SNOW BOUND LAND: Orva’s Route

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Orva (CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke) has been sick since young and hardly leaves his house. His words can be blunt and he knows little of the world outside. Due to the curse, anything he touches will decay. This continues from the Common Route.

They return to the inn where Orva decides to rest for a bit. Aje and Craes go out to tour the town, and Gerda decides to stay with Orva. He’s happy, and teases her that his condition is worsening. Upon seeing her flustered reaction, Orva says that he’s just tired from the travelling. He starts to question her one by one, wondering why she treats him this kindly, and asking how much she likes him. Gerda is unsure of how to answer, and Orva remarks that perhaps he’s just wants her to think the most about him. He apologises and reassures her of his condition, wanting to keep this a secret from Aje and Craes.

Later, Aje tells the rest that from the information he’s gathered the key should be at the castle. They all decide to head there tomorrow. That night, Gerda follows Orva as he heads out for a walk. He remarks that before he always gazed outside from the window by his bedside, but now he can look at the night sky like this outside. Everyone would liken Gerda to the sun, as she’s always surrounded by people and in a positive mood. But to him, she’s like the moon who shines the pathway to walk on in the darkness. Gerda points out the stars around the moon, saying that there are many others who think of him as important too. Orva merely smiles and thanks her.

The next morning, they all go to the castle but naturally the guards don’t let them in. Just then, the prince, Alfred, suddenly appears behind Gerda. After hearing their story he casually agrees to let them in, or rather Gerda in so as to show her around. When the others protest, Alfred agrees to let one person accompany her. Gerda asks Orva to accompany her. As Alfred shows them around the castle, Gerda is impressed unlike Orva who quietly makes snide remarks. They meet Natalia and are introduced to each other. It isn’t long till Alfred explains that the key is actually in their room and they can take it – if they find it. He was meant to hold onto it, but Alfred wants to give it up now, no longer wanting to be bound to that person. Alfred even hints to them that the key is actually a clock. Orva is uncertain of the task, as he points out the many clocks present in the room. But Gerda encourages him on, though he doesn’t seem to be seriously undertaking the task.

They are unable to find it that day, and Alfred allows them to stay till they do so. They are led to a bedroom with a single bed. Upon seeing this, Gerda gets flustered but Orva says that everything’s alright and dismisses the maid. At first the two keep giving way to each other, but eventually Orva dives next to Gerda in bed. He remarks that he has always say her as a woman and treasured the times she visited him. She doesn’t seem to get his true feelings though, as she replies that she’s happy that her words gave him courage. Orva doesn’t pursue this, and tells her to sleep. She takes his hand, as if reassuring him that she’s by his side. Orva thinks to himself that she must really trust him, to be able to fall asleep despite his confession. He sees her as bright and kind, for she never tired in reaching out to him despite his negative words. To him, he only needs the moon.

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The next day, their search is futile too. Orva tries to cheer Gerda up, and suggests looking around the castle for a change of moon. They go to the greenhouse where they see Natalie in a foul mood. She softens when Gerda compliments the greenhouse – it’s set up such that the flowers bloom at night. Natalie is even happier when Gerda shares her knowledge of flowers. Eventually, they ask her more about the key and she explains that they received the key as a symbol of loyalty to that person. But Alfred doesn’t like such a position. Personally though, she find no problems with it. Just then, Orva spots the clock around her neck and Natalie explains that she got it from Alfred. They are unable to question further. They see Alfred later, and Orva is quick to guess that he got the key from the Snow Queen. Alfred confirms this, and says that while it was given out of goodwill, it can also be seen as a symbol of her power. He gives them another hint – he’s given it to an important person of his.

There’s no question that Natalie has the key. When they go to find Alfred again, they learn that he’s out touring the streets so they leave it for tomorrow. Just then, they find Kai before them much to their surprise. Kai tells them to go back for there’s no way they can defeat the Snow Queen. He chose to go to her side out of his own free will anyway. He disappears and Orva is uncertain of their quest. But Gerda’s resolution is only hardened. Orva sees her as strong. Like Kai suggested, he wants to return home yet he doesn’t have the courage to speak up. Secretly, he hoped that Gerda’s mind would be changed by Kai’s words. It’s not confirmed that if they reach the White World, his illness will return but there’s a chance it would. So Orva is at a loss.

The next day, Orva’s condition worsens and Gerda remains by his side. He thanks her, and almost appears relieved. While Orva is sleeping, the maid comes to change the water for the flowers. Gerda sees that the flower is hemel (?) and remarks that its meaning is a gentle heart, and to not give up. She thinks that it fits Orva perfectly. As she gradually falls asleep, she dreams of the time she first met Orva. It was when she started helping out at the florist, and she delivered flowers to his house upon his parents’ orders. From the start, Orva saw no need for the flowers since they’ll wither soon – it’s like seeing his own future. Gerda thinks that they can touch the hearts of people though, and its seeds will allow new flowers to bloom. She decided to prove it to him, and after that she started to deliver all sorts of flowers to him. When they’re both awake later, Gerda recalls this to him and asks if she’s proven it to him. Orva says that she has. When he hears about the flower’s meaning, he softly whispers that he wants to give it to him – for the flower meaning he knows is “my most beloved person”.

The following day, Orva continues to rest while Gerda finds Alfred and Natalie. Alfred promises to give it to her but wants her to do him a favour – to attend an important ball tomorrow. She has no choice but to agree. When Orva learns of this later, he feels that he’s contradicting himself as he tells her to go ahead. The next day, Gerda leaves for the ball and Orva is left alone. The daemon appears and asks if he’s really alright with letting the curse be lifted. He’s surprised that Orva can recognise him as a daemon, thinking that it must be due to the effects of the mirror. He continues to provoke Orva, by remarking that due to his weak cowardice anything good that happens will be turned into bad things anyway. He says that he’s getting weaker due to them getting the key, and whispers the solution to him. When Gerda returns later, she asks what’s wrong with Orva. The latter doesn’t answer her, and instead forces a kiss on her as he cries. He questions why she doesn’t reject him. Gerda observes that he appears lost in the darkness, and if so that means she isn’t doing her role as the moon to him. She promises to fulfill her role next time, and he goes quiet.

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They leave the castle the next day as Alfred gives them the key. Orva says that he was being serious last night, but knows that she must have disliked it. No single person can claim the moon for himself. He tells her not to get too close to him, for he’s uncertain of what he’ll do to her. Gerda isn’t willing to do so though. Back at the inn, there’s no sign of Aje and Craes. From the scene, it appears as though they’ve been taken away by the Snow Queen. Orva tries to persuade her to return, saying that it’s too big a burden. After all, he’s alright with not lifting the curse since he’s well now. But Gerda refuses, and reasons that it’s not necessarily due to the curse. She’s sure that he’ll regret abandoning the rest too. But he doesn’t want to listen to her. Before, even though the illness wasn’t his fault, it felt as though he was getting the blame for it. He raises a knife and pleads for her to change her mind, adding that he doesn’t mind the change in her (monstrous strength). Gerda cries at this, remarking that it’s Orva who has changed. While it’s true that he was in pain, so were all of those who were worried for him just that it may not be the same. She wishes that he won’t run away, but Orva is only further agitated. He recalls the daemon’s words, telling him to rid of those who won’t listen. He shouts that he isn’t as strong as her, and Gerda quickly takes his hand despite the danger. She apologises for not noticing the pain he was in. But Orva retaliates, and ends up hurting her had. Shaken, Orva apologises and drops the knife. Gerda continues to persuade him – putting the curse aside, they have to save the rest. Orva quietly agrees, but in truth he’s still at a loss.

On the way to the Green World, Gerda tries to cheer Orva up as they spot two rabbits. As they approach them, more animals continue to appear and jump at them. Just when she thinks that the mood has been brightened, Orva remarks that this must be how it feels like to live peacefully in the village. As they continue their journey and reach the Green World, Gerda notices that Orva has been putting a distance between them. Just then, they see that the surroundings have changed completely – the forest is bare and dark. A spear suddenly comes flying at them, as two people appear telling them not to go further. They introduce themselves as Fine and Bayser, bandits who only target the bad people. Orva is on his guard, but Gerda decides to trust them as she explains about their journey. Fine offers to let them stay at their place, and adds that someone weak like Orva wouldn’t be able to make it to the White World. Gerda thinks to herself that while she wants to save the rest, she also wants to give Orva courage so that he’s no longer trapped by his own weak heart. The bandits hold a welcome banquet for them, but Orva doesn’t participate. Gerda notices a white rose, and Fine explains that her father received it and her necklace from an important person. Gerda is quick to realise that she’s referring to the Snow Queen. Fine apologises for not telling the truth initially, but she can’t give the key away that easily for it’s a memento of her father. She promises to do so, if she’s able to win in poker, so as to convince the men. But she whispers that she’ll still lend it no matter the outcome. Gerda agrees, and due to a streak of beginner’s luck she keeps winning. Fine admits defeat and gives her the necklace.

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Delighted, Gerda shares her joy with Orva who gives a calm response. He says that he’s going out for a walk, and offers to keep the necklace for her while she celebrates with the rest. She does so, as Fine lets them stay the night. But Orva is not happy at all, and he secretly apologises to everyone. He convinces himself that they can’t defeat the Snow Queen, and sneaks out with the key and a lantern. It doesn’t take long for Gerda to wonder where Orva is. She goes to retrieve to lantern so that she can search for him outside, but finds it missing. She rushes outside and sees Fine’s parrot. It says that it say Orva running off and she quickly dashes off in the same direction. The bird decides to tell Fine of this. Gerda finally finds Orva at the cliff, who remarks that she must see the key as much more important as compared to him. He refuses to listen to her, and removes his glove, planning to destroy the key. He thinks that doing so will free him of all the worries and pain. He stops her from nearing him, saying that she’s only deepening the pain he’s in. She’s too bright, so much so that it exposes his dirty sides too. After all, with more light there’s more shadow too. Orva can’t help but hate himself, to the point of wanting to disappear.

Gerda tries to stop him, and his hand just misses her and causes a nearby tree to decay. He’s certain that she’s unable to accept him after seeing what he can do – it’s a perfect curse for himself. She cries at his words, feeling useless. But she doesn’t want to give up and panics when he walks away. She unwittingly grabs his bare hands so as to make him stay. Shocked, Orva shakes her away and causes her to slip off the cliff. He tries to save her, but is unable to grab her with his bare hands. They end up falling down together, and he wakes up later to see two broken bottle and an unconscious Gerda. Despite the pain in his body, he struggles to get up. As she remains unconscious, Orva hugs her and says that he hasn’t confessed his feelings yet to her. He can’t let her go like this.

Gerda dreams of the past. Though Orva was cold at first, he slowly opened up to her – and started to smile. One day, she delivered a star-shaped flower and told him that his dream will come true if he continues to wish on it. Her own dream is to open her own flower shop. Orva was uncertain since he doesn’t know what his future will bring him. Gerda tried to encourage him on and eventually Orva decided to be the first person to buy flowers at her store. He’ll need her to make his own dream come true, so Gerda promised to work hard. When she wakes up, she finds Orva crying and comforts him. He’s unable to understand why she can still worry about him despite betraying her trust. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if anything had happened to her. She merely replies that it’s natural since he’s important to her. Hearing this, Orva hugs her and admits that he always thought that he was the only one in pain. But now he realises how much pain those watching must have felt – after all, he was in pain just thinking how she wouldn’t wake up. He apologises for being weak. Gerda remarks that it wasn’t just pain and despair, she also felt hope and happiness with each day. She promises to be by his side to share his pain, and to help each other. Orva checks that her hand is okay, and Gerda says that it’ll be alright as long as they rid of the curse. He nods at this, and apologises once more while thanking her too.

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The daemon appears, not amused by the outcome. He wanted to see them fail, since Orva took his words for real. The daemon admits to having a hand in Orva’s condition worsening in the Yellow World, so that he could be entertained. But that was not the case. Furious, Orva tries to attack with the knife but the daemon disappears. After that, Orva carries Gerda back to Fine’s to be treated as she’s unable to walk. She’s surprised at his strength, to which he admits that the doctor did make him exercise. He tells her to rely on him more. Bayser soon finds them, and Fine is angry at what happened. Orva doesn’t deny this, and Fine is unable to entrust Gerda to him. But Gerda tries to convince her otherwise, as she admits that she likes him. Thanks to him, she learnt how great it was to just be able to live. Fine respects her decision, and Orva promises not to betray her again. As Gerda recovers, Orva wants to do something for her. He asks to accompany Bayser and the rest in hunting so that he can learn how to protect Gerda. Bayser agrees, and also tells him not to run away and to gain he and Fine’s approval. Orva agrees, and starts to train under Bayser’s guidance. On the day Gerda fully recovers, Orva tells her he has something to settle first. He goes to duel Fine outside, joined with Bayser. To the bandit leader’s surprise, Orva wins and so she approves on him. On his way back, he sees a rare flower and shows Gerda it on their way out. He thanks her for always believing in him., and will change to make it such that he’s her important person. Gerda agrees to always stay with him, and she observes that there’s no longer any shadow haunting him now.

They reach the entrance of the White World and the daemon appears once more to provoke Orva. But the latter remarks that he no longer cares about his illness. He’s decided to stop using it as an excuse and wants to live according to how he wants to no matter how short the time may be. Naturally the daemon isn’t amused and he disappears. The couple continue to walk till the castle comes into sight. Before going on, Orva tells Gerda that before he gave up on dreaming and living. But upon meeting her, he came to want to do so and he actually has another dream now. He once hated himself and blamed others but he knows now that he isn’t alone. And thanks to her he’s grown to like himself a bit. He loves her and wants to be with her. To be honest he doesn’t know if he can protect her, but he promises that he won’t give into his own weakness. Gerda promises to protect him too, adding that it isn’t just about physical strength. After all, he’s made it this way. Hearing this, Orva says that he won’t run away and is willing to hear her reply afterwards.

Just before the castle, they find Kai and Orva stops Gerda from nearing him. He’s no longer the Kai they know, as he starts to attack them with magic. Orva dodges the attacks with Gerda, and convinces Gerda to retaliate by breaking a nearby ice pillar. The stirs up an icy smoke and the pair make a temporary escape. He continues to tell Gerda that it isn’t Kai, but there’s still hope. After all, he still remembers who they are and their past memories. Perhaps if they stir that up further it will help to bring back the former Kai. The couple work together to grab hold of Kai and Gerda pleads for him to recall. Her tears fall onto his chest and somehow Kai returns to his former self. He doesn’t know where Aje and Craes are but persuades them to return. Soon, Ivan appears and wonders how Kai’s frozen heart was undone. In any case, he’s no longer loyal to the Snow Queen so Ivan can’t forgive this. Kai tells the pair to go ahead while he stalls for time with Ivan.

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Inside, they find the Snow Queen who demands for the mirror fragments. They learn that Aje and Craes are unconscious after having their shards removed – not that Craes had any in the first place. However, Gerda’s has integrated into her body so she will die if it’s removed. So the Snow Queen plans to make her a puppet to use. When refused, she starts to use force as she remarks that it’s better to give in and live without unnecessary feelings. After all, people only accept what suits them and hurt, betrayal and hatred are born as a result. It’s as if she’s speaking to herself. Gerda denies her words, expressing that there are positive things too which can heal the hurt. And in doing so, people can mature and become stronger with their loved ones. Orva agrees, and confesses that he once envied others and feared his own death. He can emphatise with the queen’s words, but he no longer wants to run away. He now fears losing Gerda, and will do anything to protect her. He takes out his knife, saying that he’ll kill her if she hurts Gerda. The Snow Queen is shocked, and Orva takes the chance to suggest a deal. They are willing to come here any time she needs them, if she lets them off. If she’s willing to accept, she’d be able to gain something other than power – a happiness she won’t be able to gain if alone. It’s possible for her to change, just like he did. After a brief silence, the Snow Queen agrees telling them to use their lifetime to prove their point to her.

At that moment, the daemon appears. He’s unimpressed, after having gone through the trouble of stealing the mirror. He threatens to kill all of them, adding that if they attempt to kill him they’ll go through worse. Hearing this, the maddened Snow Queen is unable to attack. But Orva is willing to do so, and Gerda fails to stop him.

Happy End

Instead, the Snow Queen attacks the daemon. She tells them to leave as she brings Aje and Craes outside. They do as told and find Kai and Ivan outside still engaged in battle. Upon hearing the situation, Ivan has no choice but to lead them to the entrance where they find Aje and Craes. He returns to the Snow Queen’s side, when the cave starts to shake and threatens to crumble. Everyone quickly escapes and the cave collapses.

In the epilogue, everyone safely makes it back to the village where they explain the details to Aje and Craes. Craes returns to cooking at the restaurant, while Aje returns to his home village. But he’s still searching for his brother, and so will travel again. Having secretly taken the seeds from the White World, Kai starts to grow white roses in his garden. He believes that the queen was a lonely person, which may be why Ivan returned to her side. Kai thinks that it isn’t bad to recall about what happened there once in a while, so he started growing the white roses. One morning, Gerda visits Orva with a bunch of flowers. After returning, the curse slowly disappeared though the reason is unknown. Perhaps the Snow Queen’s powers weakened, or maybe she somehow removed the curse. In any case, Orva’s illness returned but he’s now happier than before and seems to be getting better each day. Gerda is reminded to give her answer, and she confesses that she loves him too. He kisses her one more time and says that he’s glad to have met her. They’ve overcome all the obstacles to be able to be like this now.

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Bad End

Orva kills the daemon much to everyone’s shock. But it’s only just the daemon fooling around as he appears before them again. He easily finishes off the Snow Queen, and targets them next. Gerda shuts her eyes, but Orva attacks him with his cursed hands. To the daemon’s surprise, he starts to decay but he laughs as Orva now has another curse. Orva pushes Gerda away, as he apologises for not being able to return with her. A black fog encircles him and he starts to change into the form of a daemon. He tells her to run away, for there’s no telling what he’ll do. As his presence starts to eat away at the castle, a tearful Gerda is forced to escape. Left alone, Orva thanks her and is glad to have fallen in love with her.

Overall

I don’t know why this took me so long to get to. Anyway! Maybe that helped ‘cos looking back, hmm, Orva’s route didn’t look too bad. I mean, sure Gerda had to put up with a lot of Orva’s emotional baggage but to some point his conflict was valid. And he matured and developed towards the end. The confrontation with the Snow Queen was certainly more dramatic this time, though they kind of got interrupted lol. But if you’ve seen Craes’ end, then you would question why he’s still doing well here (and in other routes). Once again, I enjoyed both ends and Gerda continues to prove to be a decent heroine. And wow his CGs were so pretty. But, upon seeing that bad end I just thought that so much more could have been done with the daemon! It certainly would’ve been interesting to see how his story could have been developed, besides being a troll. I mean, who says sub-characters can’t have surprisingly important roles? (Look at Clock Zero.) But well, maybe I’m judging too early.

In any case, I guess Orva’s route didn’t turn out too bad. (Writing this review 2 weeks later probably helped a bit.) Anyway, I’ll be doing Ivan’s route next. I hope I won’t take as long, I hope. By the way, I’m kinda sad that the SBL blog has recently ended. I mean it was so short-lived and I really enjoyed it, alongside GHP:P’s. Oh well. ):

7 thoughts on “SNOW BOUND LAND: Orva’s Route

  1. midoriha says:

    Thanks for this! So, i can’t remember if i read Orva’s or Craes’d route first. I find it really touching how instead of the sun, Orva thinks of Gerda as the moon that shines light in the darkness. And knowing the background of him having been sick for a long time, and such, his words are made all the more meaningful. That daemon trying to influence Orva’s mind, though…leave the poor boy alone!the conflict that Orva feels within himself is understandable, like you’ve said. And i think, it is the main focus in his route. Having been sick all his life, he suddenly gets better, though there’s a side effect…there’s bound to be a problem somewhere…

      • midoriha says:

        I knoooow!i feel like, them describing the heroines as the moon, urgh, it’s just so much more romantic than the heroine being the sun—!

  2. thinkerbee says:

    *goggle sample CGs you put
    The artist art reminds me so much of MtO, soooo pretty
    And the chibi aaahhhh I wanna take them home <333

    ahem
    I think I like Orva as a character, too; his reasons for being a douche is pretty justified given his circumstance. Too bad, it's not likable in sweet-inducing manner to turn my fan-girl mode on. Hope other characters did the job right lol. /smacked

    Ahaha CZ… I'm still bummed that they didn't give Rain a route but hey no use crying over spilled milk.😛
    We'll see if daemon has any crucial, heart-wrenching moment that beat even Rain's fufu. /doubt 'cos Rain is too precious bby

    • Yume says:

      The art is pretty isn’t it! I really hope to see the artists illustrate for more titles, including the one who did the chibi art!

      Yeah like you said, it doesn’t really turn the fangirl mode on. I mean, he does tease Gerda but more than that it was about his complex so. Unless you happen to enjoy it I guess. ^^;

      I doubt so too. Hinano just commented too that the daemon is just a troll so, lol.

  3. Hinano says:

    The demon is just a troll and has no significant role ever so don’t get your hopes up!
    It really is a shame honestly. Well a lot of things in this game are a “shame” to me xD Enjoy Aje and Ivan😉

    • Yume says:

      Okay I won’t haha. It’s a shame as you put it. Guess they just included the demon since the original mentioned there being one at the start but didn’t know what else to do with him.

      Haha thanks! It took a lot to leave them for last \o/

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