended audience for this book, but I liked it.

The book retains Danticat's signature figurative language and imagery. Recommended for middle-school and early high school students who enjoy Danticat but find her adult books a bit too dense or difficult. Aug 08, donna rated it it was amazing Shelves: Edwidge Danticat, imagines the life of Celiane Esperance, a young teen moving to the U. The book starts out in the year as Aristide seeks a second presidency and political unrest breaks out in Port-au-Prince. Celiane and her family get caught up in a scary bombing as the reader imagines what it would be like to live in a country where the suspicion of a rigged election heavy irony here in August leads to violent protests.

After finally being cleared to emigrate to New York to join Edwidge Danticat, imagines the life of Celiane Esperance, a young teen moving to the U. After finally being cleared to emigrate to New York to join her father, Celiane and her family then face the adjustment to a new city, climate, and culture. This is a short book that can be read in a few hours but it is incredibly powerful in introducing the reader to life in Haiti and the experiences of new U.

Also, Danticat is an incredibly writer and it is a joy to read her prose. Jan 23, Sara Latta rated it liked it. I wanted to like this book more than I did.


After the earthquake, I thought I would write about some YA books with a Haitian theme for my recommendation column. Then, along with the energetic fat teenager, went back to chopping wood. A day, two days, three days… time continued on until two months had passed. Naruto's wood-felling ability slowly grew until he could chop down four trees in a day. But, most of his time was spent trying to grasp the meaning of spiritual energy. His eyes grew more and more bloodshot. Then one evening around dusk, as he sat panting in mediation, his body suddenly vibrated, and he felt a prickling numbness in his limbs.

Then, it seemed as if tiny wisp of invisible Chakra condensed within his flesh and blood, then seeped out of his body. After that, he felt a strand of spiritual energy appear inside him. It disappeared almost instantly, but Naruto opened his eyes excitedly. His exhaustion disappeared, and his bloodshot eyes grew whiter. His body trembling, he clutched at the Chakra Condensation Manual. He hadn't eaten or slept much in the past months. Other than chopping down trees, he spent almost all his time on spiritual energy, and now, at long last, he had some results.

He felt as if he were filled with power. Time passed in a flash, two months, and now it was the eighth month of the year, summer. Broiling sunlight fell from the sky. Naruto used one hand to stoke the bonfire in front of him, and the other to hold the Chakra Condensation Manual, which he studied intently. He closed his eyes for the time it takes an incense stick to burn, sensing the delicate strand of Chakra within his body.

This was the Chakra which had appeared two months ago, and Naruto regarded it as a treasure. The strand was clearly much thicker now. Using the mnemonics and circulation technique described in the manual, he sat in meditation, allowing the Chakra strand to move about his body. After a short time, Naruto opened his eyes and caught sight of the fat teenager approaching quickly, carrying his axe.

The fat teenager used his axe to dig through the soil and pull the chicken out. It was fully cooked now. Compared to now, the first two months here were like a nightmare…" This was his new practice, to flatter Naruto. I don't understand any of those mnemonics. Six days flew by. The fat teenager was already asleep, and Naruto sat cross-legged in his room, meditating. He thought about how other than wood-chopping, he had spent all his time these past three months in sensing spiritual energy. He thought back to two months ago, when the strand of Chakra had first stirred within him.

He breathed deeply, closing his eyes and causing the strand of spiritual energy to circulate throughout his body. Then, a loud sound reverberated in his head. Up to now, he had been unable to disperse the Chakra throughout his entire body. But just now, he had succeeded, diffusing the Chakra to every corner of his body. He felt as if his body were floating. At the same moment in which Naruto achieved the first level of Chakra Condensation, the horse-faced young man sitting on the big stone outside slowly opened his eyes. He looked in the direction of Naruto's house, then closed his eyes again.

At dawn, under the envious eyes of everyone in the Northern Servants' quarter, Naruto walked out of the room that had been his home for the past four months. He stood in front of the horse-faced youth. The fat teenager didn't come with him. He remained in the doorway watching Naruto, determination filling his eyes. You're not quite outstanding, but not stupid, either. Calmly, he said, "Now that you are going to the Outer Sect, I must explain to you the rules there.

Every month, Spirit Stones and medicinal pills will be distributed there, but it is not prohibited to take things by force from others, or to gang up. There is a Public Area there that some people call the Killing Zone. You … you will need to look out for yourself. That is where you will register your promotion.

Behind the Mountains

Clasping his fist in salute, he turned and glanced at the fat teenager. They looked at each other for a moment, and Naruto felt emotion welling up in his heart. He chose not to dwell on it. He pinched the jade slip, which then began to glow with a green light, and gradually floated forward. He trod a narrow road which led away from the main gate, walking further and further away, toward the foot of the mountain.

Eventually he reached an area he had never stepped foot into during the past four months. The Reliance Sect was comprised of four main mountains, with east, west, north and south peaks, respectively. Surrounding them were vast mountain chains which seemed to never end. At the halfway point up each mountain was a Servants' Quarter. Naruto had been assigned to the Northern Servant's quarter on the Northern Mountain.

The way further up was protected by defensive spells. Beyond them lived the Inner Sect disciples and elders. Each of the four mountains was like this. As for the flat area in-between them all, it was filled with countless houses inhabited by the Reliance Sect's Outer Sect. In this respect, the Reliance Sect was slightly different that other Sects. The Outer Sect was located at the foot of the mountain, whereas the servants lived halfway up.

This was a sect rule created for unknown reasons by Patriarch Reliance. From a distance, the entire area seemed to be filled with roiling fog. However, upon stepping foot into the fog, it disappeared. In front of him stretched a scene of carved balustrades and marble steps, of lofty buildings and roads paved with green stone. Outer Sect disciples bustled about wearing green robes. A few of them noticed Naruto as he walked past. Some of them shot him contemptuous glances which lacked even the slightest bit of good intent.

He felt as if he were being stared at by wild beasts, which caused him to recall what Elder Brother Horse-face had said about the Outer Sect. Not long after that, he reached a black building in the southern section of the Outer Sect. It was three stories tall, and despite being black, appeared to have been carved from jade, and almost seemed to be transparent. As Naruto approached, the building's main door opened noiselessly and out walked a wizened, middle-aged man.

He wore a long robe of deep green, and a shrewd expression covered his face. He lifted his right hand in a grabbing motion, and the jade slip flew into his hand. He looked at it then began to speak languidly:. He shall be bestowed with a house, a green robe, a spirit tablet, and a bag of holding. The spirit tablet can be used to enter the Treasure Pavilion to retrieve a magic item.

He looked at the gray bag for a moment, then thought back to one of the Outer Sect disciples he'd passed on the road. That man had a bag just like this hanging at his waist. The shrewd-looking man looked at Naruto, and could instantly tell that he was not familiar at all with the ways of the Outer Sect. Otherwise, how could he be unfamiliar with a bag of holding? Feeling a bit bad for him, he coolly said, "By imbuing the bag with spiritual energy, you can pack many things into it.

Having heard this, Naruto imbued the bag with a sizable amount of spiritual energy. It grew blurry, and then he caught a glimpse of a space inside about half the size of a person. There, he could see a green robe, a jade slip, and some other objects. At this point, his interest was quite piqued. This bag of holding must be worth at least a hundred gold. It clearly was the product of Immortal hands. He concentrated, and the jade slip suddenly appeared in his hand. He focused his attention even more and found that inside the bag was a map of the Outer Sect Quarter.

In a remote corner was his house. Naruto lifted his head and stuffed the bag of holding into his robe. Looking at the opened door of the Treasure Pavilion, he sucked in a deep breath and stepped in, filled with anticipation. The Treasure Pavilion was indeed filled with treasure. Upon entering it, one's eye would be dazzled with brilliant lights. Neatly arranged jade shelves were filled with a dazzling display of bottles, swords, ornaments and jewelry.

Naruto began breathing heavily, and his heart started pumping. It felt as if all the blood in his body had rushed to his brain. He stood there, dumbfounded. In Naruto's short life, he had never seen so much wealth. He felt as if it had submerged him. His brain spun, and he inadvertently thought about grabbing all of it and running away. The compensation for working for Immortals, it's incredible. He wondered if the third floor of the Treasure Pavilion was the same as the first, or if it perhaps had even more valuable treasures.

Suddenly, his eyes fell upon something strange.

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On one of the jade shelves he noticed a copper mirror. There were traces of corrosion on it. It didn't seem very special, nor did it glitter. It didn't seem like it could compare in any way to the treasures around it.

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Surprised, Naruto picked it up and looked at it closely. It seemed quite ordinary, like something from the mortal world. Nothing about it seemed the least bit unique. And yet, here it was in the Treasure Pavilion, so he assumed it must have some value. He didn't know when the shrewd-looking man had entered, but he stood there looking at the copper mirror.

His voice filled with praise, he continued, "The fact that you picked up that copper mirror shows that you were destined to do so. There are many legends regarding it. The strangest thing is, only those with good fortune and accumulated good deeds in past lives can acquire it. It seems Junior Brother is just such a person. With this mirror, you can lord it over heaven and earth. You definitely have this opportunity. His voice seemed to contain some strange power which forced Naruto to listen to him.

It was not covered with complicated carvings, but instead, corrosion, making it very unclear. You should know that true treasures of a spiritual nature often conceal themselves in ordinary things. The more humble they appear, the more precious they are. He looked seriously at Naruto. Will you really put it back just because it looks ordinary? I have been responsible for the Treasure Pavilion for many years, and I know the origin of all the items here. Many years ago, this copper mirror caused a huge commotion in the Five Elements Nation.

It was created from a ray of light which fell from the Heavens. After acquiring it, Patriarch Reliance studied it in secret, believing it to be a treasure of the Heavens. In the end, he couldn't unlock its mysteries, and came to the conclusion that it was predestined to fall into the hands of someone who would use it to trample upon heaven and earth.

It startled Naruto to hear the name of Patriarch Reliance. He had just entered the Outer Sect, and there were many things he wasn't familiar with. He began to hesitate. Allow Elder Brother to explain: Patriarch Reliance's lack of success in his studies proves that there is something unique and unusual about this treasure. Before you, ten or more people took it to study it, and though none of them succeeded in understanding it, none of them regretted their decision. In any case, if you take it, you can rest at ease. Of your fellow disciples who took the mirror in the past, most came back within three months, and I let them exchange it for something else.

After dealing with me for some time, you will find that I am very easy-going. I don't want to give fellow disciples a hard time. But if you abandon it, and it turns out you were destined to take it, then you will regret it for your entire life. When he saw Naruto hesitating, he laughed to himself. The new disciples were always the easiest to toy with. All he had to do was tell them the story of the mirror's legend, and the grand words would seduce them. Their hearts would begin to boil. From the shrewd-looking man's seemingly earnest expression, he could conjecture that the mirror was not exactly as had been described.

But, the man stood there in front of him, clearly determined to prevent him from putting back the mirror. Even dropping it to the ground would be of little use. He began to regret picking it up in the first place. When you pick something up in the Treasure Pavilion, you are not permitted to put it down. This was his usual method to get people to take the mirror. He waved his wide sleeve, and a whistling wind picked up Naruto, flew him out of the Treasure Pavilion, and deposited him outside. The voice of the shrew-looking man echoed from inside: If you truly are not destined to have the mirror, then you can return it in a few days.

Frowning angrily, Naruto looked up at the closed door. Then he sighed and looked back down at the copper mirror in his hands. He thought back to the words in the first chapter of the Chakra Condensation Manual and hesitated. If this truly was something that Patriarch Reliance had studied, then it must have some value. Shaking his head, he put the mirror into his robe. Then, with a final hateful glare at the Treasure Pavilion, he turned and left.

He walked along the green paths of the Outer Sect, using the information from the jade slip as a guide. Around noontime, he found his house. It was along the north border, in a very remote section of the Outer Sect. Several other houses crowded around it. He pushed the door open, and it slammed against the wall. Inside were a bed and a desk. Naruto stood there, feeling quite content. This place was much better than his room in the Servants' Quarter.

He sat down cross-legged on the bed, took a deep breath and pulled the copper mirror out of his robe. He studied it carefully, until the sun began to set over the western mountains. He lit an oil lamp and continued to study it, all to no avail. He had no idea what the purpose of the mirror could be. When the night grew deep, Naruto put the mirror to the side and looked out the window at the moon. He thought about the fat teenager and his snoring. He missed it a little bit. The bright moon shone outside, its rays touching the eaves of his window. Everything was silent, save for the sound of the wind among the leaves of the trees.

Naruto took a deep breath, thinking about the moon. He felt emotional, as if he had entered a new age. He murmured to himself: I've become a Reliance Outer Sect disciple…". Naruto gathered his thoughts, closed his eyes, and sat in meditation, circulating the thread of spiritual energy in his body. He had been living in this fashion for months now, and was used to it. One difference between the Outer Sect and the Servants' Quarter was that here, no one prepared food for you.

You had to take care of your own food needs. If you didn't, you would starve to death and no one would care a whit. Although, in all the years, no one in the Reliance Outer Sect had ever starved to death. Upon reaching the first stage of Chakra Condensation, one could absorb and emit the spiritual energy of Heaven and Earth. Though that could not alleviate hunger, it could sustain your life.

One afternoon, Naruto sat cross-legged in meditation, when he suddenly heard a miserable scream from outside. He immediately opened his eyes, moved to the window and looked outside. He saw an Outer Sect disciple on the ground, being stamped upon over and over again by another. Blood oozed from a wound in his chest, but he wasn't dead, just wounded.

The person who had been kicking him grabbed his bag of holding, then walked off with a cold harrumph. The trampled disciple struggled to his feet, his eyes filled with violent ruthlessness. Surrounding onlookers stared at him coldly, their faces filled with ridicule.

He had watched similar scenes played out countless times in the past few days, and as such had a deeper understanding of the ways of the Outer Sect. Time blurred as seven days passed. During that time, Naruto saw even more instances of disciples being robbed. The fighting and plundering which occurred between Outer Sect disciples caused Naruto to grow more and more taciturn.

Especially disturbing was when he had seen a disciple of the second or third level of Chakra Condensation killed by another in the Public Area. This caused Naruto to be especially careful and cautious when he went outside. Thankfully, his Cultivation base was low, and he didn't have anything of value, so others mostly ignored him.

Actually, Naruto had reached a standstill in his Cultivation. The second level of Chakra Condensation was different than the first. He still needed spiritual energy, but according to the Chakra Condensation Manual, his mortal body had already begun to change. As such, reaching the second level of Chakra Condensation would require many more times the amount of spiritual energy than the first level did.

Similarly, Naruto now understood what latent talent was. The body's ability to absorb the spiritual energy of Heaven and Earth was just that, latent talent. The more latent talent someone has, the more energy they could absorb. The less latent talent one has, the less energy they could absorb. For someone with considerable latent talent, the more time they spent on breathing exercises, the more spiritual energy they could absorb.

According to his calculations, to reach the second level of Chakra Condensation would probably take at least one or two years. The amount of time required to reach the third level would be many more times than that. Of course, if he acquired some medicinal pills or Spirit Stones, he could use them to amplify spiritual energy, then, he could decrease that time. That was why so much horrific robbery occurred in the Outer Sect; every month, pills would be openly distributed.

One early morning, when the sky had just begun to grow dim with light, Naruto sat in meditation as usual. He had no special resources, except for his determination. Therefore, he did not give up on his nightly meditations and breathing exercises. Bells reverberated throughout the Sect, and Naruto slowly opened his eyes. An excited expression appeared on his face, and he dashed out of the room to see fellow disciples everywhere, rushing off into the distance.

It must be today. It seemed everyone within the Outer Sect was there. He ran along with the crowds until he reached the square in the center of the Outer Sect. The square was monumental in size, and along its borders were nine stone pillars covered in carvings of dragons. Placed on the foremost pillar was a platform over ninety meters in diameter, over which swirled a multi-colored cloud.

Inside the cloud could be seen shapeless forms. Over a hundred Outer Sect disciples stood there in their green robes, murmuring amongst themselves and glancing frequently at the multi-colored cloud. Then, the cloud slowly dissipated, revealing a pock-faced old man wearing a golden robe. His face was placid and emitted a calm, natural power and dignity.

His eyes shone like lightning. Two people stood next to him, a man and a woman, both wearing silver robes. The man was exceedingly handsome, with an upright appearance, although indifference covered his face. As for the woman, as soon as Naruto laid eyes on her, his pupils constricted.

You don't see this very often. Don't tell me there's an Individual Pill Distribution this time? Look, Elder Brother Gozu is here. He's the second-ranked disciple in the Outer Sect. His Cultivation base has reached the fifth level of Chakra Condensation. If he can reach the seventh level, then he will automatically become an Inner Sect disciple. Too bad Elder Brother Sasuke isn't here. The year he joined the Sect, he caused a big sensation amongst the Sect Elders. He probably doesn't want to violate Sect etiquette, so he'll rely only on himself to enter the Inner Sect.

Then there will finally be a third Inner Sect disciple. With Individual Pill Distribution, there's a twenty-four hour period of sealing in which the pill can't be used. Every two hours, the pill glows brightly. Anyone who wants to fight for it will be able to determine its location. Even if you grab the pill and run, you won't be able to keep it hidden for twenty-four hours. Naruto listened to the discussions around him. Even though it was his first time taking part in this sort of thing, he knew whenever pills were distributed, there was a lot of fighting. In his half a month here, he had seen plenty of fights and even some deaths.

If today was really an Individual Pill Distribution day, then the fighting would be even more intense. Considering he was at the first level of Chakra Condensation, there was no way he would end up with the pill. Just looking at the greedy faces around him gave him a deeper understanding of the expression "the law of the jungle.

His voice was cold as he stood on the platform, and though he didn't speak loudly, his voice reverberated like a booming thunderclap. The Cultivators standing below him were shocked to the core. Naruto was the most shocked of all, and it took him some time to recover. Today, everyone in attendance will receive one Spirit Condensation pill, and half a Spirit Stone.

They landed perfectly in front of everyone present. Naruto gazed at the medicinal pill and Spirit Stone floating in front of him. A fragrant, intoxicating aroma washed over him. This was his first time ever seeing a medicinal pill or a Spirit Stone. The Spirit Stone was about the size of his fingernail, sparkling and almost translucent. Just looking at it could mystify a person. His heart began to beat rapidly. These two items must be worth thousands of pieces of gold. Without any hesitation, Naruto reached out and grabbed the pill. He was about to pop it into his mouth and swallow it down when he noticed that no one around him was doing any such thing.

He looked down at the pill in his hand and noticed that it had a faint glow to it, and was sealed with a strange mark. As Naruto stared at the pill in his hand, Gato's voice once again rang out from the platform: As soon as it appeared, a wonderful fragrance filled the entire square. Even just breathing it, Naruto felt as if his spiritual energy had increased a bit. This was clearly no ordinary pill. There can't be many within the Sect, and yet, there it is!

Who knows how many people will die? This was especially true of disciples who were on the brink of breaking through to a new level of cultivation. However, I heard there was a disciple promoted to the Outer Sect this month, which makes me very happy. If we can do this every month, then brilliant glory lies just around the corner for the Reliance Sect. I bestow this pill upon that person as an encouragement. Naruto's heart began to race. The first half of the short speech had left him feeling unsettled, but he had no time to react; Gato's right hand flicked, and the purple pill appeared in front of him.

Before he could even make an attempt to refuse, the pill lowered into his hand. As of that moment, Naruto's entrance into the Reliance Sect could be called unprecedented. The eyes of the entire crowd focused on him. Greed and cruelty filled their expressions, as if they planned to rip him to pieces alive. Even the man and woman standing next to Gato were staring.

The woman had a look of shock on her face, which she quickly covered up with an icy expression. There will be a lot of fighting this time. This guy is going to be public enemy number one. Last time there was an Individual Pill Day, the guy who received the pill was at the second level of Chakra Condensation. He hesitated for just a moment too long, so Elder Brother Kiba dragged him in a fury to the Public Area and lopped off his head.

The sound of discussion reverberated across the square, and many disciples of the second or third Chakra Condensation level, despite knowing the danger, grew greedy. Because the Cultivation base of the person who received the pill was so weak, they felt as if they were qualified to snatch it. Naruto's entire body broke out in a cold sweat.

He wanted to throw the pill away, but he found that it actually stuck to his hand, making it impossible to get rid of. Around him, covetous eyes stared at him menacingly, and suddenly, it was as if he could feel the shadow of death hanging over him. Some people began to slowly walk toward him, murderous expressions filling their faces. At that moment, two old men sat cross-legged on one of the nearby mountain peaks, smiling as they discussed the scene unfolding in the Outer Sect Square. To give the medicinal pill to a pup like that who just entered the Sect… He's finished.

It seems our Reliance Sect will be short another disciple. I bet that as soon as the restrictive fog dissipates from the square, the pup will toss the pill. As soon as the second old man finished speaking, the nine colorful, dragon-carved statues surrounding the square began to fade in color. From the look of it, after the space of about ten breaths, they would be completely colorless.

At that point, the restrictive fog would also disappear. Naruto's heart began to pound. He didn't need anyone to explain to him what would happen when the glowing pillars grew dark.

And the Mountains Echoed Audiobook - by Khaled Hosseini

The square would become a scene of madness. Even if he threw the pill away, that in and of itself would make some of the people angry at him. His mind began to spin. If he didn't get rid of the pill, he would die; if he did throw it away, he would become an object of hatred. Trying to make use of all the knowledge he had acquired in his three years of studying, he looked at the fading, colorful glow, and then at Gato, who stood amidst the colorful fog on the platform, preparing to leave. At this critical moment, Naruto suddenly had a flash of inspiration.

Disciple would very much like to offer thanks to the one person who made this possible. Today, I finally have that opportunity. I would like to offer this pill to you as a measure of my thanks to you for giving me a new lease on life. Gato gaped, clearly never having imagined that Naruto would say such a thing. A strange expression appeared on his face, and he slowly smiled.

Standing next to him in her silver robe, Ms. Hinata also stared in shock. Even though she was still cold and detached, there was something different about her expression now. Her Cultivation base was the seventh level of Chakra Condensation, thus the Dry Spirit Pills would not be of much help to her. However, Dry Spirit Pills were still relatively rare and not easy to acquire, even for her, a member of the Inner Sect.

If she took this pill and melded it together with a few other pills, she could create a new pill worth five normal pills. For a moment, she couldn't help but palpitate with eagerness. The Cultivators who had been advancing on Naruto suddenly stopped in their tracks, strange expressions on their faces. They stared at him with confusion. That would basically be picking a fight with the Inner Sect. I was injured so badly I was bedridden for three months. The people staring at Naruto seemed to all have different feelings on the matter. It was hard to say what had happened in ages past, but as for the Cultivators here, they had never seen anyone deal with a medicinal pill in this fashion.

As of now, Naruto had been indefinitely impressed onto everyone's memories. As of now, the dragon-carved pillars were completely colorless. The pill still lay in Naruto's outstretched palm, and yet no one moved to take it. This was truly something rare to see in the Reliance Sect. Hinata's expression had returned to normal.

Without hesitation, her right hand flashed downwards, and the medicinal pill flew from Naruto's hand into hers. Seeing the pill taken away, Naruto secretly sighed. However, he knew that in his current state, it could only bring him calamity. Around him, everyone else sighed, feeling angry at Naruto. But, as soon as they thought of elder sister Hinata, any such anger dissipated. Hinata hesitated for a moment. Considering her status as an Inner Sect disciple, it would be a bit improper to take something so valuable from an Outer Sect disciple and not offer anything in return.

She was silent for a moment, then said, "Years ago, when I was a member of the Outer Sect, an Immortal's Cave was bestowed to me. I shall lend it to you to live in. She tossed it down toward Naruto and he grabbed it from the air. They say there's a lot of spiritual energy in there, more than anywhere else in the Sect. She just used the word lend so that everyone wouldn't think too much. This kid really did the right thing in giving her the pill. Just then, back atop the mountain peaks outside the Outer Sect were the two gray-robed old men who had been betting on the proceedings.

Tall and grand, their eyes glittered brightly with praise.

He just entered the Sect, but already knows that he should find someone to rely on. Don't tell me he has innate instincts… Very good, splendid. He comprehends the true meaning of the Reliance Sect. This kid isn't bad. He really isn't bad! In fact, you could say that everyone knew her, because as of now, the Reliance Inner Sect only had two disciples. Other than elder sister Hinata, the only other disciple was the man currently standing next to Gato. After elder sister Hinata lent him her Immortal's Cave, it had a fear-inspiring effect on everyone, allowing Naruto to leave the square with the Spirit Stone and Spirit Condensation pills.

Everyone watched him as he left. As he walked off into the distance, his back soaked with sweat, he felt the glares behind him like invisible blades. They slowly dissipated as he walked quickly away. In the time it takes three incense sticks to burn, Naruto walked without stopping.

He didn't return to his room in the Outer Sect, but rather followed the white jade slip elder sister Hinata had given him toward the Southern Mountain. At the foot of the mountain, he located the Immortal's Cave. Outside of the cave, two large stone slabs towered up next to the mountain face. Everything was covered with green branches and vines; it appeared to be an entirely unordinary place, very different from Naruto's previous two dwellings.

The surroundings here were peaceful and lush. Not far away, a mountain spring flowed down, and the wind carried away the heat, replacing it with cool, fresh air. Naruto stood in front of the mouth of the Immortal's Cave, looking completely content. Now he truly understood how precious such a cave could be, clearly much more than any other dwelling place.

No wonder all the other Outer Sect disciples had looked so jealous and envious when elder sister Hinata lent it to him. He waved his right hand, and the slip of white jade flew forward to the cave's green stone door. It slapped onto the surface, and a buzzing sound filled the air as the door slowly opened. The Immortal's Cave was not very big, and only had two rooms.

One room was for practicing cultivation, the other was sealed shut with a stone door. Naruto entered, and the green stone door slowly closed behind him. When it sealed, the white jade slip flew out and into Naruto's hand. Thereupon, a soft glow began to emanate from the craggy stone ceiling. The more he looked around, the more satisfied he felt. Finally, his gaze fell upon the sealed stone door. Muttering to himself, he placed the jade slip onto it, and the door slowly opened.

At that moment, an odor of thick spiritual energy suddenly wafted out. Naruto looked into the stone room, his eyes wide with shock. He stared blankly into the stone room, at something that appeared to be the mouth of a spring. Out of it gurgled pure spiritual energy, multicolored and glowing as it curled up into the air. Who knew how long it had been accumulating in the stone room. As soon as the door had opened, it began to pour out, its aroma sweet in the nose and mouth. Even just a whiff would fill you with energy.

It was something else he had never seen before, but had read about in the Chakra Condensation Manual. Some springs in the world were Spirit Springs, which had no water. Instead, they flowed forth with spiritual energy. Not many existed, and most were occupied by Cultivators, considering how treasured was the spiritual energy they emitted. The Spirit Spring was relatively small. When all its spiritual energy came out, it was only slightly thicker than outside. To anyone above the third level of Chakra Condensation, it would not be very helpful. After the third level, the spiritual energy required was just too much; thus, it was only moderately useful.

Despite that, as far as Naruto was concerned, this gift was incomparably valuable, even much more so than a Dry Spirit pill. With this discovery, Naruto went nearly wild with joy. With no time to think, he sat down cross-legged, closed his eyes, and began his breathing exercises. After a few hours, the greater part of the spiritual energy that had accumulated here was gone.

Naruto opened his eyes, and they flashed brilliantly. This accumulation of spiritual energy took quite some time to build up, and probably won't be like this again. Even still, practicing Cultivation in here, I will be able to achieve speed that's impossible in the outside world. Looking around, he noticed that the walls were covered with strange markings that he didn't understand.

He again sat down and began to do breathing exercises. The night passed quickly, and as the sun rose the next morning, Naruto opened his eyes. The spiritual energy in the stone room was very thin. But the Spirit Spring was still there. After some period of time passed, the spiritual energy would surely build up again. Naruto took a moment to sense his cultivation level. It seemed that he had made an advancement worth nearly two months. He very much wanted to break through the first level, because only by reaching the second level of Chakra Condensation could one unlock the first Immortal Skill in the Chakra Condensation Manual.

Thinking of Immortal Skills, Naruto left the stone room, closing the stone door as if it were some type of jewel or treasure. He decided to use elder sister Hinata's method. He wouldn't stand guard next to the Spirit Spring itself. He would just wait for some time to pass, then come back to collect the spiritual energy. Sitting there in the Immortal's Cave, Naruto rubbed his stomach. Thinking over the recent days, and looking down at his skinny belly, he realized that he hadn't eaten any wild animals recently. Not even wild fruits. After becoming an Outer Sect disciple, he thought to himself, he hadn't been eating as much as when he was a servant.

It was said that one drop of such a pill would prevent hunger for days. Without them, people would have to spend time worrying about finding food. After thinking about it for a while, Naruto decided to go out for a bit. The fresh wind blew past him into the surrounding jungle. As he walked, he pulled the copper mirror out of his bag of holding, as had become his custom. By now, he was thoroughly convinced that the Treasure Pavilion Brother had tricked him. There was nothing unusual at all about this mirror.

In more than half a month of study, he hadn't uncovered anything even slightly peculiar about it. I bet I'll need to use it to bribe him to let me exchange it. He suddenly froze in place, lifting his head up when he noticed a flash of color off in the distance in the jungle. It wasn't moving very fast. Based on his experience in the past months catching wild chickens, he knew exactly what it was. Without time to think about shoving the copper mirror and Spirit Stone back into the bag of holding, he shoved them into a pocket and leaped forward. Ever since spiritual energy had appeared in his body, Naruto realized that he was much more nimble than before.

Despite still being somewhat frail, he now could burst forth with explosive force. Especially nowadays, after reaching the first level of Chakra Condensation, a leap like the one he just made propelled him forward very quickly. In the space of about ten breaths, he was able to snatch the alarmed wild chicken. He clasped it by the two wings so that it couldn't move about.

Maybe he would go find him and share a meal of wild game. Just as he turned, he suddenly felt something inside his robe growing hot. Moments later, the previously quiet chicken in his hand started to struggle wildly and emit miserable squawking sounds. It moved around with such energy than Naruto almost couldn't keep hold of it. The wild chicken struggled even fiercely, squawking with incomparable shrillness. Then, a popping sound could be heard coming from its butt, which then suddenly exploded, sending blood and gore flying in all directions.

Everything happened so suddenly. Naruto stood there gaping. Ever since arriving on the mountain, he had caught quite a few wild chickens. But this was the first time he had seen anything like this. He looked down with shock at the dead chicken and its exploded rear. Then he looked around. Everything was still and quiet. Not even a shadow moved. The wild chicken's death had been quite miserable. It must have experienced incredible pain for its butt exploded. Naruto took in a deep breath, suppressing the anxiety he felt. The wild chicken's death had been too odd and horrific.

He felt as if a cold wind was blowing down his back. He tossed away the dead chicken, and then pulled out the mirror and the Spirit Stone. He remembered that just before the strange thing had happened with the chicken, something in his robe had started to grow hot. His heart began to beat faster and a powerful radiance shone forth in his eyes. He had no time to go eat with the fat teenager. Gripping the mirror, he ran as fast as possible into the jungle, trying to find another wild animal. He needed to know if the wild chicken's killer really was the mirror. He didn't have to run for very long before a wild deer appeared right in front of him.

It stood there looking at him stupidly, then angrily. Naruto immediately shined the mirror onto it. The deer's expression changed immediately. It leaped to flee, calling out miserably, in a heart-rending fashion difficult to describe. Anyone who heard it could only imagine how miserable the creature must be. Naruto could clearly see the animal's flank as it leaped into the air. Before it could land, its butt exploded with a bang, its body twitching as it fell. Looking at the dead deer, then back at the mirror, an unprecedented look of excitement appeared on Naruto's face. A treasure that explodes the butts of wild animals…" Even though he didn't understand it completely, he was still very excited.

Regardless of why the treasure did this, he had an itching desire to go test it out on some more animals. Then its butt exploded. In mid-air, it emitted a terrifying roar that changed into a horrific squeal, whereupon its butt blew open, showering gore and blood everywhere. Perhaps because it had so much fur, it actually exploded five times in succession. What a mighty treasure. He looked down at the copper mirror. Throughout the day, he had exploded the rear ends of over one hundred animals. Fortunately, he was out in the multitudinous wild mountains, otherwise the stench of the blood and gore would be overwhelming.

When I tried it out on that python, and the fish, it didn't do anything at all. It seems it doesn't work on animals with scales. But it's still awesome. It only worked when he held it. He also got a strange, excited feeling when it was at work exploding wild animals' rear ends. It also looked like the corrosion was beginning to fade, as if it had been hidden away for years and finally was able to stretch its legs. As dusk fell, Naruto found himself some distance out in the wild mountains. The night wind blew, and he took in a deep, excited breath.

He was just getting ready to head back to the Immortal's Cave. After all, these mountains were filled with wild animals. Naruto had even heard that demonic beasts that practiced cultivation lived out here. Despite his excitement, he also knew that it could be dangerous. He had come to this place while searching for wild animals, so the going had been slow. But on the way back, he could go much more quickly. Naruto sped along through the wooded mountains, and before long, a bright moon hung high in the sky. Soon, he could see that only three mountains lay between him and the Immortal's Cave.