「A Story of a Sniper」 —Fatalism— (「狙撃兵の話」 ("Sogekihei no Hanashi") —Fatalism—) is the frontispiece of the second volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.
In a forest there was a sniper on a hill. This sniper would kill all whom he came across. At the time he had in view a man whom he was about to kill, but before he could pull the trigger he was approached by Master.
The sniper conjectures that she is there to kill him. He is correct and when he demands to know why, Master reveals that it is because she was paid to do so by the friends and families of his victims. However, Master doesn't kill him. When he asks why she's waiting, she explains that she also received another contract from peoples of the same country who wish to keep him alive. These people are grateful to the sniper for getting rid of their enemies, performing euthanasia on the terminally ill or in other ways ensuring their freedoms. Master declares that she was indecisive about that to do and thus decided to scout him first.
Upon hearing this the sniper makes a proposal: Since the sniper was perpetually killing indiscriminately, Master should give him a number. The sniper would then only kill up to that count and then stop, therefore slowing down the death rate but still allowing victims and therefore "satisfying" both sides of Master's contracts.
Master gives the sniper a number and returns to the spot where a short man was waiting for her. After explaining the situation, the short man points out the possibility of them being shot at any moment. Master ignores him and orders him to get into the car and immediately steps on the gas as a bullet strikes the tree of where the car was parked.