- Shirou singlehandedly annihilates most of the Siltvelt's Wave monsters in Chapter 15 with a Storm of Blades. Rita deserves a mention as well, for quickly and efficiently killing every monster that got close to her, despite it being her first real battle after training under Shirou. Then he even gives her the go-ahead to fight the Wave Boss solo after gauging both of their strengths, and she would have won if not for Fitoria appearing and unceremoniously finishing the monster off.
- Shirou's approach to international politics in Chapter 25. He stepped into a summit with the representatives from every great nation in the continent and told them, in no uncertain terms, to stop clamoring for war which were actually just attempts to squeeze as many reparations from Melromarc as they could for summoning the Four Heroes or he will simply do nothing. Or in more words, Shirou pointed out that if no Cardinal Hero fights each of the Waves of Calamity about to hit their countries, they will have to mobilize every combatant available to protect as much of their own population and infrastructure as possible, meaning that sending troops outside their borders incurs the risk of spreading their military strength too thin to make a difference on either front. Given that no other Cardinal Hero can be relied on at the moment, Shirou's offer to deal with their Waves himself is like the diplomatic equivalent of saying "get in my lifeboat and behave, or just stay where you are" to the passengers of a sinking ship, leaving the representatives with no option but graciously agree.
- Chapter 25 closes with Shirou watching Zeltbull's Gladiator Games in utter disgust as his Curse Series veers his thoughts to the not-unjustified conclusion that he was summoned into such an irremediable Crapsack World that he should just let the Waves wipe it out clean. Then he hears about Fohl and Atla's ordeal, shakes his head, decides that's NOT who Shirou Emiya is, and steps in to try and make things better. Chapters 26-27 are a series of interconnected Moments of Awesome where he does exactly that, and it's glorious from start to finish:
- First, he enters the so-called "Griffin Run" a Beastly Bloodsports event where spectators get to bet on who and how many unarmed combatants will die locked in a 5-minute cage match against two level-93 Griffins wearing magic-blocking shackles. Shirou not only jumps in when he hears that Audience Participation is allowed, but he also has Rita gamble their savings on no one dying, an outcome with such microscopically low odds that it pays over 3,000-to-1 after he kills the beasts in front of a completely Stunned Silent audience, and incidentally making it the last of such events ever.
- The battle against the two griffins in itself is a Moment of Awesome all its own, perfectly showcasing how well he has integrated Jian and the other world RPG Elements to his fighting style. First, he asks a fellow volunteer to cast a strength buff on him while he draws a low-quality rune under him to piss off the griffins so badly they go straight for him the moment they're released. Then he uppercuts the first one to get to him so hard it gets lifted ten feet into the air, which distracts the second one long enough for Shirou to clothesline it, grab onto the chain hanging from its metal collar to pull it back to the ground. When the two beasts get back on their feet, they see "Shirou" standing right between them and smiling. They lunge at him again, too furious to realize that the figure has no shadow until it flicks out the moment they made contact with it. When they crash into each other, the real Shirou uses Alteration to merge their chains together to hinder their movements and backs off. Then he uses the opportunity to imbue the concept of Jian's Griffin Sword IV weapon form, one carrying a level 12 Enchantment granting it a whopping 180% extra damage to hybrids, into his arm. Finally, he jumps at them while making sure both creatures are aligned with his attack, resulting in a left hook that blows off both of their heads at once. No wonder the entire colosseum fell into a Stunned Silence after witnessing that. Also, bonus points for breaking the "unarmed" rule right under everybody's noses.
- Shirou soon reveals that saving Fohl and the other gladiator slaves while making a tidy profit at the same time was far from the true extent of his plans. He goes back to his Mercenary Saint persona and uses his sudden wealth to go to the colosseum's joint slave trading business as a customer interested in purchasing Fohl and Atla. If you're thinking he breaks their Slave Seals, grabs them, and fights his way out by kicking everybody's asses and making plenty enemies and a political clusterfrak to deal with, then think again. Shirou simply tells the Slave Dealer he's buying all the slaves as in the Colosseum's entire stock of over 10,000 slaves, including but not limited to their gladiators, sex slaves, domestic slaves, you name it plus enough carriages and Filorials to transport them, all for above their market price to a 50,000 gold total (going by fanon estimations, that's around USD 200 million). The Slave Dealer simply stops breathing when Firo starts to unload the cash and he realizes that yes, the guy is being completely serious about it, and then runs to comply when Shirou says he will throw in another 5,000 gold if he manages to get it all done by the end of the day. Not often Screw the Rules, I Have Money! and Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! have looked so good together.
- While the above is going on, Shirou heals Atla by imbuing his blood with the concept of Avalon, and does the same with an approximation of Excalibur to fake Saber's prana well enough to activate the scabbard's healing powers to a much greater extent than usual, and has the girl drink from it. The improvement of her health is so abrupt and inexplicible that people start to refer to him as an actual Saint from then on.
- Despite all the above, it's soon revealed that all of these were just the preparatory steps to his real double-objective plan. Instead of simply releasing the slaves from his ownership right then and there, he gets Queen Mirelia's permission to have them relocated to Melromarc under the protection of Van Reichnott, one of the few good nobles she has in her Decadent Court, which is why he bought all those carriages. Shirou was also counting on the good faith he earned by releasing them and curing Atla to convince the former slaves to follow him. Furthermore, he specifically requested Filorials instead of any other Fantastic Mount to pull the carriages because Firo's status as a Filorial Princess gives her authority over them, considerably simplifying the logistics of such a massive migration together with the literal tons of food stored in Jian's Hammerspace from all the monsters they killed in the previous Wave.
- Now, before describing the hidden objective in there, let's take a moment to notice that A) the East Gate Colosseum is now currently closed to the public due to having no slaves to throw to the arena, meaning right now there's only a skeleton crew consisting mostly of slavers and guards manning the place; B) Shirou has had ample opportunity to scout and memorize the building's layout while everybody was busy preparing his massive purchase; and C) Jian gives Shirou access to an effectively unlimited Hammerspace and semi-casual teleportation. Now put A) + B) + C) together, and the result is a Heist Episode for the ages, in which Shirou goes full-on Karmic Thief and Kleptomaniac Hero and robs the East Gate Colosseum blind, as in he has Jian absorb everything, even the stuff bolted down in place, into her Item Box. Including the enormous vault with over a million gold coins worth of blood money from years upon years of Gladiator Games. Just to make a point, Shirou dishes out Non-Lethal K.O. to everybody in there, loots them down to their undies, and then leaves them tied up on top of a nearby rooftop just to give them first-row seats to the sight of East Gate Colosseum burning down to the ground. By then, Shirou has already teleported back to the caravan hundreds of miles away, just in time for plenty of people to see him arriving to the next major town in their route, thus creating an airtight alibi for himself just in case.
- It doesn't stop there, either. Not content with destroying just one of the Colossei in Zeltbull, Shirou takes the opportunity to get rid of all three of them, by starting an easily-extinguishable fire in the West Gate Colosseum while framing the North Gate Colosseum for both acts of arson. This sparks a violent Mob War between them that not only keeps the remaining two Colossei closed for the time being and thus cutting them off from their source of income, but the conflict itself costs them all people, resources, and reputation that should make it very hard for them to get back on their feet in a cutthroat Black Market-run economy like Zeltbull's.
- It's even better than that. According to Queen Mirelia, Shirou inflicted such a crippling strike to the Gladiator Games as a form of business that they likely won't recover from it in a lifetime, if ever. Once the dust settles, she predicts her diplomatic agenda with Zeltbull will be a lot easier to achieve, because the collapse of the Colossei will shift the balance of power between the merchant guilds toward the blacksmiths, who are naturally more receptive to her peacemaking efforts because the tariffs on their imports and exports depend on friendly enough international relations. Such a prospect puts the Queen of Melromarc into an outright giddy mood, to the point she has to fight down the urge to break into maniacal laughter, lest spies overhear it.
- To sum it all up: Shirou kicked ass at the arena. Bought, released, and relocated over ten thousand slaves, including Atla, Fohl, a yet-to-be-named Sadeena, many of them experienced combatants ready to pay him back should he someday need it. He destroyed Gladiator Games as a form of business, saving an untold potential number of people from such a horrible fate, all the while making himself stupidly rich in the process. And finally, if more incidentally, he also landscaped Zeltbull's political topography in Queen Mirelia's favor, making her peacemaking efforts a lot easier to achieve. All because Atla and Fohl reminded him too much of Illya and himself, prompting Shirou to decide he couldn't let something like that stand while kicking the Sword of Sloth's induced Bystander Syndrome to the curb. Did we mention that all this happened over few days and only the Queen and her Shadows even know he did it all?
- Later chapters reveal an additional positive outcome from Shirou's actions in Zeltbull. The Three Colossei were also the biggest buyers of slaves in the market at an international scale, meaning that Shirou forcing them to go under all but made the illegal slave trade implode on itself. While this doesn't do much against the legal slave trade, Shirou basically marked the end of an era for most slave poachers.
- In a more Meta perspective, we can see that five years of being lectured by Rin has made him smarter in doing heroic deeds, as he now takes the long-term effects of his actions into account.
- In Chapter 28, Rita knocks down the Spear Hero with a spear.
- In Chapter 30, Atla figures out the basics of a coveted Defense-piercing technique from the Peerless Transformation/Hengen Musou, a legendary fighting style with feats to its name on the level of the Seven Star Heroes and Cardinal Heroes of old, merely by observing Shirou manipulating his prana when using his Magecraft.
- Just as he did in Siltvelt, Shirou singlehandedly cleared most of the monsters in the Melromarc's Wave in Chapter 37 after succeeding in his goal to let Atla and Fohl grind their levels and observing the other Heroes' actions, including sending the Wave Boss to near death. Only this time, the other Cardinal Heroes got to witness it.Malty had been there as Motoyasu-sama and Itsuki-sama had almost effortlessly pushed back the Wave all the way to the origin with minimal assistance from the others. The powerful attacks blasting back the monsters that stood in their way.
They were powerful and gallant and… completely shown up.
When they had finally reached the disgusting Zombie after a two-mile trek on foot through the monster infested areas, swords began to rain down from sky all around them. Each and every one of them hitting a monster without causing any damage to their allies, and more than ten of them piercing the Boss's body. With the pressure removed and the Boss already hobbled, the Bow and Spear defeated the monster easily.
But even as the creature died and the sky returned to normal, they were still in shock.
As they walked back, they passed more and more monsters with swords lodged through their bodies. They must have numbered in the tens of thousands. A significant percentage of the total number of monsters that had spawn during the Wave. All of them killed from afar by a rain of swords. A show of absolute dominance by the Sword Hero.
- It's worth noticing that this is Malty's narration of events, meaning that "Issei's" display was so awe-inspiring, in both senses of the word, that even a terminal case of narcissism and sociopathy like her can't help but walk in fearful and respectful silence in its aftermath. That's just how damn scary Shirou can be from a third-person perspective.
- You have to give credit to Naofumi and Motoyasu in Chapter 40 for actually managing to work well together considering they don't like each other's guts and was just in a duel earlier. Especially Motoyasu, as he's way more competent here than he was in canon, actually figuring out that all they're doing is put some pressure on him, and it's not enough.
- Two chapters later, we get a backhanded compliment in Naofumi's monologue. It's pretty impressive that he put Motoyasu on the same level as Raphtalia when it comes to being useful in battle, considering Motoyasu only had five days to put into practice what he learned from Shirou.
- It gets somewhat lost due to the graveness of Rishia's situation, but Shirou went from sitting to running at nearly twice the speed of sound in 3 seconds to save her from falling to her death from a tall tower. He also realized in a fraction of a second that Rishia had already gained too much speed for him to stop her fall before hitting the ground without killing her regardless, so he got Jian to teleport them over a deep waterfall pool to break their fall. That still didn't work nearly as well as most fictional examples of this situation, but Shirou had the presence of mind to shield Rishia with his Reinforced body and remained conscious and functional enough to swim them out of the water even after hitting his back on the rocky bottom.
- Shirou (and Atla) spot an ambush by powerful people waiting for them inside the Faubley temple where the Dragon's Hourglass is located. Shirou's evaluation of the entire thing is this:They were more than twice as strong as Shirou was, in raw base stats, with the strongest of them being four times stronger. And Shirou was assuming that their stats could suddenly as much as triple from buff magic and transformations.
These numbers were within acceptable parameters.
Awesome / Wandering Of A Sword Hero