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Overview

「A Finished Tale」—Ten Years After— (「終わってしまった話」 ("Owatteshimatta Hanashi") —Ten Years After—) is the sixth and final chapter of the third volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.

Synopsis

A woman is in her apartment thinking about cutting her hair. She reminisces about her years as a teen when she used to have hair that was too short for most girls, wielded a pistol, and where a sassy motorad called Hermes could be now.

Somewhere in the past, Hermes is talking to a girl called Inid, telling her to stop what she's doing. She had picked a fight with Kino and taken Hermes away. Hermes asks her why she's randomly attacking travelers who've caused her no harm and she says it's to become a member of the pirates. In that area that was controlled by pirates, to be recognized as a member one had to perform a rite of passage where they would attack the first traveler they saw and steal their belongings. Once they did, they'd officially become a pirate.

Hermes points out that the traveler may be strong and fight back, and Inid replies that this is up to luck which is also part of being a pirate. But if necessary the rite allowed you to kill others. Inid wished to become a pirate to follow in her father's footsteps and someday become captain.

Kino and Inid exchange shots throughout the afternoon and after a surprise ambush, Inid is caught and loses the fight. She's then tied up on the campsite as Hermes explains to Kino why they were attacked. Inid struggles desperately but isn't table to break free from her bonds. Eventually she gives up in despair and begs Kino to kill her, since there isn't anything left for her in life if she can't become a pirate. But Kino refuses and Inid breaks down into tears.

As Kino disarms Inid's weapons and finishes packing, a ship begins to pull up on the shore. Kino and Hermes recognize that it's a pirate's ship and decide to make their escape, but the pirates on board call out to her offering her peace. Inid dejectedly affirms that pirates are people of their word who don't lie, and upon reaching the shore the pirates offer Kino valuables as compensation for the trouble they had caused and reward since Kino won over the rite of passage. Kino refuses but when the pirates insist on taking responsibility she requests to have fuel, ammunition and some travelling supplies instead. 

Inid is released and the captain expresses his thanks to Kino for not killing her, although she easily could have done so. Although she couldn't become one of them, the crew mates are glad that Inid is unharmed. Hermes chimes in the background that Inid was indeed a strong person, but it was merely bad luck that her opponent happened to be Kino.

The older woman finishes reminiscing. She remembers that on that day when Kino defeated her, she could no longer become a pirate. Even so, no one in her crew criticized or laughed at her, everyone was kind. But in the end, she couldn't face them and ran away to an island that supports pirates and is frequented by people who fail the rite and began a normal life. She completed school and found she enjoyed books. She grew up and became a novelist. Once in a while she'd reminisce about the past, but she enjoyed her current life. Sometimes she would also think about Kino and Hermes, and would look out for them in case they visited the country but they never came. 

Perhaps they might have been attacked by bandits, but there's no way. At the very least, for a pair like them it just wasn't possible.

Notes

  • In Sigsawa's Gakuen Kino spinoff, Inid becomes one of the main characters for a story arc.