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Overview

「Homecoming」 "She" is Waiting For You. (「帰郷」 ("Kikyō") —"She" is Waiting For You.—) is the sixth chapter of the second volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.

Synopsis

Scwartz was born in a simple country located in a dense forest to a single mother. She was a jam maker whose products were very popular, so they lived well and did not fear poverty. When he was ten his mother adopted Toto, the daughter of close family friends who passed away. Toto was five years younger than him, but she adored him. They used to play games of tag with water pistols where he would ambush her and cry out "if you don't dodge you'll get hit!" . If he managed to hit her with the water pistol, he would win. If Toto could dodge, he'd lose. It was a cherished game from their childhood.

Toto was a good daughter and took after his mother in skillfully making jams. It was eventually decided that Toto would inherit the family business and his mother's recipes while Schwartz would support her. They passed their days peacefully tending the crops and fields and making jams, but Schwartz was bored. He was bored of the mundane life and dreamed of more exciting things outside the country. Against the protests of his mother and Toto he eventually left the country. Upon his parting Toto urged him to come home, for she would always be waiting for him. 

Outside his country however, Scwartz had misfortune with every country he visited. He was made to work in dangerous mines of one country, farming fields of another, he joined an army in one hoping to become a hero(only for the war to never happen) and became a prison guard in another country to discover it was just as boring as making jam. More than five years had passed since he left home and after having enough hardship he decided to return.

On his way through the forest as he neared his homeland and saw its walls he could hear splashing in the nearby river. He saw a girl dressed in thin clothing bathing near the river and immediately knew it was Toto. He had a revelation that she and his mother were right all along. He decides to apologize to them and live a peaceful life making jam supporting his family as best as he could. Then he has an idea.

Scwartz removes all the bullets from his persuader and stealthily moves through the grass, being careful not to be noticed. He's decided what he'll say to Toto upon their reunion, the line from their old childhood game of water pistol. As he jumps out, before he can finish his childhood line, he sees the girl turn towards him and feels a smack through his chest before falling over into the bush.

At the riverbank, Hermes asks Kino if she's alright. She replies that she's fine and wasn't shot, though she was surprised the stranger suddenly pulled his persuader on her when she thought he was just a peeping tom at first.

Hermes wonders why a person would be in the middle of nowhere and Kino remarks that he was probably going towards 'that' country. At this Hermes comments that 'that' country was a big disappointment, it was only filled with skeletons, why would anyone want to go there.

Kino concedes and says based on the skeletons' decomposition an epidemic had wiped out the entire country more than two years ago. She mounts Hermes and gets ready to depart again, hoping the next country will actually have living people and safe ones at that.


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