SNOW BOUND LAND: Aje’s Route

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Aje (CV: Ono Yuuki) is a traveller who happened to stop by Gerda’s village. He skilled at fighting and tends to get into arguments easily, but is actually the one with the most common sense out of the group. Due to the curse, he now says things which he doesn’t mean to. This continues from the Common Route.

Aje says that he has something to sort out and tells the rest to return to the inn first. Gerda chases after him, as everyone else is worried that he’d get lost lol. But she loses sight of him, and is instead approached by a stranger. Despite rejecting his advances, he remains insistent till Aje helps her out. Just as she’s about to thank him, Aje’s curse kicks in as he starts praising Gerda – adding that it’s no wonder that the guy hit on her. He’s quick to stop himself though, and quickly chases the man away before dragging Gerda away. It doesn’t take long for Gerda to find out that Aje had actually been asking around about Kai but to no avail. He explains that he himself is searching for someone important too, so he understands how anxious she is. The two of them continue walking, but get separated by the huge crowd.

At Aje’s side, he’s surprised to find Kai who wants him to have Gerda return to the village. He’s aware of how dangerous the Snow Queen is, plus she wants Gerda’s mirror shard the most. His personality abruptly changes, and he bluntly tells Aje to think about it. They’re already making preparations on their end. He leaves and Gerda soon finds Aje. They return to the inn where Orva and Craes convey to them that they’ve been invited to the castle tomorrow by the prince and princess. A masked man told them that they’re interested in hearing about their story. Aje is suspicious of this since people constantly travel in and out of the Yellow World. But they still decide to go ahead tomorrow.

They have dinner at the restaurant and Gerda and Aje head back first. Gerda recalls her earlier conversation with him, and wonders who his important person is – could it be his lover? She realises that she’s thinking as if she doesn’t want them to just be friends. Aje breaks the silence, suggesting that she can go back to the village first. If the prince and princess are sincere, surely they would be willing to have guards accompany her back home. Gerda admits that she is holding them back, but still wants to be useful. Aje corrects her by saying that she isn’t a bother, but he decides to end the subject. He quickly falls asleep, and Gerda thinks to herself that she wants to know more about him. Seeing him fast asleep, she pats his head and he sleepily mutters for her not to treat him like a kid. To her surprise, he grabs her into an embrace. As he squeezes her, Aje declares that he won’t lose anymore and wants her to challenge him seriously. Seeing that her words are unable to get through him, Gerda pushes him away – making Aje fall off the bed.

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He wakes up, and is shocked to see her on his bed. Flustered, he tries to deny that he wanted to do anything – but his curse keeps making him say the opposite. Even though Gerda knows that it’s the curse, she can’t help but feel down with him denying everything. Seeing her reaction, Aje then says that he does see her as a woman, which surprises Gerda. Just then, Orva and Craes enter the room. Seeing the bed in a mess, they can’t help but misunderstand the situation. It doesn’t help that Aje’s curse kicks in again as he declares that he wanted to make her his. They take him seriously and pull him outside. When Aje is finally free, he walks around outside for a bit. He expected Gerda to want to continue the journey, but he isn’t confident of being able to protect her – as in the past. Aje quickly snaps out of it though, for he’s the only one in the group which can fight properly. After all, his sword is meant to protect others, not to harm them.

The next day, they arrive slightly later than the expected time. The prince, Alfred, welcomes them, especially Gerda. But the princess, Natalie, is annoyed that they were late and adds that they were only invited ‘cos they were asked to do so by someone else. Eventually, Gerda explains about their journey and purpose. Alfred doesn’t hesitate to answer that Natalie has the key, but the latter dissuades them by going to the White World. The Snow Queen is not really open to negotiations. She leaves for her next appointment and Aje tries to persuade Alfred. They’re willing to do whatever they can, and are not willing to just give up like this. Alfred agrees to help them, if Gerda goes out on a date with him. Gerda accepts this immediately, and agrees to come back tomorrow. On the way back, Orva and Craes remain unconvinced. But Gerda wants to do what she can. Still, she is nervous as she has never dated before. Aje reassures her that they won’t blame her even if she fails. She just needs to keep smiling. This takes Gerda by surprise, till she realises that it must be the curse at work again.

The following day, everyone buys their necessities. Gerda bumps into Aje, and he offers to accompany her – till he learns that she plans to buy innerwear. Embarrassed, he only nods in return when she tells him to wait for her. After she’s done, Gerda bumps into the masked man, who merely tells her not to be so guarded since they did lay everything out for them. After he disappears, Gerda tells Aje what happened. Aje is upset that he wasn’t with her then, adding that it’ll just be like how he was helpless when Kai disappeared. But Gerda denies this, saying that he’s helped her out many times. Plus, the man didn’t do anything to her. She suggests a short walk, wanting to cheer Aje up. As they do so, they start to chat about Alfred and Natalie. She admits that she does admire the prince and princess set-up. Aje suggests trying on a similar dress to Natalie’s at a shop, but Gerda decides not to since it’ll just make her want to buy it – and she can’t afford such luxury. He didn’t expect her to be so practical, but Gerda thinks that it’s normal since she’s living alone. She tells him not to feel bad, since she did grow up with Kai and his parents. But she admits that she does feel lonely when she sleeps and wakes up alone. But she no longer cries when she’s alone now, for she knows that she’s supported by many around her. Aje remarks that she’s stronger than he thought she was. Gerda wonders to herself whether he knows that he’s one of those supporting her.

Back at the inn, it’s just them as Orva and Craes are not back yet. Feeling awkward, Aje asks her to talk about something. So Gerda takes this chance to ask him about his family. She learns that he lived with his parents and older brother. He respected his older brother a lot, and used to follow him around. She’s envious of this, and guesses that he must have been spoiled by his older brother. Gerda also learns that he has never gone out with anyone before, but still it doesn’t change the fact that he has someone important to him. Aje offers to listen if she has someone in mind, and Gerda strongly denies this – adding that she’d consult Kai instead of him anyway. This annoys Aje, as he remarks that she pays the most mind to Kai yet has never thought of his feelings. Upset, Gerda hits him and he’s thrown back against the wall.

The daemon appears, amused by their quarrel. He tells them to argue more, and casts magic on them to prove the saying that those who quarrel more get along better. The two of them suddenly get pulled together, hugging each other. They try to resist the invisible force, as they get closer to each other. Both of them panic, and Aje’s curse starts acting up again as he remarks that he can’t resist for long and wants to make her his. Though she knows that it’s the curse, Gerda can’t help but blush at his words. When the daemon finally gets bored, he disappears and they manage to pull free from each other. That night, everyone else is still worried about Gerda. But Craes tells her to shout if anything happens. In truth, they plan to follow her secretly.

When she heads to the castle, Alfred gets called away to confirm something for the ball and lets her look around. To her surprise, Aje appears as he’s relieved to have found her. He explains that he saw a suspicious-looking person who looked like a servant here. He followed the person, and somehow came into the castle’s garden. Aje’s mouth starts running as he adds that in truth he was worried about her and doesn’t want to separate from her. Gerda looks at him shocked, but soon recovers. When Alfred returns, he accuses Aje of being an unwanted intruder. But Natalie appears and says that she invited him to have a date with her. She leaves with Aje, leaving Alfred alone with Gerda. Though she’s unsure of what happened, she accompanies Alfred for their date. It turns out that all Alfred does is talk about Natalie. They soon encounter Aje and Natalie. As Gerda is about to leave, Natalie pulls her to one side and starts complaining about Aje constantly getting lost. Gerda tries to reveal how Alfred probably really likes Natalie, but he stops her from doing so. Aje then takes this chance to run off with Gerda.

They end up in the greenhouse, where Aje explains himself once more. He adds that all Natalie did was talk about Alfred anyway. Gerda realises that the couple must be doing this on purpose, to make each other jealous. They still need to return for the key, but they remain for a bit longer as Gerda happily gazes at the flowers. Aje is unable to understand what’s so pleasant about this, and this causes her to remark that Kai would’ve understood. She’d like to come here again with Kai. Aje mutters that she’s always talking about Kai, but stops midsentence. They leave the greenhouse and Gerda apologises to Alfred later. She ended up breaking her promise, so Alfred tells her to participate in the ball tonight in return for the key. Natalie helps to dress Gerda up, and suggests showing her form to Aje. After all, all he did was talk about Gerda when they were together. As Gerda takes the small bottle and heads off, Aje is stunned to see her dressed up. He questions if she’s going to dance with Alfred like that, and tells her off – is she willing to accept all of the conditions thrown at her in return for the key? Gerda is unable to understand why he’s so angry.

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Aje grows quiet, and turns away from her. He wonders if she’ll do anything for Kai. He doesn’t want to see her go to such extremes. Even though they merely started out as travel companions, he doesn’t think that Kai would be happy to see Gerda like this. He himself knows that he’s the one who doesn’t like this the most though. Just then, the maid calls for Gerda. As she’s about to leave the room, Aje hugs her from behind. He doesn’t want her to go, and to remain by his side. When he realises what he’s doing, Aje quickly lets go and tells her to forget what happened. But Gerda corrects him by saying that she isn’t particularly looking forward to it, and merely wanted to let Aje see her dressed up like this. She does long for the fairy tale-like set up, but she doesn’t want to merely be invited by a prince – but to be invited by the person she likes who’s like a prince to her. Hearing this, Aje replies that he’ll be her prince. He reddens at his words, and gets mad at himself. Gerda wonders if he realised that though he said that it’s the curse at work – the curse only makes him say things he doesn’t mean to, and wouldn’t make him hug her.

Just then, they hear a commotion outside. It appears that intruders have shown up, disguised as castle servants. Aje tells her to remain her while he goes after them. But soon someone appears behind Gerda, to take her hostage. At that moment, a cool breeze passes by and the masked man appears. He attacks the man and knocks him unconscious. Though she’s saved, Gerda remains on her guard. The man explains that this isn’t caused by him though, and is probably by people who are after the prince and princess’ status. He helps her out, and compliments on her appearance tonight. The man wonders if he complimented Gerda at all, but doubts so for he’s easily embarrassed. His words confuse Gerda, and the man tells her not to mind his words.

As he disappears, Aje shows up with Alfred and Natalie. Apparently, Aje took care of the rest of the intruders. They thank Aje and Gerda explains what happened on her end. Natalie says that it’s fine, for it was that man, Ivan, who asked to invited them in the first place. They give the key as a form of their gratitude. Before Gerda changes out of the dress, she asks Aje how it is. He mutters that it’s cute and suits her, before leaving the room. This delights her, as she realises that she must like Aje. She recalls his important person again, and decides not to confess her feelings. She’s alright with just remaining by his side.

Back at the inn, they’re shocked to see Orva and Craes gone. Their bottles have been left broken on the floor. Seeing this, Aje tells Gerda that he’ll save the rest somehow and tells her to return to the village. He’ll ask Alfred to send guards to accompany her. As expected, Gerda refuses and Aje bluntly remarks that she’s a burden to him. Hearing this, Gerda quietly agrees to return home and leaves the room for a breather. Outside, Kai approaches her. He apologises for worrying her, and says that he’s here for her. He can’t save Orva and Craes alone, but if she’s with him perhaps he can do so. But first, he asks if she still has the bottle. When Gerda reveals it, Kai slaps her hand and it falls to the floor. Kai remarks that it was all an act, and confesses that he did the same so that Orva and Craes’s bottles would be broken. Gerda glares at him, when he comments that she must like him so much. Kai offers his hand to her, with the intention to bring her with him to the Snow Queen. He softly questions if she’s rejecting him when he needs her this much. He further questions if Aje’s more important than him.

When she resists, Kai hugs her from behind, wanting her to accept him. Somehow, Gerda only feels a cold shudder unlike the time Aje hugged her. Aje appears and Kai coldly points out that he did warn Aje, yet he couldn’t protect Gerda. He deliberately kisses Gerda on the neck, which angers Aje as he draws his sword. Kai retaliates with his magic. Though he can’t harm Aje due to his bottle, he can still prevent Aje from coming any closer. As Gerda watches on, she thinks to herself that she was somewhat aware that Aje purposely said those harsh words to her. Kai observes her expression, and realises that she’s fallen for Aje. His grip over her tightens, as he remarks that she doesn’t know his feelings at all. When he retaliates with his magic again, Gerda takes this chance to escape. Aje grabs her, and declares that he won’t let her go anymore. He passes her his bottle, and says that he’ll protect her instead of having her go back without him. He tells Kai that they’ll definitely save everyone, including himself. After Kai leaves, Aje angrily remarks that he’d like to rewrite his own mark over everywhere Kai touched her. His words only embarrass the both of them.

On the way to the Green World, they prepare to camp for the night. Aje goes to collect firewood, but ends up coming back with a wild boar. He recalls that Gerda wanted to eat something different recently. But the boar wakes up all of a sudden, and ends up running away. On another day, Gerda goes to collect firewood but ends up getting lost. Thankfully, Aje comes to find her and pats her head. Anyone can get lost, but he believes that going through this is part of the process. Though they continued to be lost for a while after that, Gerda is thankful that she isn’t alone.

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When they arrive in the Green World, they are approached by the bandits. Aje ends up battling a taller man, Bayser, while Gerda watches on as she believes that he’ll win. Fine, the leader of the bandits, grows interested in them and orders her men to lower their weapons. She invites them to stay at their place. On the way there, Bayser asks if they’re lovers and Aje rudely denies this. This makes Gerda mad as she hits him. But he dodges and she ends up falling into the river. Seeing her drenched, Aje realises that her clothes are rather transparent now and he throws his mantle at her while denying that he saw anything. The curse makes him say the opposite again though, and this deepens the misunderstanding. Gerda tells him to stop talking and in the end, Fine sets up a fire for Gerda to dry her clothes. As Aje remains quiet, Gerda casually remarks that his mantle is oversized on her. He gets embarrassed and Gerda thinks to herself that it’s good to return the favour back once in a while.

At the bandit’s place, Gerda explains about their journey and Fine immediately shows the key to them. She’s willing to lend it to them as long as they return it later. In fact, she detests the Snow Queen for she killed her father for no rhyme or reason. Later, Gerda notices that one of the men’s hand is injured and helps to treat it. The men start to fantasise, about how they’d like her as their wife. This angers Aje but he starts to embarrass himself as the curse acts up. Gerda knows that it’s just the curse, but can’t help but be shaken at his every word. As Fine observes this, she asks to speak to Gerda outside. When Aje tries to stop her, Fine asks if he’s worried ‘cos he promised to protect her now that he’s the only one left. Anyone can protect out of duty, she’s just as worried for Gerda too. Aje goes quiet and the two girls go outside. Fine asks Gerda if she likes Aje, and encourages her to confess. From what she observes, she thinks Aje clearly returns her feelings. At Aje’s side, Bayser apologises for Fine’s words. But Aje doesn’t deny Fine’s words. To be honest, Gerda has grown to be an important existence to him, but he is unable to think beyond that – not with what he has to do now. Bayser just advices him not to regret anything.

Gerda is unable to sleep that night, and goes out where she sees Aje. They take a stroll, and she takes this chance to confess her feelings. Aje replies that she’s a special existence to him now, but he can’t get any closer to her now. He thinks that if he creates someone special to himself, he’ll grow weak. He admits that he wanted her to return home, for he feared that she would grow more special to him as time went on. But they’re interrupted by the daemon, who advises them to head back to check on the bandits. Aje promises to continue talking about this later, and they return. Gerda discovers that her belongings are missing, and the bandits start to accuse each other even though they were sleeping the whole time. They head outside to fight it out, and refuse to listen to Fine. Fine, Bayser, Aje and Gerda quickly go to stop the ruckus – but they end up getting attacked. At that moment, the bottle falls from Gerda’s dress and breaks. She quickly escapes from getting attacked again, and ends up meeting Ivan.

The daemon shows up too, having expected Ivan to appear. He tells Gerda that Ivan has a younger brother, and cast some magic so as to watch Ivan’s reactions. Ivan merely remarks that it’s a bother, and the daemon only says that the solution is the give the men a shock. He disappears and Aje comes to Gerda’s side. He guards her from Ivan, but somehow finds Ivan familiar. Ivan denies this, and says that he’ll wait for them in the White World. After he leaves, Gerda shares with Aje what happened. Gerda ends up pushing a large tree down, and the sound causes the men to snap out of it. The men apologises as Gerda finds her belongings and they all return. After a short break, they prepare to leave. Fine invites Aje to stay with them once the journey is over, thinking that he’ll fit in just nicely.

Later, Gerda brings this topic up again. She plans to return to the village once it’s over, so if Aje returns to the Green World they’ll no longer see each other. Aje asks if she’ll be lonely, but cuts his sentence off. Instead, he mentions about his important person – he’s referring to his older brother who went missing 10 years ago. The only clue was that he was taken away by someone on a snowy day. They searched everyday but to no avail. And so Aje was prompted to travel outside to find his brother. He admits that he liked Gerda’s village, to the point of wanting to remain there. So this made him afraid that he’ll give up on his search if he were to find another place to return to, besides his home village. He apologises for being unable to return her feelings. Gerda understands how important his family is to him, but doesn’t plan to give up on her feelings. She asks if it’s alright to continue liking him. In response, Aje says that it’s a bother and that he doesn’t like her. He ends up covering his mouth before he can continue. He takes her hand instead, as his words continue to contradict his actions. Confused, Gerda only asks if it’s alright to be together and he nods in return.

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Aje thinks to himself of how happy he was to hear Gerda’s words – yet he said all that to her. After that, Aje continued to say things which contradicted his actions. One day as Gerda waits for Aje to return, Ivan appears and asks an unexpected question: what does she usually talk to him about? But Aje returns before Gerda can answer. Aje learns that Ivan has the same name as his older brother, and wants him to remove his mask to confirm. Ivan merely replies that he has no family and leaves. This only strengthens Aje’s resolution to confirm it when they go to the White World.

When they arrive in the White World, Gerda asks if Aje really plans to return to the Green World. Aje is unsure, but admits that it’s possible if he’s unable to bring his brother back. He wouldn’t be able to return home in that case. After his brother was gone, his family was never the same. It was as if the light among them went out. He wants to bring his brother back so that they can live like they did before. He’s worried in the case that Ivan is his brother, and doesn’t want to return. But Gerda thinks otherwise. Aje is surely the light that will guide Ivan back, signalling that he has a place to return to. Comforted by her words, Aje says that he has to learn from her too, especially in how she doesn’t give up.

Aje rests for a bit, and ends up falling asleep. He starts to dream of his brother, and Gerda holds his hand to reassure him. She wishes for him to be happy. When Aje wakes up later, he finds Gerda sleeping next to him. He recalls his dream, and looks back on the day his brother disappeared. Aje had wanted Ivan to play outside in the snow. The latter refused as their parents told them not to for the snow was too heavy. Aje ended up running outside by himself, with the toy given to him by Ivan. The snow got heavier, and a scared Aje ran back home. He dropped his toy along the way, and cried about this to Ivan who came looking for him. Ivan told him to stay at home, while he went to search for it. In the end, Ivan never returned. Aje didn’t dare to cry in front of his parents later, knowing how upset they were. But he did cry many times when he was alone. In his dream, someone came along to hug him – he’s sure that it was Gerda. To him, Gerda is his light so that he won’t get lost.

When Gerda wakes up, they continue walking and exit the cave. They head to the castle, and Gerda notices that Aje has been talking less since they came here. Aje thinks to himself that the more he feels for her, the more he says hateful words without meaning to. Soon, Ivan shows up before them. He continues to deny bring Aje’s brother, till Aje breaks his mask to confirm. Upon seeing Ivan’s face, he’s sure of it. But Ivan insists that he has no family and disappears. Aje tells Gerda to leave once they save the rest, for he can’t leave Ivan be. Naturally, Gerda refuses to, but he reassures her that he’ll come to find her once it’s all over – for he has found the one special to him. He tries to confess his feelings too, but keeps stumbling over his words and saying that he hates her. When he finally manages to say it, he kisses her.

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As they near the castle, Gerda suggests looking for Ivan first. It’ll be good if they can convince him first as he’s familiar with the place. She also believes that he’s secretly been worried about Aje as he’s always asking about Aje. It doesn’t take them long to find Ivan inside the castle. But he attacks them and Aje does his best to protect Gerda. But she can’t sit back for long as she sees both sides getting hurt. She rushes in between them, much to their surprise. Gerda remarks that Ivan should still remember Aje. Happiness doesn’t simply just come to you. If one doesn’t think for the other person that light of happiness will go out. And Aje is still desperately trying to keep that light lit. The one who has given up is Ivan. All he has to do is light it one more time. Aje tries to persuade Ivan too, saying that he grew up in a warm family too – he still has a place to return to.

Just then, the Snow Queen enters. She notes on how the family who abandoned Ivan is here for him but it’s too late. He’d waited all this time till his sadness finally disappeared. Her words only anger Aje, as he accuses her of being the root cause. The queen orders Ivan to restrain the two of them, and when Ivan hesitates she threatens to crush his heart. In the end, Ivan asks for some time to talk. When she permits it, Ivan quietly tells Aje to escape with Gerda. He pats Aje on the head with a smile. He admits that it’s just as Gerda said. When he came here the light in him went out, and slowly his heart froze. He was afraid of getting hurt, but he couldn’t forget about these feelings no matter how much he wanted to. But Aje and Gerda made him realise that there’s still people protecting his place to return to. So he’ll do the same for them now. Aje refuses to leave, saying that Ivan always placed Aje’s safety over himself. But he never listened to Ivan, and he won’t this time either.

The queen interrupts them, saying that she’ll remove the shard from Gerda herself. At that moment, Ivan quickly stirs up a cold wind and Aje attacks, causing the Snow Queen to lose her staff. She questions if Ivan is rejecting her too, and says that she has no need for him then. Aje protects Ivan from her oncoming attack. He’s further maddened by her actions and attacks her. As Gerda watches on, she thinks to herself that Aje will surely change if he kills the queen. Acting on impulse, Gerda interferes and gets stabbed by Aje instead much to everyone’s shock. He drops his sword and starts to tear up, questioning Gerda. Gerda merely replies that his sword is meant to protect others, so she didn’t want him to kill anyone. Hatred will only breed more hatred. As she slowly closes her eyes, Aje hugs her tightly.

Happy End

Ivan grabs Aje, promising to protect his important one. He tries to heal Gerda with his magic, but it’s too much for him. The Snow Queen offers to help; stating that if Gerda dies in return for protecting her, her stern reputation will only go down. The brothers thank her, and with her help they heal Gerda completely. The queen remarks to herself that she can save people too, instead of taking things away from them. When Gerda wakes up, the Snow Queen explains that the shard has integrated into her. She can’t get the shard back, but the curse has been lifted off the rest of them. The White World is maintained by her frozen heart, so Gerda’s unexpected actions have shaken her, which is causing the world to shake ever so slightly now. She tells Gerda to leave. The White World is okay, but the road to it from the other worlds will be temporarily broken. Ivan tells Aje to leave with Gerda, while he brings the rest to them.

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Several months have passed in the epilogue. Gerda has returned to her normal life back in the village. When they left the White World, the cave disappeared. She explained to Kai and the rest about Aje and Ivan. The brothers returned to their home, and Aje has been writing her letters. But as expected, she still wants to see him. Kai has started to plant different roses in his garden, while Craes returned to working in the restaurant. Orva’s illness returned, but his condition has been improving so he can walk outside even for a little bit. Gerda still needs to return the keys, but doesn’t want to do so without Aje. One day, Kai, Orva and Craes invite Gerda to the restaurant. Inside, she finds Aje and Ivan waiting for her. Ivan explains that Aje has something to say to her, so he merely accompanied Aje. He can’t help but be worried if Aje’s alone. Apparently, Aje once left to see Gerda before and came back home a week later without doing so lol. After Ivan leaves them alone, Aje confesses that he’s been thinking about her all this time. She’s already become someone special to him. Even though she’s been healed by Ivan and the queen, he still can’t help but feel guilty and is willing to take responsibility. Aje says that he’s prepared to welcome her back as his family. Gerda agrees without hesitation, and they hug each other. They promise to make each other happy, and Aje adds that his happiness is her.

Bad End

Aje desperately tries to save her, but to no avail. Gerda only asks for him to smile, and he forces one for her. In truth, she wanted them to have a happy future together in which they are always smiling – but it looks like it’s impossible now. She thanks Aje and closes her eyes. She can feel his tears falling down, and hears a loud cry from him.

Overall

Aje’s route was cute! I always found it fun when he starts ranting away embarrassing things without meaning too thanks to the curse. I liked how their relationship developed, and it just felt nice and natural. I kinda expected the spoiler seeing how his route had to be cleared in order to do Ivan’s. As usual, the confrontation with the Snow Queen was a bit ??? but…I got to see more Ivan so I won’t complain too much haha. I wish I could see more of the brothers interacting, the bonus short story wasn’t enough! The one thing I didn’t grasp at all though was…the whole “light” imagery. I don’t know it seemed understandable at first, but when I typed this post I didn’t know how to convey it at all. /o\ Anyway, last up is Ivan’s route yay yay~ Hopefully it won’t take me that long to finish and write his post! (By the way…Aje did really well to travel all over despite being a direction-idiot lol.)

24 thoughts on “SNOW BOUND LAND: Aje’s Route

  1. midoriha says:

    Thank you! Aje is either my first or second most favourite character in the game.Ivan’s the other one!Aje’s curse is… unfortunate.The curse makes him say out loud the things he wants to keep hidden, like wanting to make Gerda his, and so on… fufu.But, it does make him say things that he doesn’t actually think /feel. It’s really cute when he grabs her when he’s asleep, and Craes’s nd Orva’s reactions, especially them dragging him out!
    When Gerda realises she likes him, but decides to keep it a secret, it was saddening for me…I liked that scene where the men(bandits) started fantasising having Gerda as a wife, and Aje gets jealous. Lol, cute!
    Well, i did feel bad for Aje when he said all those mean things to Gerda, though he was actually happy with what she’d told him. Also, Gerda saving the Queen, i think, is a testament to Gerda’s character, which is a really nice touch!i enjoyed Aje’s route quite a bit!

  2. Sena says:

    This is the only route (and Ivan’s shorter semi-route) I really want to play for Snow Bound Land once I heard more about the other characters and the things going on in them…I’m trying to hold off on reading the entirety of your reviews until I play because I’ve been finding lately that knowing everything that happens has been making it harder for me to get motivated to play things…I haven’t yet found this balance of what to read to determine whether a game is worth buying/playing but not spoiling the whole thing T_T

    お疲れ on completing another route. You’re almost done with the game!

    • Yume says:

      Thanks! Actually I finished playing the game already lol I just have been slower at typing up Ivan’s post. ;;

      Well Aje’s route is one of the more fun routes. If you like Ivan’s personality, I think you would enjoy his too. I don’t really have much to say ‘cos I left them for last, so the plot is pretty much predictable especially after Kai’s. ^^; I guess I would say that it’s worth buying/playing depending on how much you think you’d like the characters in SBL.

      • Sena says:

        Yeah! I just saw that you posted Ivan’s route! I think I would like Ivan’s personality, but I’d really have to wait and see since it’s just based on speculation…although I admit that most of the time, my guesses turn out to be right.

        I already bought it, so I should definitely play it or it would be a waste, haha. However, it’s now just a matter of when to play it. So many things I’ve been waiting are coming out soon or just came out and I’ve been getting into drama CDs more recently too, so there’s another money hole (not so much a time hole since drama CDs are much shorter than games are)…so things are not looking so good for the backlog…

          • Sena says:

            I’m super doomed. Rejet drama CDs are rather addicting. At least the ones I tried out/am going through so far. I have no discipline, I tell you. So many things on the backlog. The ones that I didn’t buy yet are another story, but the sheer multitude of the games I own but haven’t touched (and the handful that I started but never finished) is terrible.

            • Yume says:

              Haha and Rejet keeps spinning more drama CDs! To be honest it’s never a rule to finish a game 100% but somehow if we don’t it’ll just bug us I guess (unless it’s a really frustrating game).

            • Sena says:

              This is true, but it would certainly bother me. There’s one game I played recently where I could not figure out how to get all the CGs so I just stopped, because I had gotten all the endings and I just didn’t think it was worth it either. If I knew how to finish it though, I would. Leaving things undone isn’t very conducive to my mental health, haha.

              THEY ARE. Some of the series I wasn’t interested in I didn’t look into, but there are at least two series coming out this year that I was interested in, so there goes that.

            • Yume says:

              Yeah I tend to do the same too. But don’t worry, gradually you will forget about it as you move onto other games. At least I did. ww

              And your money goes into Rejet’s pocket basically haha. They really are focusing a lot on drama CDs.

            • Sena says:

              Eventually, I hope I do, haha. I think if I find it really impossible to complete a game (not from lack of trying, but from lack of ability because I can’t figure out why I can’t complete a CG gallery or something), then it’s out of my hands and I’ll just stop. It’s a little harder if I can finish it but I just can’t find the motivation for it…because that’s all on me.

              It is, it really is. Especially because I haven’t really tried non-Rejet CDs yet. They must realize they produce a lot of good ones so they’re focusing on that. It’s probably a good profit too, because it’s 2100 yen per CD and if you have like…5+ CDs in one series, that’s a pretty big haul. It almost seems a better way to approach business than making games since you don’t have to worry about developing the system and the graphics, etc.

            • Yume says:

              Yeah drama CDs can be pretty expensive. The cheapest one would be tagged at 1575 yen I believe. But the ones with double discs and all would definitely cost more. That’s true but then again, there are a lot many drama CDs out there already so you’d have to come up with a really attractive concept (and maybe cast lol) to pull in listeners. ^^

            • Sena says:

              I would say wouldn’t you usually need a great premise for a game as well, but with the games lately, maybe not. You might just need pretty art. Or you could have a good premise but poor execution. Perhaps it’s because with drama CDs because it’s only audio, they NEED to focus more on the story. And yeah, having a star cast definitely helps. I admit that I’m sometimes drawn to series if there are seiyuu I like, but I’ve tried out a few where I never heard of the seiyuu beforehand and ended up liking them a lot from the series, so I’m trying not to put too much stock into knowing the cast before I try it out. I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I like drama CDs right now. The art and cast can draw you in, but it can’t hold you unless the story is good.

            • Yume says:

              I agree, and in addition like I mentioned there are many drama CDs out there already aka there’d definitely be many themes covered already – fairytales, choosing your ends, honeymoon, twins, pets, gijinka, dummyhead microphone recording etc. So you’d need something extra to stand out now, like a good story execution as you said aside from the typical fanservice.

            • Sena says:

              Rejet’s been doing this Drama CD series then game release thing lately (Bad Medicine, ALICE=ALICE). I don’t know how I feel about that. I mean, it seems a little excessive. I’m sure they’re touching on different things in the CDs than in the game, but it’s not really necessary nor do I feel it really adds all that much. It really just seems like a means to get some extra money out of people and I feel super conflicted because I really can’t afford that at the same time that I am falling for the ploy because I like having complete sets. I should never have gotten into tokutens because now I feel the need to get things right away from certain shops to get those extra goodies T____T

            • Yume says:

              I can understand what you’re saying. Actually it’s interesting to think of how DiaLov was the source of this drama CD + game combination. But it was a “fuller” game with a bigger price tag. The recent ones (DotKare etc.) are like half the price so they feel…lightweight in comparison I guess? But then again, Rejet has fewer upcoming titles to concern themselves with as compared to Otomate etc.

              Tokutens are baaaaaad traps lol. They are so tempting but it can be such a blow to your wallet so sometimes I try not to look at the list at all so I wouldn’t be aware of them haha.

            • Sena says:

              That’s true! I didin’t even think about the fact that Diabolik Lovers started as a drama CD series because MORE BLOOD had already come out by the time I got around to playing the first game so it was already established as a game by that time. That’s true that Rejet has less series than Otomate or some other companies like QR.

              I’ve found out the hard way. Some tokutens I don’t really care for or don’t have a burning desire to own, but there are a few that have good tokutens that I convinced myself I absolutely must have. Like the Wasurenagusa series. I actually got the first set’s drama CD tokutens (the Animate and Official) on Yahoo! Auctions and purchased the Animate one for the second set (but it hasn’t come in yet), but I’m still waiting on the Official one. No one’s auctioning it off yet, which I guess is expected. It came out relatively recently so I’m just waiting impatiently for it to pop up so I can get it. SO much money. It was definitely a trap. I should probably not look them up in the future. Just that series is the only one I really wanted the tokutens for though…I’m so torn between doing the smart thing you’re doing and not looking up tokutens and understanding my personality and the fact that if I miss out on one and somehow find out later, I will shell out big bucks on auction websites trying to get it second-hand…>.<

            • Yume says:

              Wow it is a lot of money! I guess it’s also ‘cos I’m running out of space in my room, so I tell myself that it’s okay not to collect everything ahaha. ;; But since you’re kinda in the stage of building up your collection, you can’t help but want to collect all the tokutens.

            • Sena says:

              Tell me about it -_-; It’s a good thing it’s really just that series that I absolutely had to have the tokutens for. My wallet can’t handle much more; especially because I just invested in a Vita.

              I already don’t have space in my room. It was already rather small, but now it’s just ridiculous. I have to reorganize it so it looks livable. The sad thing is my room space is one of the reasons I haven’t bought hardcopy books in a while. I love books, but lately I’ve been buying Kindle versions because I just don’t have the space for them and also I read fast so it allows me to take more than one book at a time. I do miss having my mini library getting new books every so often though…

            • Yume says:

              Oh you just bought a Vita? What Vita games are you interested in? (:

              Omg that’s exactly my situation now – being unable to buy hardcopy books due to lack of space. But another reason is that I hardly finished reading all of them too so why buy more…lol.

            • Sena says:

              I figured it would become a necessary investment, so I bought one, haha. I actually already started playing Hakuouki SSL because I preordered that since I knew I would get a Vita eventually. It’s pretty much what I expected so far, but it’s hard to completely judge yet because out of the 6 main guys, I only played Hijikata to far. I wanted to get the non-main routes (normal, girls end, Sannan, Yamazaki, etc.) out of the way first, so I’ve only just gotten back to the main ones. One of the things I super appreciate from this game is if you leave the default name, everyone says it! I think we already discussed how awesome that is so I was very happy about that.

              As for new ones I’m interested in, as far as I know only Otomate has really been pushing Vita releases so the ones I’m interested in are all from them, but they are Reine des Fleurs, Code: Realize, Binary Star, and Senjou no waltz. Not too much info released on them yet though. How about you?

              The sad thing is that most of the books I own I’m pretty sure I bought after I already read them, haha. I used to work in a library so it was really easy for me to borrow books. Since that was my way of buying books, all the ones I own are either books I really liked so I bought them because I knew I would re-read them, or they were gifts from other people.

            • Yume says:

              Ohh I see! I think after all the recent Otomate games, it’s not bad to get what you expect now lol.😄 And yeah, only Otomate has jumped to Vita platform. There are ones like Prince of Stride which are also going to be for Vita – but no other “big name” company has taken the leap yet.

              Personally I’m deeply interested in Code:Realize due to the staff. I love miko’s art (and she’s doing steampunk!) and the writer and director are promising too (the team behind my favourite Kamikimi). The story looks like it could be a tragic love story so that’s even better lol. The art for Reine des Fleurs naturally caught my attention but…I think I’ll have to wait for more information before I decide whether I’ll go for it. The cast seems perfect though. I’m more neutral towards Binary Star and Senjou no Waltz since they don’t catch my attention as much (and my bias isn’t inside the cast haha).

              Ohhh! Well that works too haha. At least you know that most of the books you’ve got are the ones you enjoyed enough to read them a second time.

            • Sena says:

              You’re right about that, unfortunately. I don’t like the whine about Yone not being the artist for SSL, but it really makes a difference if you’re into the art and can see it. I don’t think the artist does a bad job, but the characters don’t really look quite right to me, so I actually don’t really care for the CGs in the game too much. Now that I’ve played a little less than half (I say this because I think the main guy routes weigh more than the shorter ones) and got into the groove of the game, going through the routes are pretty fast (and I can skip the minigames if I want to, thank god).

              Yeah! i was reading the staff for Code: Realize which is one of the reasons why it looked interesting to me as well. I admit that for the most part, it’s the art that drew me in to the other games. Obviously, this is not the best thing to base a decision on, but Reine des Fleurs I’m pretty set on getting. The storyline seems alright and so do the character designs. I don’t expect it to be the most epic thing in the world, but I feel like I would definitely like something from it. Binary Star and Senjou no Waltz don’t have much info on them either, so yeah…those two are mostly art-based, haha.

              Back then, when I was collecting books more consistently, I was limited on what I could buy since I was a student and poor, haha. So that was probably why I only bought the books I felt like I needed to have.

            • Yume says:

              Haha well Otomate games do focus quite a bit on art so it can’t be helped that it’ll be one of the attractive points! I believe that the team working on Reine des Fleurs is the same as Wand of Fortune and since that was so popular, I can see why people are anticipating it a lot. Same for Senjou no Waltz as the team was responsible for Princess Arthur and I think it was one of Otomate’s more decent games.

            • Sena says:

              I suppose that’s true, haha. Wand of Fortune is one of those series I was interested in but never tried out yet because well…I already have too many games I didn’t play as it is, and investing in a series is not the best idea keeping that in mind because if I know I like the first game, I start to look for the next ones if they’re released.

              I recall seeing that your blog partner reviewing that game. We’ll see. I have to wait for more info to be released until I make more definitive decisions about the other games…I really shouldn’t be getting more Vita games though. Totally getting spoiled by the Vita graphics. It doesn’t mean the PSP graphics are bad by any means, but it’s just cleaner and crisper so yeah…bad idea. I should have saved Vita games for after I played more PSP ones, lol.

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