Leo’s route is one I played pretty casually, and honestly I’m glad I didn’t hang all my expectations on it being amazing. It was a pleasant read, but it didn’t impress me as much as some other Niflheim routes.
THE STORY (Spoilers Ahead)
For the prologue, I’ll quote myself from my Philipe review:
Our MC (who I named Winnifred Undead) is awakened from death 1000 years after her demise. She’s told she’s in an afterworld called Niflheim, and that she’s been resurrected for the express purpose of becoming the bride of Niflheim’s king.
Winnifred is pretty positive about this second chance at life, but she’s understandably hesitant about marrying someone she’s never met. Having no memories of her life before her resurrection and being appropriately disoriented, she’s given a period of time to undergo bridal training before the wedding. She meets a variety of men in the process. They’re all in varying states of decay and all still in possession of super ripped abs. (Except for Skeletiano. Who is a skeleton. A sassy, sassy skeleton. )
Leo is actually the only love interest not residing in Niflheim. He’s actually the king of Muspelheim, another land in the underworld. Muspelheim is extremely hot and tends to attracted lots of buff warriors, so it’s basically a Miami beachside gym in my head.
MC meets Leo after she runs into Leo’s loyal companion at the castle, a firewolf named Surt. Surt likes MC immediately, but Leo is a bit bristly and hesitant to let her close to either him or his wolf. When they next meet, Leo is in the king’s court discussing the purpose of his visit: finding a bride. Apparently he hasn’t found a good partner among the ladies of Muspelheim.
Whenever Leo and King Jean are in a room together, there’s a lot of posturing going on. This meeting is no exception, and it culminates in Leo forcefully kissing MC as a power move. MC is no shrinking violet and makes like Jonton in this gif:
She immediately slaps him in the face and tells him he’s been an utter creep. Meanwhile, yours truly hears angels sing and writes NTT Solmare a tearful thank-you note.
Leo is surprised, but to his credit takes it in stride. MC continues to be mad at Leo for a while, but after this event he visibly softens and ends up becoming truly fond of her. MC eventually softens up toward him as well.
When Leo realizes the situation MC is in, he’s livid. He doesn’t think it’s right for Jean to demand MC marry him while he carries on with his harem. He keeps asking MC how SHE feels about all of this, which I appreciate. In this route, he’s the only one who truly checks if MC is okay with this arrangement. This is where MC begins developing feelings for Leo… he won’t let her put aside her own wants, which gets her thinking about what she wants. Turns out what she wants is a mostly shirtless fireman with a big wolf. Get it, girl!
The primary story arc revolves around a Bad Guy (TM) named Beltran, who aims to unseat King Jean and take over Niflheim. It’s kind of a standard story in that regard, but it’s a fun read. MC and Leo are pretty honest about their feelings for each other and both fight equally fiercely for the other. Leo even trains MC to fight at one point. It definitely isn’t a one-sided “save the princess” scenario.
I really have just one gripe with the story, but it’s kind of a big one. Leo’s story is one of the two shorter options (along with Skeletiano’s route) in the game. The route ends at 10 chapters instead of the usual 16. The pacing felt really off to me as a result, and I think this is basically the route’s biggest pitfall. 10 relatively short chapters is just really hard to cram a believable love story into.
MC is a blessing in almost all her routes, and this one is no exception. I love how the writers balance making her willful with making her a genuinely kind person. If she ever acts like a doormat, it’s only because she’s mulling over the right course of action and doesn’t want to be to hasty in her decisions.
MC is strong-willed, and so is he. They respect the stubbornness rather than trying to change the other person, and they also seem to genuinely improve each other as human beings. Leo becomes a bit softer and more thoughtful after spending time with MC, and MC gets a renewed will to stand up for her own needs.
I… *sniff* I’ve been waiting my whole life for a game to give me this option.
You don’t say, J.J. You don’t say.
Ahhh, a I get to be friends with a tsundere skeleton. What a time to be alive!
And finally, MC doing the thing we all want and giving each and every one of us life.
Additionally, every post-chapter letter is written to you from Surt. They are all absolutely adorable, and I really looked forward to them.
My heart scale is defined as follows – 5 hearts = a story everyone will fall in love with, regardless of preferences; 4 hearts = a well-done story that people who love the concept will adore, and people who don’t may end up liking it; 3 hearts = if you like this type of story or this type of hero, then you will enjoy this, but those who do not like either of those things will probably not; 2 hearts = it had potential, it squandered it; 1 heart = just a waste of time from the get-go; 0 hearts = why was this made?