「A Tale of Feeding Off Others」 —I Want to Live.— (「人を喰った話」 ("Hito o Kutta Hanashi") —I Want to Live.—) is the first chapter of the second volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.
It has been given an anime iteration.
In the middle of a forest in the dead of winter, Kino is assisting traders stranded in the forest by nourishing them back to health with rabbits she had hunted. They were men she had met by chance who beseeches her for help after getting caught in a storm and stuck since winter. Upon agreeing was given a jewelled ring as thanks.
After a few days the men are healthy enough to move again, but before they can part ways they shift their attitude and weapons towards Kino. While they express that they are thankful for her assistance, they still need to perform their "job" now that they are well again and have no intention of harming her if she cooperates. It's revealed that the traders are in fact slave traders.
Kino removes her weapons as instructed by the slave traders. Eventually upon reaching her last weapon she declares that it's the final one but as the slave trader instructs her to toss it, three bullets immediately pierce his forehead in succession, fired from Kino's last knife which had tiny holes for bullets in between the knife and grip.
At the same moment, Kino rushes towards one of the other two men and stabs the entire length of the knife through him, killing him instantly. She retrieves Cannon from the snow where it lay beside him and immediately headshots the last slave trader who's paralyzed in panic.
After reaffirming she's alright with Hermes, she cautiously opens the doors of the traders' truck. The light reveals a number of human remains on the floor of the truck. On the wall of the truck hung by its braids of yellow hair was a skull with the skin withered away, eye sockets empty, and a hole in the forehead with the brain missing.
Kino then takes the ring from her pocket and places it on the truck, stating that she is returning it since she could not fulfill her part of the deal to "help" the traders. As she looks at the skullshe states that what the traders wasn't right, but they didn't want to die. As she mounts Hermes and readies to leave she glances at a tree where the pelts of the rabbits she hunted were hung, and to the rabbits she says to please not think badly of them. They are after all, humans.
Towards the end of winter, Kino comes across three starving men who are trapped in their truck which is bogged in the snow. She offers to hunt food for them until they recover, killing and cooking rabbits although she has misgivings about valuing the lives of the men over those of the rabbits. As the snow begins to thaw, Kino uses Hermes to help extract their truck, but they draw guns on her, explaining that they are human traffickers and she would be of value to them. When distracted by falling snow, Kino manages to attack and kill two of them before executing the third. Inside their truck she finds the remains of the human cargo they ate to stay alive through the winter. As they ride away Hermes asks Kino if she would make the same choice again.
Differences in Media
- The persuaders wielded by the slave traders are modeled after real guns in the anime iteration, namely the SPAS-12 and Bergmann Bayard Model 1903.
- A minor difference between the novel and first anime adaptation: Kino gains the upper hand to escape from the traders due to them being distracted by the sound of falling snow in the anime. In the novel, Kino creates the opportunity herself by using the concealed bullets within her knife to fire at one of the traders, thereby able to take advantage of their panic and confusion by head shotting one of them(namely the one that had his own gun pointed at her while she was disarming. The other two were not noted to be armed at the time). In both cases, Kino is taking advantage of extreme luck in her favor to escape.