Fanfic: Path of the King

Path of the King by Neoalfa is a Fate/stay night Fan Fiction in response to the author's Fridge Logic of Emiya Shirou not actually having done anything that heroic for a guy whose life goal is to become a "Hero of Justice."

Due to certain events, Shirou decides to take a more proactive approach about his dreams of helping people by fighting real-life crime, beginning his training years earlier than his canon counterpart under his father's guidance and with time becoming known as a Vigilante Man nicknamed the Archer. This is not an easy task even with the help of magic and between protecting his real identity, keeping himself under the notice of other magi and of course getting things done makes Shirou evolve into a different direction as person, hero and magus.

After the introductory chapters, the plot thickens when the kidnapping of a close friend of Tohsaka Rin brings her and the Archer's attention to each other at the same time that Emiya Shirou is helping Rin to find her. A criminal case that will prove to have more far-reaching consequences than expected.

The story can be found in Fanfiction.Net here and it has a dedicated forum thread 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 walked into Satsuki's room uninvited after not getting any answer from her for a while (justified: he thought the newborn vampire could have succumbed to her thirst for blood while he was asleep), and he almost fell, face-first, on her freshly-out-of-the-shower form. Thanks to his martial training in this continuity, Shirou was able to twist himself out of the way of an even more embarrassing accident. Although, he didn't predict that, thanks to her vampiric reflexes, she would dodge with the same timing and direction. End result: she ended up pinned down under his weight, lying naked on her bed, with her arms being held spread apart. See Pervert Revenge Mode below for her reaction.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: Even though Tohsaka made a very good job manipulating Detective Dojima's memories with hypnosis to make him forget about the events related to Guilford's mansionnote , he still noticed that something was amiss because the reading of his car's odometer indicated about 50 kilometers more than the expected number.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Shirou didn't come up with the name Archer for his vigilante persona, but 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.
  • Asleep for Days: Soon after his difficult battle against Ciel the Executor, Shirou fell asleep from prana expenditure, blood loss and plain old exhaustion. When he came to, he was told he was out cold for more than of thirty hours instead of the six he estimated. Hearing this, Shirou started to sweat buckets at the realization that he surely made his allies in Fuyuki (read: Medea and Taiga) worry about him for all that time.
  • Attractiveness Isolation: Rin and Yukiko, probably the reason why they made friends with each other in this continuity.
  • Aura Vision: Yumizuka Satsuki discovers that people simply shine like beacons in a vampire's sixth sense, making any mundane attempt to hide from one useless. 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 flat-out tells Saber that the Grail won't grant her wish.
  • Badass Normal: Dojima, a 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 had a villainous example up and running through most of the first Story Arc. He threw 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 and eventually find and save her. In the meanwhile, he put Yukiko under the power of the enhanced version of his Sorcery Trait Rule of Blood, basically turning her into his brainwashed mole ready to betray Rin during the period of time following the rescue where the latter would feel understandably protective of her friend. All this was to ensure that he could kidnap an accomplished magus like Rin in a way she wouldn't be able to do anything to prevent him from using Rule of Blood on her and just like that get a sure candidate for a Master and her future Servant to work for him in 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 figured out his Secret Identity.
  • Being Watched:
    • Like his canon counterpart, Shirou is very apt to notice when someone is watching him. Further developed after certain unrelated training made him sensitive enough to perceive a someone well-versed on the ways of magi who had him under surveillance.
    • During Professor Shirata's presentation at the museum, Shirou's attention kept focusing on a man wearing Chinese clothes whom Shirou pegged as a martial artist on sight. Every time his gaze lingered on the man, the latter turned to look at him, clearly implying he was skilled enough to perceive his stare.
  • 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/when she learns about them. On the other hand, try to, or worse, actually harm him and you 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 more realistically than usual considering he used a modified metal arrow to do it (i.e. more mass and less speed than a bullet and less chance of shrapnel).
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: 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 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 chapter 25. During his fight with Ciel, Shirou realized that she can't die by mundane means, turning the normally lethal techniques into fair play for that particular case.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: It happens to Rin when a group of five men assaulted 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 bare handed 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 over his head he was. Shirou comes clean to both him and Taiga later to forge an alliance.
  • Call Back: The mention of a couple of JASDF F-15s 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 chapter 4, Shirou mentions that he's repairing a broken-down motorcycle that he got from Taiga. In chapter 11, he uses it to to tail the van in which her captors took Rin away from her house.
    • Monohoshizao, more precisely the Accumulated Experience stored in the ancient sword, becomes a key component in Guilford's defeat.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Shirou, as per canon. In some cases, it works out very well, such as getting Caster's Undying Loyalty. In other cases it gets him into a death match with Ciel over the fate of 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 was left with a strong feeling of the surrealism when, of all the strange things related to Magecraft, Medea used a "honest-to-god Crystal Ball" for a spell. The latter noticed her incredulity and she 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 it, until he learns about the Holy Grail War and the stakes involved, after which he is determined to help Shirou to prevent casualties.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Just like Kayneth, Guilford mistakenly assumed that his opponent wasn't a magus because he Fights Like a Normal and he ended paying dearly for it.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Discussed by Dojima, just before quipping that he was about to do something that surely would 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:
    • Not the main focus of the fic, but Dojima, Adachi and Yukiko are relevant characters. Later on, characters from Tsukihime and Fate/hollow ataraxia start taking big roles as well.
    • According to Word of God, the story takes place in the same 'verse as two other stories he's writing, involving Harry Potter and Kim Possible, albeit in different time periods for each.
    • In That Which Bleeds (II), the presence of a cursed sword named Hina Blade, later discovered to be possessed by a Wraithnote  born from a blacksmith of the Urashima family buried alive by his own peers during the Sengoku Period, implies some connection with Love Hina. Given to the importance of this element to the plot of the Misaki City Story Arc and other clues like dropping the name Noriyasu Seta, it's been speculated that this isn't just a Shout-Out to the later series and that Path of the King and Promises Of A Wandering Hero, another Fate/stay night crossover by the same authornote , are in fact Alternate Universes of each other and both versions of Shirou share the same backstory. Word of God later confirms this in a spoiler forum thread.
  • Cry into Chest: In That Which Bleeds (II), Satsuki cried in grief and shame after Shirou fed her with his blood at the unavoidable fact of what she had become.
  • Crystal Ball: Caster has one for scrying just like in the anime. Used in That Which Bleeds (I) to find out Shirou's situation after the Mass Murder Incident in Misaki.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Taiga is convinced that Shirou has to be the Archer despite of having no evidence to hint her of this or 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: Saber in a school uniform makes Rin confront her then unkown bisexuality in a rather humorous manner.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Even if Shirou's Spanner in the Works intervention was crucial in Tohsaka's escape by providing an unavoidable distraction for her captors, in the end she pretty much broke herself and Yukiko out on her own.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 23 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.
    • Subverted with the unlikely circumstances behind Saber's summoning, which was something akin to stumbling across a Good Bad Bug. To wit: Saber answered Shirou's calling as it happened in canon, but he formed a contract with a Master-less Servant (Caster) before he could do the same with Saber, which left the latter without an anchor to the real world until another Master (Rin) tried to summon a Servant.
  • 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 two honor students, Tohsaka Rin and Emiya Shirou, arrived to school one morning with identical (but not directly related) sleep-deprived looks, there was a rumor going around that this was the case.
  • Dramatic Drop: Taiga and Medea just had breakfast when the TV news report listed Shirou's name together with the presumed victims of the mass disappearance/murder incident that took place at his hotel in Misaki. They froze in their tracks and whatever they had in hands fell to the floor before they snapped out of it and tried 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 the one time Shirou was careless enough to let her see him shirtless (with expected results).
  • Entertainingly Wrong: From the fact Archer was able to deal with some level of supernatural danger without too much trouble, Guilford correctly deduced Archer knew about magecraft beforehand, but he mistakenly assumed he wasn't a magus because he didn't resort to it in a life-or-death situation. From there his guesses went further off the mark by considering that Archer could be a retainer of the Second Owner of the land of Fuyuki (Tohsaka) because it'd be strange for someone like him to operate well within her territory without her permission and of course 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 in close succession right after her character is introduced in That Which Bleeds (I). First, from a taxi driver who meets her for the first time and thinks the nun is "the most angelic creature he had ever seen". The second is from Ciel who already worked with her in the past and growls at her the moment she sees her and immediately makes arrangements to not have to deal with Caren during the latter's 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 more practical applications than research: Kiritsugu.
  • Evil Gloating: Guilford indulged himself with this trope at Tohsaka's expense. To his credit, he actually could afford the cliché considering how little chance the latter had to get out that mess without external assistance.
  • 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 ran into some problems when trying to operate a computer. Shirou guessed 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. A lot. All in perfect deadpan.
    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.
  • 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 sensibility to magic that make him perceive a magus' presence, becoming suspicious of them without really know why. This would be the reason why he can't get along with Rin and why he instantly approved Saber in canon.
  • Head Desk: Dojima's reaction to finding out vampires exist and that they are aliens.
  • Healing Factor: As in canon, after years of carrying Avalon inside his body, Shirou developed certain affinity with the legendary artifact, granting him with 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 chapter 29.
  • Heroic BSOD: Shirou was very close to fall into one when he realized that his fight with Ciel over Satsuki's survival kept two people potentially capable of preventing the massacre at the hotel in Misaki from doing so. It was Akiha of all people, who beat some sense into him and reminded him of the life he did save that night.
  • Heroic Build: A side effect of Shirou's training regime. He goes out of his way to keep it hidden with baggy clothes and whatnot because it isn't consistent with what would be expected of someone with his known lifestyle. Unaware to him though, Taiga considered it her sisterly duty to advertise her protégé's good shape (with actual pictures no less) due to his lack of female friends, so this is pretty much Everybody Knew Already as far as a good portion of the 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 met 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 and her unwillingly acquired thirst for blood. Made worse because in the Nasuverse, "bloodlust" is meant as literal as it sounds.
  • Horrifying the Horror: The Urashima Wraith fled from Avenger when he reached into Shirou's soul.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: What Guilford did to Yukiko. He was very close to do the same to Rin.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Taiga was positively delighted the first time Shirou called sick because of a cold (actually just post-heroics exhaustion), citing this old wives' tale.
  • 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 true identity.
    • Invoked later on. This is how Shirou let 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 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 Holy Grail War which, as of chapter 18, wasn't even properly started yet.
  • Insistent Terminology: Satsuki insisted on a First Name Basis with Shirou after he saved her life from immediate execution after being turned into a vampire, fed her with his blood to keep her sane, slept with her on the same bed (not that way) and groped and saw her naked (actually Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but it was an honest accident). He had to agree that after all that, some familiarity was 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: Realistically done 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. Upgraded to Instant Armor later on.
  • Instant Fan Club: "Tohsaka-hime" has one. Largely harmless but not a very nice bunch. They get awfully touchy after certain rumors about her and Shirou (see "Did They Just Have Sex?" above).
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Once Rin realized that the Holy Grail War was imminent, she made a point to put a distance between her and her friends, particularly Yukiko and Shirou.
  • Jack the Ripoff: In chapter 26 is 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 needed be".
  • Karmic Death: Some time after the fact, it's revealed that Guilford died just like his former master did at his hands: killed by the man who later took 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. Shirou managed to perform a degraded form of Tsubame Gaeshi due to his special ability with all things pointy, resulting in some serious Bad Ass.
  • 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 his mother-figure with is own hands in order to break him so that he could possess him more easily.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Shirou, who made sure of taking everything he thought might be useful from Guilford's Workshop and mansion before burning the whole thing down. Including the magus'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.
  • 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. So, why did the Mage's Association issue a Sealing Designation on it and anyone carrying it? Rule of Blood makes very easy to play Frankenstein as Guilford did with his quimeras, and with the help of a magus of Caster's caliber, it's possible to use it perform 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, effectively turning them into 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 took 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 developed some (however small) measure of tact when telling her about the last/next stupidly heroic thing he did/plans 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 somewhat sordid explanations for things. For instance the "Did They Just Have Sex?" example above and when Yukiko went missing, some said she was dragged into a ring of drug and prostitution by her inexistent 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 he doesn't even seem him as a person anymore.
  • Meat Puppet: Guilford's quimeras.
  • Metallicar Syndrome: Double Subversion. Rin's kidnappers used an inconspicuous cargo van when they abducted her from her house. However its presence still caught Shirou's attention because it wasn't the kind of vehicle expected from an upscale residential area like Rin's and it was too late at night for deliveries.
  • Metaphorically True: When asked by Taiga why she was at Shirou's, Caster told her her actual story from the myth, omitting just the right details. To great effect, too. Taiga did a complete 180 about opposing Medea's stay at his house.
    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 highly 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 used this to control his underground contact, putting him in increasingly dangerous situations. When this nearly led to his death, Shirou felt guilty and cut ties with the contact.
  • Multilayer Façade: From outer to inner layer, for Shirou's Secret Identities go 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 hid 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 is a moot point later on (see Broken Masquerade above).
  • Mundane Utility:
    • What made Tohsaka notice Shirou in this continuity? He got higher grades than she did in the exams. How did he do that? He used magic to reinforce his brain, allowing him to multitask with the low, low cost of a Psychic Nosebleed inducing headache.
    • Shirou also discovered that he can also access the Accumulated Experience of things similar to swords like knives or scalpels, the latter case granting him with the proficiency of an experienced surgeon. He wished it didn't for that particular instance, though.
    • Medea used magecraft as a voice amplifier to give Shirou a well-earned earful for making her worried sick after his name appeared as a possible victim of the killing spree at his hotel in Misaki. Made worse by the fact he didn't contact her for a day and a half after that. Just to give an idea of how bad it was, even at the distance and behind sound-proofing Boundary Fields, birds scattered from their trees in fright.
  • 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. Sounds familiar?
    • Shirou commented that "he didn't dare to think what a magically reinforced Kuzuki could be capable of"(explaining the joke) 
    • An unconscious Caster was saved from vanishing from the world by the man who later would become her second Master.
    • One day Medea decided to turn Shirou's Workshop from a few-square-meters room into a vast underground space. This could 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.
    • As a rarely seen in F/SN Fan Fiction, 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 grabbed both sides of Shirou's face with her hands and pulled him forward until their foreheads were almost touching, making him very uncomfortable with all people around. The same thing happened in Fate/hollow ataraxia, sans the onlookers, only this time Caren soon explained she used her innate ability to experience the same pain of a possessed person on him.
  • New Transfer Student: Saber in chapter 23, now know as Ginevra A. Dulac. She immediately objects Rin's choice for her Secret Identity though(explaining the joke) .
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • To keep his fighting prowess hidden and protect his Secret Identity, Shirou is cautious of always take a beating if he found himself in a fight undisguised (read: jumps in to protect someone).
    • Taiga is this as well, picking up clues on the nature of Shirou's injuries in Chapter 20 from scare hints and, as Shirou explained, she only puts on an act when it's not 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 was killed.
    • Shirou tried the same tactic against Ciel the Executor, counting on the latter's Healing Factor to not make it a killing move.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: If Taiga goes without breakfast one day after declaring "I'm not hungry", you know it's serious. This is from the time when Shirou's injuries make her decide to try to put a stop to his nighttime 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 police department who, in his opinion, are too used to live in a low crime-rate city. We know better.
    • Somewhat justified, as there is a whole apparatus put in place by several organizations to keep any event related to the Holy Grail War under wraps.
  • The Power of Blood: Guilford's Sorcery Trait, Rule of Blood.
  • Prisoner Exchange: This occurred with Waver and Medea. In return for letting Jin and Jun go, Dojima was not killed by Waver.
  • Revealing Cover-Up:
    • Tohsaka used hypnosis to make detective Dojima forget everything about Guilford's Mansion. However, it was the very fact that he couldn't account for the additional 50 kilometers in his car's odometer what made him suspect that something truly amiss was going on.
    • Due to his affinity with swords, Shirou realized that one of the unearthed blades of the Professor Shirata's exhibit at the museum was in fact just an extraordinary well-made duplicate. The catch? It was a perfect reproduction of a sword forged by the same and unknown techniques supposedly long lost to time, meaning that once Shirou and Caren figured out that a Wraith was the true culprit behind the murders through a possessed victim, they also realized that the missing sword was most likely its true link to the world and that the blade's blacksmith was the origin of the spirit given quality of the replica.
  • Roofhopping:
    • Shirou's preferred mode of transportation in his vigilante persona.
    • Being able to indulge herself in this trope is one of the very few perks Satsuki finds about becoming a vampire.
  • Running Gag:
    • Dojima gets more displeased and snarky the more he learns about the supernatural. The following gem of a line was uttered after Volumen Hydragyrum basically swallow him whole and spat him out:
      Dojima: Fucking alien probes, I'm too old for this shit.
    • Shirou's "being a Hero sure was tough!" and his grievances against the Finagle's Law.
    • Shirou's Heroic Build. Particularly every time the candid pictures that Taiga took of him gets mentioned.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Chapter 4:
    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 after he was almost killed for getting intel on Yukiko's disappearance.
  • Sexy Mentor: If Shirou can't help but acknowledge it, then Medea is definitely this.
    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 even:
    Shirou winced in sympathy. Not that Shinji deserved any for what he had insinuated, but there is a basic camaraderie among men when it comes to genital injuries.
  • Sherlock Scan: It took 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 Lolz whether good or bad. The Urashima Wraith as well, who only seeks to continue his blacksmithing no matter who or what he kills or hurts to do it.
  • 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 people 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 the eventually that all her prana-charged jewels are taken away from her, Tohsaka kept four of them in her person with this method.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Archer's Weapon of Choice (hence the 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 a metal ball instead of pointed head to use them as an incapacitating blunt weapon.
      • He can add runes through Alteration for things such as making a flaming arrow as well.
  • The Stoic: Kuzuki. He learns about Shirou being a Magus, Archer, and the Holy Grail War, and best he could do was say it was troublesome with no expression at all.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Except for his partner Adachi, detective Dojima is not too popular among his peers because of this trope. This being Adachi, it's not saying much.
  • 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 knack to cross the Moral Event Horizon in other people's eyes: The fact that he made quimeras out of people made a lot easier for Shirou to lose any compunction about killing the guy, the way how Guilford used his Rule of Blood to twist a woman's mind reminded 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. Kind of justified against an opponent that moves fast enough to dodge bullets.
  • Tsundere: Rin Tohsaka, of course. She appreciates Shirou's company only because he's a welcome deviation from their male classmates' behaviour, she would assure you (and herself).
  • 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 chapter 13:
    [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 once while trying to avoid making a fool of herself. Yeah...
  • Weirdness Censor: The clerk at a karaoke place thought nothing of an Italian nun with albinism and redhead Japanese young man asking for a room at the wee hours of the night. Having already seen his own fair share of weirdos, he simply assumed they were into cosplay or something like that.
  • Wham Line:
    • Shirou didn't take the implications of the following very well:
      You might refer to me as Caster, if you must.
    • A role-reversal happens in chapter 16:
      Shirou: Pleasant dreams... Medea.
  • What Could Have Been: Word of God mentioned that there was a plan for a short Crossover Story Arc where Shirou goes to Roanapur to rescue Yukiko after her captors sold her.
  • What Measureis A Non Human: What sparked the battle in chapter 25. Shirou refused to kill Satsuki once he realized she retained human sensibilities and self-awareness by impossibly skipping the Ghoul/Living Dead phase and becoming a full-blown vampire in a matter of minutes instead of an average of a century, leaving him with a someone who needs human blood to survive but has yet to harm a person because of it. On the other hand, Ciel chose to exterminate Satsuki because an unique anomaly like her has an enormous potential to become a powerful Dead Apostle if given the time.
  • Woman Scorned: Medea, which comes as no surprise considering her myth. One time she thought Shirou was with another woman after seeing him (literally) sleeping with Satsuki on the same bed via a scrying spell and she almost went into a jealous fit. It took another person's cold analysis of the situation for her to realize that it wasn't what it looked like. She did feel very ashamed of her reaction and short-sightedness afterwards, though.
    • Word of God is that Medea's social mores comes from an age where men of power were expected to have concubines and she'd be okay with that as long as her position in his life remains secure. However, if Shirou betrayed her and threw 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 borrowed this trick later with Tohno Akiha to corroborate that her father was killed as he suspected. He even politely apologizes after the fact, though.
  • Younger Than They Look: Aihara Haruka, a twenty-something young woman working as Professor Shirata's assistant, much to her embarrassment mistook Shirou for a college student due to his composed demeanor and well-trained physique. She didn't quite dig herself deeper there, but it was 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 the Professional Killer from Chapter 7, just before Archer punched him in the face.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Urashima Wraith gained the ability to bind souls to metal when he was alive due to being awakened to his Origin of Sword. By killing others and binding their souls to armors he can command them, leaving them trapped until they are exorcised and begging for death.