Fanfic / Path of the King

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Neoalfa's Path of the King is a Fate/stay night Fan Fic created in response to the author's Fridge Logic of pre-Grail War Emiya Shirou not actually having done anything that heroic for someone whose life goal is to become a "Hero of Justice."

Due to certain events, Shirou decides take a more proactive approach to fulfilling his dreams. After pressing his dying father for guidance, he begins to develop a stable magical skill set years ahead of his canon counterpart, applies his abilities to the goal of fighting real-life crime, and in time he becomes known as a neophyte Vigilante Man nicknamed the Archer. But even with the help of paranormal powers, this lifestyle isn't an easy one to maintain; between safeguarding his true identity, keeping himself beneath the notice of fellow practitioners, and sweeping Fuyuki's moonlit streets, Shirou finds himself evolving in new directions as a person, a hero and a Magus.

This delicate equilibrium can't hope to last. New threats creep out of the shadows, and the kidnapping of her close friend brings Tohsaka Rin and the Archer into mutual contact; meanwhile, in a stroke of unexpected fortune, the unassuming yet earnest Emiya Shirou volunteers to assist her with her search. As their developing private investigation becomes ever more dangerous, the consequences of closing it reach farther - and hit harder - than either of them knows to expect...

Path of the King can be found here on Fanfiction.Net. A dedicated forum thread is open here (Beware of spoilers).


This fic provides examples of the following tropes, in addition to those already present in the source material:

  • Accidental Pervert: Double Subverted in That Which Bleeds (I). Shirou enters Satsuki's mansion suite uninvited after an unsettling period of silence (Justified: He thinks the newborn vampire could have succumbed to her bloodthirst while he was asleep). As it turns out, she was just taking a shower, and he almost blunders face-first into her as she's finishing cleaning up. While his martial arts training gives him sharp enough reflexes to dodge this trope, he doesn't predict that thanks to her own vampiric reflexes, she might dodge with the same timing and direction. The end result: classic Suggestive Collision. Pervert Revenge Mode ensues.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: When it becomes necessary to make Detective Dojima forget about the events related to Guilford's mansion, Tohsaka does an impressively good job of manipulating his memories via hypnosisnote . However, he still notices that something is amiss because the reading of his car's odometer indicates about 50 kilometers more than the expected number.
  • Appropriated Appellation: While his vigilante persona was only given the name Archer by democracy, Shirou still uses it if it's required.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Medea vaporizes Jun's arms and legs, while only Jin's legs are vaporized.
    • Avenger tore Shirata to pieces, starting with the legs and arms.
  • Asleep for Days: Soon after his difficult battle against Ciel the Executor, Shirou falls asleep from prana expenditure, blood loss and simple exhaustion. When he comes to, he's told he was out cold for over thirty hours instead of the six he estimated. Hearing this, Shirou starts to sweat buckets at the realization that he surely made his allies in Fuyuki (Medea and Taiga) worry about him for all that time.
  • Attractiveness Isolation: Rin and Yukiko. It's likely the reason why they made friends with each other in this continuity.
  • Aura Vision: Yumizuka Satsuki discovers that people shine like beacons to a vampire's extra senses, making any mundane attempt to hide from one useless. It's also a survival trait, allowing them to perceive vampires more powerful than themselves and keep them from walking into a disadvantageous confrontation.
  • Awful Truth: Shirou lets Saber know outright that the Grail won't grant her wish.
  • Badass Normal: Dojima, a thoroughly non-magical policeman, tries to fight off an assassin magus by shooting at him. When that doesn't work, he brings out the Uzis.
  • Batman Gambit: Guilford has a villainous example up and running throughout most of the first Story Arc. He throws money at a prostitution ring to make them kidnap Yukiko for him, counting on the fact that Rin would look for her Muggle Best Friend, then find and save her on his own schedule. In the meantime, he puts Yukiko under the power of the enhanced version of his Sorcery Trait, Rule of Blood; this essentially turns her into a brainwashed mole ready to betray Rin at her most protective. This is meant to ensure that he can kidnap an accomplished Magus like Rin such that she can't counter or avoid him using Rule of Blood on her. Should he succeed in this, he'll have a guaranteed Master candidate and her future Servant working for him during the Holy Grail War.
  • Battle Couple: Not a couple per se, but Archer and Rin's Casual Danger Dialog can come across as flirty. This is notable because it only happens after she figures out his Secret Identity.
  • Being Watched:
    • Like his canon counterpart, Shirou is highly apt to notice when someone is watching him. The side effects of some unrelated training make him sensitive enough to detect professionals who can shadow other Magi undetected.
    • Shirou has the trope reversed on him during Professor Shirata's presentation at the museum. His attention keeps being drawn to a man wearing Chinese clothes, whom Shirou pegs as a martial artist on sight. Every time Shirou's gaze lingers, the man turns to look right at him, clearly implying that he's skilled enough to perceive others' stares.
  • Berserk Button: She tries to not be too obvious about it, especially to the guy himself, but Shirou is a huge one for his Servant in more sense than one. On the one hand, many of his own actions, especially the self-sacrificing and the too-oblivious ones, can backfire if and when she learns about them. On the other hand, try to harm him, or worse, actually succeed in harming him, and you'd better kiss your limbs goodbye.
  • Big Eater: Medea. According to Shirou, it must be a Servant thing.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Shirou to Nezumi's would-be murderer. Done somewhat more realistically than the usual, given that he used a modified metal arrow to do it (more mass and less speed than a bullet, plus less chance of shrapnel).
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: It's one of the reasons why Shirou makes a point to learn an unarmed fighting style even if he can boost his body beyond human capabilities. The other reason being to prove to Kuzuki that the Snake, the set of fighting techniques taught to him during his youth as a killing method, can be used for good.
    • It pays off handsomely in Isn't it sad?. During his fight with Ciel, Shirou realizes that she can't die by mundane means, making the normally lethal techniques fair play in that particular case.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: It happens to Rin when a group of five men assaults her and a few of her friends from school. The gang wouldn't normally be a problem for her with or without magic, but she is unable to find a way to deal with the situation barehanded while keeping all the girls safe or using magic and then having to wipe their memories afterwards.
  • Broken Masquerade: Medea undoes Dojima's Mental Manipulation, revealing the nature of magic and how badly out of his depth he was. Shirou comes clean to both him and Taiga later to forge an alliance.
  • Call Back: There's a nod to a couple of JASDF F-15 fighter jets that went MIA during the events of Fate/Zero.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Shirou, after dreaming of Medea's past thanks to what he could read from Rule Breaker.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In To Be Saved, Shirou mentions that he's repairing a broken-down motorcycle that he got from Taiga. In An Assassin's Sword, he uses it to tail the van that Rin's kidnappers are keeping her in.
    • Monohoshizao, or more precisely the Accumulated Experience stored in its ancient blade, becomes a key factor in Guilford's defeat.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Shirou, as per canon. In some cases, it works out very well - securing Caster's Undying Loyalty, for example. In the other hand, it gets him into a death match with Ciel over the fate of a recently undead Satsuki.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Shirou, as usual. It starts with Sakura (a Childhood Friend Romance this time around), then he sorta gets Rin (you know the drill) and then he gets Caster, aka Medea. All due to his Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Taiga is left with a strong feeling of surrealism when, of all the strange things related to Magecraft, Medea uses an "honest-to-god Crystal Ball" for a spell. The latter notices her incredulity and is was quick to assure her that even with the considerable distance involved, scrying for Shirou's situation in Misaki should not be a problem.
    Taiga: [awkward laugh] That's not what I meant but nevermind.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Due to several circumstances, Dojima Ryutaro has to partially take up this role for The Archer. He's less than pleased with the arrangement. That's as far as it goes, until he learns about the Holy Grail War and the stakes involved, after which he's determined to help Shirou prevent casualties.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Just like Kayneth, Guilford mistakenly assumes that his opponent wasn't a magus because he Fights Like a Normal and he ends up paying dearly for it.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Discussed by Dojima, just before quipping that he's about to do something that would surely get him killed in a horror movie.
    The plot was always the same, and the characters seemed to come from a universe where horror movies didn't exist because if they did, and they had watched at least one, they would have never walked in one of the many situations that led to a very painful and gory death.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The only reason why Shirou was able to find Caster before the then Master-less Servant vanished from the world was because she decided to spend her last moments watching the sea, which happened to be in the proximity of the warehouse where he stored the items he... er... salvaged from Guilford's place. This nicely mirrors similar events from canon.
    • The narration takes a moment to point out how unlikely the chain of events that led Saber to become Rin's Servant actually was.
  • Crossover:
  • Cry into Chest: During That Which Bleeds (II), after Shirou feeds her some of his blood, Satsuki cries in grief and shame at the unavoidable fact of what she's become.
  • Crystal Ball: Caster has one for scrying, just like in the anime. It's used in That Which Bleeds (I) to confirm Shirou's status after the Mass Murder Incident in Misaki.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Taiga, of all people, is convinced that Shirou must be the Archer despite having no solid evidence to support her theory. Apparently, Archer's actions simply seemed too Shirou-like for her tastes.
  • Curse Cut Short: From That Which Bleeds (I):
    Medea: I guess you aren't as useless as I thought you'd be.
    Dojima: Hey, you bit—
    Medea: [hangs up phone]
  • Cuteness Proximity: Seeing Saber in a school uniform makes Rin confront her theretofore unknown bisexuality in a rather humorous manner.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Even if Shirou's Spanner in the Works intervention was crucial to Tohsaka's escape by unavoidably distracting her captors, in the end she pretty much broke herself and Yukiko out on her own.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Fake Opening is told from the point of view of Rin and Saber.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • An In-Universe example. The creators of the Heaven's Feel ritual took into consideration a large number of eventualities with regard to future Holy Grail Wars, most notably including a surprisingly canny safeguard against Servants capable and willing to tamper with it: the Wards that protect the Grail system from such interferences are an active component of the same, meaning that they can't be taken down while it's still in full operation without causing a catastrophic failure that would destroy the Grail and level the whole city and beyond.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Cheungs ran into a couple problems in trying to kill Shirou and Medea, as well as retrieve Guilford's Crest. One of the things they couldn't predict, however, is Dojima coming to visit the Emiya household Crazy-Prepared.
  • Did They Just Have Sex?: Played with. After Rin and Shirou, both of them high-ranked students, arrive at school one morning with identical (but not directly related) sleep-deprived looks, a rumor begins to spread implying that this was the cause.
  • Dramatic Drop: Taiga and Medea are just finishing breakfast when a TV news report lists Shirou's name together with the presumed victims of the mass disappearance/murder incident that took place at his hotel in Misaki. They freeze in their tracks and whatever they had in hands fall to the floor before they snap out of it and try to contact him.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: As a side effect of receiving another person's memories (Waver's), Shirou experiences some of them as dreams from the donor's point of view.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Sakura's narration swings this way the one time Shirou is careless enough to let her see him shirtless, with the expected results.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Given the fact that Archer is able to deal with some level of supernatural danger without too much trouble, Guilford correctly deduces that Archer knew about Magecraft beforehand, but he mistakenly assumes that the man isn't a magus because he didn't resort to using his skills in a life-or-death situation. From there his guesses go even further off the mark; he theorizes that Archer could be a retainer of Fuyuki's Second Owner (Rin) because it'd be strange for someone like him to operate well within her territory without her permission, not to mention because Archer infiltrated his mansion the same night Guilford kidnapped Rin.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Caren Hortensia gets two diametrically opposed reactions from two different people shortly after her introduction in That Which Bleeds (I). First, a random taxi driver gets a brief look at her and thinks the nun is "the most angelic creature he had ever seen". Then Ciel, who has worked with Caren in the past, prompty growls at her the moment they meet and begins making arrangements not to have to deal with the woman during her mission in Misaki.
  • Eureka Moment: Lord El-Melloi II was able to correctly guess Archer's real identity by remembering another unusual Magecraft practitioner who used his skills for practical applications over research: Kiritsugu.
  • Evil Gloating: Guilford indulges in this trope at Tohsaka's expense. To his credit, he actually could afford the cliché given how little chance his prisoner had to get out of that mess without external help.
  • Exposition Beam: As part of their deal with Waver to surrender Rule of Blood to him, Shirou has a very limited portion of the latter's memories transfered via Magecraft directly to his brain. More specifically, the former Master of Rider's experiences in the previous Holy Grail War to give himself an edge for the current one. Unlike most instances of this trope, while the transference of memories was practically instantaneous, their assimilation much less so. Even several days later, Shirou's mind can barely put enough together to show him short Dreams of Times Gone By.
  • Expy: The story borrows a few characters and their overall characterization from Persona 4. Most notably Dojima, Adachi and Yukiko.
  • Famous Last Words: Guilford:
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Servant Caster runs into some problems when trying to operate a computer. Shirou supposes that the Grail didn't provide information about them because they're a relatively recent invention.
  • Foreshadowing: In the How We Got Here prologue, Caster wasn't listed as one of the beings that Shirou didn't consider as his true opponent, while the likes of Gilgamesh, Kotomine, Zouken, and Hercules were. This would be the first hint that Shirou's relationship to Caster would be different than in canon.
  • For Want of a Nail: Running into Sakura years earlier than their canonical meeting makes Shirou realize his Chronic Hero Syndrome at a time where a post-Fate/Zero Kiritsugu is still there to guide him.
    • It has truly become an Alternate Universe with Shirou contracting Medea after she's attacked by the Chinese mercenaries, meaning she'll be his servant for the Grail War.
  • The Gadfly: Caren Hortensia likes to get a rise out of people as often as she can. All in perfect deadpan, of course.
    Caren: My, my… Ciel, is it this time? It almost sound like you don't like me.
    Ciel: I don't like you. You're the second most unnerving person I have the displeasure to know.
    Caren: [laughs softly] Heavens, what did I ever do to deserve such treatment from you?
    Ciel: [thinking] You exist.
  • Get Out: Avenger to the Urashima Wraith, kicking him out of Shirou's soul.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: After a possession attempt by the Urashima Wraith and getting his memories knocked loose, Shirata becomes unhinged and teams up with the spirit in an attempt to bring down The Masquerade.
  • Groin Attack: Shinji was in the receiving end of this trope when he berated Shirou after the latter allegedly slept with Rin the night before (in Shinji's head, he's the one who is supposed to do that), confronting him in the middle of a school corridor. During lunch break. Where she can hear him. What an Idiot.
  • Gut Feeling: The story posits that Issei has an innate sensitivity to magic that lets him perceive a Magus' presence, which makes him become suspicious of them without really knowing why. This would be the reason why he can't get along with Rin and why he instantly approved of Saber in canon.
  • Head Desk: Dojima's reaction to finding out that vampires exist and they're aliens.
  • Healing Factor: As in canon, after years of carrying Avalon inside his body, Shirou develops an affinity with the legendary artifact, granting him a minor example of this trope. Once its rightful owner, Saber, is summoned into the War, these healing properties increase by leaps and bounds even though he does not become her Master this time around. It seems that Shirou's status as Saber's "summoner" is a reason valid enough for Avalon to recognize him as "contracted" to her and thus bestow him with its blessings, but details remain unrevealed In-Universe as of That Which Bleeds (II).
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Shirou comes very close to falling into one when he realizes that his fight with Ciel over Satsuki's survival kept two people who might have prevented the massacre at the hotel in Misaki from doing so. It was Akiha of all people, who knocked some sense into him and reminded him of the life he did save that night.
  • Heroic Build: A teenager-scaled side effect of Shirou's training regime. He does his best to keep it hidden with loose-fitting clothes and such because it isn't consistent with what would be expected of someone with his known lifestyle. Unbeknownst to him, however, Taiga considered it her sisterly duty to advertise her protégé's healthy muscles (with actual pictures no less) due to his lack of female friends, so this has become a case of Everybody Knew Already as far as a good portion of Homurahara Gakuen's female student body is concerned.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Shirou has little to no qualms about stealing a car if it means getting in time to save a life when Roofhopping is not an option.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Kenta, the boy Shirou meets at a museum in Misaki, is a huge fanboy of Archer. He even carries his own toy bow and suction cup arrows with him.
  • Horror Hunger: Satsuki's unwillingly acquired thirst for blood. It's certainly no help to her that in the Nasuverse, "bloodlust" is also as literal as it sounds.
  • Horrifying the Horror: The Urashima Wraith flees from Avenger during its attempt to reach into Shirou's soul.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Guilford does it to Yukiko, and comes very close to inflicting the same thing on Rin.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Taiga is positively delighted the first time Shirou calls in sick because of a cold, citing this old wives' tale. It's actually just post-heroics exhaustion.
  • Improvised Weapon: Yumizuka Satsuki flails a street lamp at Ciel the Executor in Chapter 25.
  • I Never Told You My Name:
    • One of the things that clued Rin about Archer's true identity.
    • Invoked later on. This is how Shirou lets Caster know that he knew her real identity since the first time he saw Rule Breaker.
  • The Informant: Nezumi for Archer.
  • Informed Ability: Averted. Unlike in Fate/Stay Night canon, Medea's Item Construction skill becomes a plot point in later chapters.
  • In Medias Res: The Action Prologue is chronologically set well within the upcoming Holy Grail War.
  • Insistent Terminology: Satsuki insists on First-Name Basis with Shirou, given that he saved her from immediate execution after she got turned into a vampire, fed her some of his blood to keep her sane, slept on the same bed with her, Security Cling style...and then groped her and saw her naked. He has to agree that after all of that madness, some familiarity is in order.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even though one important event from canon's backstory didn't happen in Path of the King, namely the time when Sakura and Rin watched Shirou trying to perform a high jump during middle school (a.k.a. the BAR scene), both of them still became aware of him due to entirely different sets of circumstances. Sakura met Shirou not long after the end of the forth Holy Grail War and they became Childhood Friends, which arguably made her fall harder for him this time around. In Rin's case, he piqued her competitive streak after he managed to rank higher than her in school ratings in spite of him being an orphan, the captain of the archery club and holding a part-time job at the same time and the fact he's the best friend of her Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, Ryuudou Issei.
  • Instant Armor: Twisted Embrace, a Mystic Code crafted by Medea for Shirou.
  • Instant Costume Change: Fairly well-justified, considering the setting. Shirou manipulates black cloth with his prana and wraps it around his body to disguise himself as the Archer and then undo the process when he's done using it. In that way he doesn't have to worry about leaving an incriminating outfit for someone else to find. It's upgraded to Instant Armor later on.
  • Instant Fan Club: "Tohsaka-hime" has one. They're largely harmless, if not a very nice bunch. They get awfully touchy after certain rumors about her and Shirou begin to circulate.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Once Rin realizes that the Holy Grail War is imminent, she makes a point of putting distance between herself and her friends, particularly Yukiko and Shirou.
  • Jack the Ripoff: In The measure of a monster, it's revealed that someone is taking advantage of the "vampire" Serial Killer case in Misaki city to kill people.
  • Karaoke Box: Shirou comments that karaoke places are excellent choices for private conversations. As he puts it, "comfortable, soundproof rooms with refreshments if need be".
  • Karmic Death: Some time after the fact, it's revealed that Guilford suffered the same fate his former master did at Guilford's own hand - killed by someone who later pried Rule of Blood from his still-warm corpse.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Shirou owns a nodachi in later chapters. It is the actual Monohoshizao which was owned by the real Kojiro Sasaki. In a moment of serious badassery, Shirou manages to perform a degraded form of Tsubame Gaeshi due to his special affinity with all things sharp and pointy.
  • Kick the Dog: Guilford is not above using a Command Seal to torture Caster.
    Guilford: Caster... SUFFER!
  • Kill the Ones You Love: The Wraith possessing Kenta kills the boy's mother-figure with his own hands in order to break him down, making Kenta's body and mind more easily usurped.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Shirou, who made sure to take everything he thought might be useful from Guilford's Workshop and mansion before burning the whole thing down. This includes taking Guilford's Crest from his dead body.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Shirata had his memories erased by the Church after being the Sole Survivor of a Dead Apostle attack. The Urashima Wraith trying to possess him knocked it loose.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Caster embarrasses Shirou in front of the Archery Club, implying that they have a sexual relationship as a prank. When Shirou gets home, he points out how what she implied will make the school wary, and since Taiga is his guardian, that means she won't be getting her much desired raise anytime soon. Cue an angry Tiger coming in to rant at the sorceress.
  • Last Name Basis: While a variety of name bases and honorifics get applied to the story's characters, it's telling that absolutely no one ever refers to callous, sadistic Magus Guilford as "Vincent."
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Rule of Blood is a Sorcery Trait that works on living tissue, encouraging the healing processes and allowing cells from different donors to work together properly. So, why did the Mage's Association issue a Sealing Designation on it and anyone carrying it? Rule of Blood makes it extremely easy to play Frankenstein the way Guilford did with his quimeras, and with the help of a magus of Caster's caliber, it's possible to use it in a ritual that slaves people to him, making them as loyal as his own organs. The effect on the victims' minds is particularly disturbing, slowly shaping their thoughts until they're willing to do anything for him, and effectively making them a creepy mix of Property of Love and Mad Love.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Believe it or not, Shirou and Servant Caster's relationship takes on shades of this after a while. Their main point of contention is, of course, Shirou's Chronic Hero Syndrome. For her part, Medea is not shy about giving him a piece of her mind about the heroically stupid things that he does. For his part, Shirou develops some measure of tact - however small - in talking to her about the last or next stupidly heroic thing he did or does plan to do...or at least he makes the effort to make them sound less, you know, suicidal.
  • Likes Older Women: Finding Caster in Shirou's house makes Taiga wonder if this is the case for him.
    [Taiga] never saw it coming, though it explained a great deal about her ward's character. For years she wondered if the redhead just wasn't into females but the scene in front of her eyes explained why he never seemed to take any interest in one of the many attractive girls that seemed to gravitate around him for a reason or another.
  • Malicious Slander: The students of Homurahara Gakuen have a tendency to come up with surprisingly sordid explanations for things. For instance, there's the "Did They Just Have Sex?" example above, and when Yukiko went missing, some said she was dragged into a ring of drugs and prostitution by her nonexistent secret yakuza boyfriend.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child: Kenta's father not only blames his son for his mother's death, but he's so messed up that he doesn't even see the boy as a person anymore.
  • Meat Puppet: Guilford's quimeras.
  • Metallicar Syndrome: Double Subversion. Rin's kidnappers use an inconspicuous cargo van when they abduct her from her house. However, its presence still catches Shirou's attention because it isn't the kind of vehicle he expects from an upscale residential area like Rin's and it's too late at night for deliveries.
  • Metaphorically True: When Taiga asks why she's rooming at Shirou's home, Caster tells the woman her actual story from the myth, omitting nothing but the most important details. It succeeds to great effect - Taiga makes a complete turnaround on opposing Medea's stay.
    Taiga: Uuuuhhh, [wipes tear] And so, [sniffs] after making you break all ties with your family and stealing your inheritance that no-good of your husband just run off with another woman?
    Medea: That is exactly so. If Emiya-san here hadn't kindly offered me food and shelter yesterday I don't know how long I would have survived. Without money and in a foreign country I... [deliberate silence] But I understand how my presence here is improper. I shall leave immediately.
    Taiga: NO! There is no need for that. Please, even though you are just a freeloader make use of Shirou as long as you need.
    Shirou: [Sweat Drop] O-Oi... Fuji-nee, should you really be saying something like that?
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: One of the things that led Dojima to have an inkling of the real happenings in Fuyuki city was the simple question of why an obviously and impressively trained young man in his teens was focusing his vigilantist activities on a relatively peaceful city like theirs.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Issei for a short while in Chapter 5:
  • Moving the Goalposts: Shirou uses this to control his underground contact, and doing so puts the man in increasingly dangerous situations. When this nearly leads to the contact's death, Shirou is wracked with guilt and cuts ties with him.
  • Multilayer Façade: From outer to inner layer, Shirou's Secret Identities stack up like this: civilian persona/vigilante persona/Magus persona (Chronic Hero Syndrome is a constant in all of them though). The distinction between the latter two is particularly relevant when dealing with Tohsaka. In his own words:
    There was something sleep-depriving in knowing that someone was aware of his double identity. Especially if said someone was the person you were trying to hide your triple identity from.
    • It could be said that Shirou has a fourth layer (between his vigilante and magus personae) for Detective Dojima, who knows that the whole crime-busting business is not the whole story. This becomes a moot point later on (see Broken Masquerade above).
  • Mundane Utility:
    • What makes Tohsaka notice Shirou in this continuity? He gets higher grades than she did in the exams. And how does he manage that? He uses magic to Reinforce his brain, allowing him to multitask with the low, low cost of a Psychic Nosebleed-inducing headache.
    • Shirou also discovers that he access the Accumulated Experience of things similar enough to swords like knives or scalpels; one of the latter grants him the proficiency of an experienced surgeon, though in that particular instance, he ends up wishing it didn't.
    • During That Which Bleeds (I), Medea uses Magecraft as a voice amplifier to give Shirou a very blunt scolding for not communicating with her during the Misaki hotel incident and aftermath. It's powerful enough that birds scatter from their trees in fright despite a decent amount of distance and sound-proofing Boundary Fields.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Yukiko's disappearance would've been mistaken for a runaway case until too late if it weren't for the efforts of her best friend and a few other people who barely knew her. Sound familiar?
    • Shirou notes that "he didn't dare to think what a magically reinforced Kuzuki could be capable of"(explaining the joke) 
    • An unconscious Caster is saved from vanishing from existence by the man who would later become her second Master.
    • Medea eventually decides to change Shirou's Workshop from a few-square-meters room into a vast underground space. This may be a nod to the time when she built a replica of an entire Greek city under the Ryuudou Temple in Studio DEEN's anime adaptation of the visual novel.
    • In a relatively rare development for Fate/Stay Night fanfiction, Rin finally summons a Saber-class Servant from the beginning and, just like Nasu said, they make an awfully good team together.
    • In That Which Bleeds (II), Caren grabs both sides of Shirou's face with her hands and pulls him forward until their foreheads are almost touching, making him very uncomfortable given that it's in public. The same thing happened in Fate/hollow ataraxia, minus the onlookers, only this time around, Caren quickly explains that she was using her innate ability to experience the same pain of a possessed person on him.
  • New Transfer Student: Saber in Fake Opening, now know as Ginevra A. Dulac. She immediately objects to Rin's choice of Secret Identity naming, though(explaining the joke) .
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Shirata Shizuo's fate.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • To keep his fighting prowess hidden and protect his Secret Identity, Shirou is cautious to always take a beating if he finds himself in a fight undisguised (likely jumping in to protect someone, knowing him).
    • Taiga is this as well. In Broken Junction, she picks up on clues to the nature of Shirou's injuries using only scarce hints and, as Shirou himself explains, she only puts on an act when things aren't serious.
    • Adachi. On top of being a whole lot smarter than anyone gives him credit for, he doesn't have an inflated opinion of his real intelligence and skill.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • How Guilford is killed.
    • Shirou attempts the same tactic against Ciel the Executor, counting on her Healing Factor to keep it from becoming a killing move.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If Taiga suddenly declares "I'm not hungry" and goes without breakfast, you know something big is about to go down. In this case, it's her being aware of Shirou's injuries and deciding to try putting a stop to his night-time activities for the sake of his well-being.
  • Oh My Gods!: Caster sometimes swears "in the name of Hades".
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Subverted. After Shirou ran away from the Accidental Pervert moment in That Which Bleeds (I), Satsuki's only reaction (other than embarrassment) was to laugh long and loud. Justified: from her perspective, that was by far the most "wonderfully human" thing to ever happen to her after being turned into a vampire.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Vampire!Satsuki.
  • Police Are Useless: Newcomer detective Dojima stands out like a sore thumb in Fuyuki's police department; in his opinion, they're soft and overused to living in a low crime-rate city. We know better.
    • It's somewhat justified, as there is a whole apparatus put in place by several organizations to keep any events related to the Holy Grail War under wraps.
  • The Power of Blood: Guilford's Sorcery Trait, Rule of Blood.
  • Prisoner Exchange: This occurs with Waver and Medea. In return for letting Jin and Jun go, Dojima was not killed by Waver.
  • Revealing Cover-Up:
    • Tohsaka uses hypnosis to make detective Dojima forget everything about Guilford's Mansion. However, she doesn't take into account his incredibly keen attention to detail - the fact that Dojima couldn't account for an additional 50 kilometers showing on his car's odometer is enough to make him suspect that something is amiss.
    • Due to his affinity with swords, Shirou realizes that one of the unearthed blades in Professor Shirata's museum exhibit is in fact an extraordinary well-crafted duplicate. The catch? It's a perfect reproduction of a sword forged using unknown techniques supposedly long lost to time, meaning that once Shirou and Caren figure out that a Wraith is committing the murders through the use of a possessed victim, they also realize that the missing sword is most likely its true link to the world...and that given the replica's quality, the blade's blacksmith is the origin of the spirit.
    • Kirei never told Rin what role he took in the last Grail War. If he had just told her he hadn't known her father's killer, she would have believed him and left it at that, but since he kept it from her, she finds it equivalent to hiding the body, almost totally destroying any faith she had in him.
  • Roofhopping:
    • Shirou's preferred mode of transportation in vigilante mode.
    • Being able to indulge herself in this trope is one of the very few perks Satsuki sees in being a vampire.
  • Running Gag:
    • Dojima gets orders of magnitude more displeased and snarky the more he learns about the supernatural. Take the following gem of a line, for example:
      Waver's Volumen Hydragyrum: *Swallows Dojima whole and spits him out*
      Dojima: Fucking alien probes, I'm too old for this shit.
    • Shirou's "Being a Hero sure was tough!" and his grievances with Finagle's Law.
    • Shirou's Heroic Build, particularly when the candid pictures that Taiga took of him get mentioned.
  • Sarcastic Confession: In To Be Saved:
    Nezumi: How would you know if and when I find something? Hey, for that matter how do you know where to find me every fucking time?
    Archer: Magic.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Shirou's informant skips town after he's almost killed for getting intel on Yukiko's disappearance.
  • Sexy Mentor: If even Shirou can't help but acknowledge it, then Medea definitely counts.
    Yep, she had the whole 'Evil Witch' thing down pat. Attractive as hell, mind you, but evil. That was the first time Shirou asked himself if he was perhaps in way over his head. It was one thing to fight a Heroic Spirit but surviving an attractive female one as his self-proclaimed teacher in Magecraft?
    Yeah: way over his head.
  • Share the Male Pain: Lampshaded:
    Shirou winced in sympathy. Not that Shinji hadn't deserved anything for what he had insinuated, but there is a basic camaraderie among men when it comes to genital injuries.
  • Sherlock Scan: It takes only seconds for Rin to deduce almost everything that was possible about Shirou's situation in Misaki from a static image in That Which Bleeds (I).
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Sociopath: Adachi, who does what he wants for the lulz, whether it's good or bad.
    • The Urashima Wraith counts as well; he only seeks to continue his blacksmithing, consequences be damned.
  • Sole Survivor: Shirata was the sole survivor of a Dead Apostle attack and was made to forget it.
  • Spit Take: Waver spat his drink in Jun's face after seeing the Archer on TV carrying a nodachi. Spoiler-y explanation: Evidence of usage of a long blade was pretty much the only clue Waver had on the person(s?) behind Guilford's demise.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Guess who?
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Horribly invoked with Yukiko via Rule of Blood (see Hypnotize the Princess).
  • Stomach of Holding: In preparation for the eventuality that all her prana-charged jewels are taken away from her, Tohsaka keeps four of them on her person using this method.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Archer's Weapon of Choice, hence his name. It's also a way for Shirou to use Magecraft in an inconspicuous manner.
    • Trick Arrow: Shirou can modify his arrows on the spot with Reinforcement and Alteration for different purposes. As a Technical Pacifist, he usually crafts them with metal balls instead of pointed heads to use them as incapacitating blunt projectiles. Alteration also allows him to add on runes, which can give the arrows incendiary effects and more.
  • The Stoic: Kuzuki. He learns about Shirou being a Magus, Archer, and the Holy Grail War, and the best he can do is say it's troublesome with no expression at all.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: With the exception of his partner Adachi, Detective Dojima is not too popular among his peers because of this trope. This being Adachi, that's not saying much.
  • The Unmasqued World: Shirata and the Wraith were trying to create one.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: Caster's assumed identity – Megissa – is a romanization of μάγισσα (mágissa), which is simply Greek for "witch".
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Guilford has a true knack for crossing other characters' Moral Event Horizons: The fact that he creates chimeras using people makes it a lot easier for Shirou to lose any compunctions about killing him, his use of Rule of Blood to twist a woman's mind reminds Medea of how her life was throughly destroyed by such magical manipulations, and one can only wonder what Rin would've done with him for everything he made Yukiko and herself go through.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Dojima during his fight against Jun Cheung. It's a somewhat justified against an opponent that moves fast enough to dodge bullets.
  • Tsundere: Tohsaka Rin, naturally. She appreciates Shirou's company only because he's a welcome deviation from their male classmates' behavior, and don't you forget it!
  • Unfortunate Names: The name Nezumi is homophonous with the word "rat" in Japanese. At least one character makes fun of him because of it.
  • Verbal Backspace: From Rule of Blood:
    [Caster] had lived an accursed existence, one that she wouldn't wish upon... well, she actually did wish her life on a number of people, but that was beside the point.
  • Vigilante Man: Shirou as Archer. It takes quite a lot to pull it off effectively, though.
  • Vocal Dissonance: As Archer, Shirou speaks in an age-dissonant adult voice. Word of God says he uses Reinforcement on his own vocal cords to perfectly imitate the only older male voice he knows well, Kiritsugu's.
  • Watch Out For That Electric Pole: Happens to Rin while she's deliberately trying to avoid making a fool of herself. Yeah...
  • Weirdness Censor: The clerk at a karaoke place thinks nothing of an Italian nun with apparent albinism and a redheaded Japanese young man asking for a room at the wee hours of the night. Having already seen his own fair share of weird people, he simply assumes they're into cosplay or something like that.
  • Wham Line:
    • Shirou doesn't take the implications of the following very well:
      You might refer to me as Caster, if you must.
    • A role-reversal happens in Arrangements:
      Shirou: Pleasant dreams... Medea.
  • What Measureis A Non Human: What sparked the battle in Isn't it sad?. Shirou refuses to kill Satsuki once he realizes that she retains human sensibilities and self-awareness by having improbably skipped her Ghoul/Living Dead phase and becoming a full-blown vampire in a matter of minutes instead of the average of a century, leaving him with someone who needs human blood to survive but has yet to harm a single person because of it. On the other hand, Ciel chooses to exterminate Satsuki because an unique anomaly like her has enormous potential to become a powerful Dead Apostle if given the time.
  • Woman Scorned: Medea, which comes as no surprise considering her myth. While searching for Shirou via a scrying spell, she assumes he's with another woman after seeing him (platonically) sharing a bed with Satsuki and nearly goes into a jealous fit. It took another person's cold analysis of the situation for her to realize that it truly isn't what it looks like. She does feel badly ashamed of her reaction and short-sightedness afterwards, though.
    • Word of God is that Medea's social mores come from an age where men of power were expected to have concubines, and she'd be okay with that so long as her position in his life remains secure. However, if Shirou were to betray her and throw her away to pursue his goals like Jason did, she'd snap and go on a killing spree.
  • You Just Told Me:
    Rin: "Good night and thank you, Emiya-kun."
    Archer: "Anytime, Tohsaka-san. Anytime."
    • Shirou borrows this trick for a later use on Tohno Akiha; it helps him corroborate that her father was killed as he'd suspected. He does politely apologize after the fact, though.
  • Younger Than They Look: Aihara Haruka, a twenty-something young woman working as Professor Shirata's assistant, mistakes Shirou for a college student due to his composed demeanor and well-trained physique - much to her embarrassment. She doesn't quite dig herself deeper there, but it's a close thing.
    Haruka: But enough talking about me. What university do you attend Emiya-san? [notices Shirou's expression] Oh, did I put my foot in my mouth again perhaps? I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I thought you were still student by your age.
    Shirou: I am a student alright. In fact, I've just begun my second year in high school.
    Haruka: [jaw drops] T-then you are...
    Shirou: Fifteen. Going on sixteen if that helps any. Do I really look that much older?
    Haruka: Oh, dear. No, in fact I thought you looked a bit young, but you behaved so composed earlier and you are much, ah, stockier and taller than the average high-schooler that I assumed...
    Shirou: I lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • You Talk Too Much: Said verbatim to a Professional Killer in The Dilemma of Justice, just before Archer punches him in the face.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Getting Shinji's approval (due to Caster coming in and wording it so that it seemed like she and Shirou were a thing) was enough to leave Shirou in an angst coma in the Archery Club. When Shirou talks about the incident to Caster later at home, he expresses annoyance that Shinji won't stop calling him his "best bud" now.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Urashima Wraith gained the ability to bind souls to metal while he was alive due to awakening to his Origin of "Sword". By killing others and binding their souls to suits of armor, he can command them as he wishes, leaving them trapped and begging for death until they're exorcised.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/PathOfTheKing