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OverviewEdit

「A Kind Land」 Tomorrow Never Comes. (優しい国」 ("Yasashii Kuni") —Tomorrow Never Comes.—) is the eighth and final chapter of the second volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.

SynopsisEdit

At the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains, Kino and Hermes are headed towards a country. The country is known among travelers to have a terrible reputation for being rude, unwelcoming and hostile towards outsiders.The reputation is so terrible that some have said that such a country shouldn't even exist. Hermes asks why they're going to a place like that and Kino says it's because she's curious about what sort of country could earn such a terrible reputation and it may have changed.

Upon reaching the country as soon as Kino declares her 3 day stay the guard welcomes them brightly. Everyone in the gate security ushers them in with the utmost hospitality and do not even require a weapons check. Kino and Hermes are surprised by this, and even more so when upon entering the country they're immediately surrounded by locals welcoming them in cheers.

Kino asks the locals if there is a clean, inexpensive hotel where she may stay. A little girl by the name of Sakura volunteers her parents' hotel which is exactly like that and Kino agrees. Sakura leads them to the hotel where they are welcomed very warmly by Sakura's parents who provide her with a large room and lunch, and Sakura offers to be their guide during their stay, very clearly proud of her family's inn and her job as a guide. 

A friendly local also notices Cannon at Kino's side and mentions that there is a very skilled persuader smith in town that she ought to visit. Upon visiting the smith he takes notice of Canon and asks her to allow him to tune and repair it. It would take an entire afternoon and so Kino departs for the time being but while alone, the smith nostalgically says to Canon that it's lived a long life.

In the meantime Kino brings Hermes to a local mechanic for repairs and Sakura guides them to several attractions around town including a theatrical play where Kino and Hermes are invited to lunch and everywhere they go they're greeted by locals welcoming them. When purchasing supplies and rations from shops, Kino is told that they are free as long as she tells other travelers about the shop.

When Kino returns to the persuader smith he returns Canon to her tuned up to a condition even better than when she first held it. As Kino marvels at this the smith mentions that she's a skilled marksman, and asks her if she knows of another skilled marks woman who would make all her companions call her "Master". At this Kino bluntly replies no, but the smith only smiles in response. He then says that she does not need to pay him for his services, and instead presents her with a box Woodsman and insists she takes it as a gift; he had traveled with it once and would like for it to be able to travel again by Kino's side.

At first Kino protests since it's extremely valuable but the smith not taking no for an answer, forces her to accept. When she does, the smith is as happy and excited as though he won the lottery and drags her to the shooting range to teach her how to use it. During this time he modifies the holster and tunes Woodsman to suit Kino's stature perfectly. 

During the last attraction Sakura brings Kino and Hermes to a wedding festival. The couple is surprisingly young and throw packets into the crowd. Sakura explains that the packets contain a seed and according to tradition those who are able to catch one are granted happiness and good fortune in their future marriage. Kino noticing that Sakura wished for one, catches packet and presents it to the girl as a gift.

At suppertime Sakura's parents mention that Kino and Hermes are incredible travelers and suggest that Sakura should travel too and see the world's delights. But Sakura states that she is happiest at home in their country and dreams of becoming fine innkeepers like her parents. 

On the third day, Kino doesn't wake at dawn as she normally does and sleeps in which is surprising to Hermes. Sakura's parents give Kino a basket of food as a parting gift before they leave, and advise her to make camp up the mountains in a certain location to avoid danger. At the gates as they prepare to depart, she asks the guards if it's possible to stay an additional day or two which shocks Hermes even further. The guards apologize and say that she cannot since she declared 3 days upon entry and that is their rule, but she is more than welcome to return and visit them again.

Outside the country at camp Hermes remarks that it was truly strange for Kino to want stay longer. She agrees and says it was a good thing the guards had her leave since if they hadn't, she might have gotten too comfortable and would settle down. 

That evening Kino suddenly wakes and when Hermes asks what's wrong she says she has an unusually bad feeling. Very soon the mountain on the opposite side of their campsite erupts. Kino's in shock but Hermes explains that it's a volcanic eruption headed towards the country at the bottom of the valley. She asks if she would be able to do anything, but Hermes replies it's already too late; if Kino went there she would just die. Kino and Hermes watch in silence as the lava engulfs the country.

Kino eats the food given by Sakura's mother and says they will leave as soon as she's finished, but as she packs up she finds a letter from the innkeepers. 

In the letter Sakura's mother writes that some time ago their scientists discovered that the volcanic eruption would be imminent and the citizens were faced with the choice to flee or remain. Since they knew of no other land or way to live but that of the country where they were born and raised, they opted to stay. However they had a problem. In the past the citizens behaved abominably towards travelers fully knowing outsiders were offended. They realized only memories of their country would remain after they're gone, but they were all terrible ones held by travelers. The country realized its mistakes and decided that they would treat travelers kindly from then on, but in an ironic twist of fate no one ever came. Perhaps they realized their mistake too late and they were close to giving up hope until Kino and Hermes arrived. Because they decided to visit the country, its citizens were able to show their true hospitality one last time before their end and wished for Kino and Hermes to have cherished memories of their visit.

In the letter Sakura's mother also explains that the country's demise was only known to adults; individuals over the age of twelve. The day of the explosion would have been Sakura's twelfth birthday, and they originally wished to spare their child by having Sakura go away with Kino and Hermes since they got along so well. However Sakura decided that she wished to remain and belong to the country, so the parents kept her with them.

Kino found along with the mother's letter a small packet much like the one she gave to Sakura. In it she found a seed and a note of thanks from Sakura. Kino holsters Woodsman by her side and Hermes says it looks good on her. Before they ride away they agree that unlike the rumors, the country was very kind.

NotesEdit

  • Possibly the longest chapter in volume 2 and the only one thus far to be adapted into multiple different media(this chapter can also be found in the visual novel)
  • The Kind Country is the only land that Kino has requested to stay longer of her own volition and not for practical purposes. It's often speculated that she holds fast to the 3 day rule to avoid getting too comfortable and possibly settling like in the case of this country.
  • This chapter holds a number of parallels to Kino's life prior to her escape during her childhood. The reminiscence of this is often alluded to within the chapter, particularly her conversation with Sakura about their names.
  • Though not outright stated, it is very heavily implied that the persuader smith in this country is actually Aibou who traveled with Master in his youth as his description is an identical match, being a skilled persuader smith and repairman(except for the short and handsome part, he's now elderly at this time) He is also noted to have been a traveler in his youth, knew Canon on sight, and knew its association with Master.

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