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Fan Fic / Fate/Noble Shade

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Pictured, from left: Sakura, Illya, Rin, Lancer, Shirou, Ezio, Saber, Rider, Caster, Kotomine
Fate Noble Shade is a friend insert fanfiction of Fate/stay night by luckychaos and BakaSmurf. The story begins by fusing Ezio (Baka's self-insert) with Cursed Arm Hassan, the True Assassin of Fate/stay night, and dumping him into the Fifth Holy Grail War with no metaknowledge whatsoever. This story being Baka's introduction to the Fate franchise, the lack of metaknowledge is preserved in the writing process.

The story relies heavily on the Heaven's Feel route of the original visual novel. If you comment on the story on SpaceBattles, take care not to post spoilers, since the point is to keep Baka's reactions fresh.

Shows examples of:

  • Adaptational Expansion: True Assassin goes from being little more than an extension of Zouken to be used in the War to a full Deutragonist with Eizo, with all the character expansion that comes with it.
  • Adaptational Heroism: After Ezio spares Caster, they form an alliance that develops into full-blown friendship. As a result of this, she is much less evil.
  • Age-Gap Algebra: Ezio trying to figure out just how old he is. It's more difficult than it sounds, because he doesn't know whether to add in his experience as a Counter Guardian, not to mention the time travel from 2017 to 2004. When he mentions this, Rin gets flustered and refuses to acknowledge that he is technically twelve years old. It doesn't help that he calls her an old lady.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The Old Man of the Mountain, AKA King Hassan, is this mixed with The Watcher. While he could easily dismantle the entire plot single-handedly, he prefers to give Ezio visions via the Demi-Servant's dreams. While his goal is ultimately unknown, it's likely that he's helping to push Ezio toward realizing his abilities and how he was called forth into Fuyuki. All to give the latest, entirely unwilling Hassan a chance to survive and prove himself.
    • Later shown to be invoked. King Hassan noted that while Fuyuki has the potential to become a scenario where he had to step in, he purposely gave PHOLUS the means to undo his connection to Alaya to instead send the Counter Guardian's younger pre-contract self in to hose up everything for Zouken.
  • Aloof Ally: After Sakura and Rider join the group, Rider is this, refusing to spend any more time than necessary around anyone.
  • Alternate Self: What PHOLUS actually is to Ezio. The former hails from a timeline where he made a contract to become a Counter Guardian, the latter is explicitly a version that was summoned to Fuyuki to avoid letting him make the same mistake.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Played with to a confusing degree. Ezio displays both a frightening level of competence and a terrifying level of obliviousness when it comes to the opposite sex, depending on the individual. He gains Medea's interest during their time as allies, smacks face-first into Rin's affection and severely underestimates his effects on Medusa. It is noted in-story just how similar he is to Shirou in this regard.
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  • Code Name: The protagonist calls himself Ezio, after the main character of Assassin's Creed. Only later does he reveal his real name to the other characters.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ezio joins the ranks of those who fight dirty not too long into the story. Justified as not only is he bound to True Assassin, who is in and of himself better off taking cheap shots rather than fighting head-on, he's a Demi-Servant at that, which further decreases his value as a frontline fighter.
  • The Dividual: Of the Syndividual variety. True Assassin is bound to Ezio to the point where they're functionally sharing a body, but is very much conscious. He often supplies advice and his own brand of dry humor respectively when Ezio's antics call for it, and ultimately the two warm up to each other.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Fate/Noble Shade may be its own thing, but it still uses Fate/Stay Night (Later, Heaven's Feel) as a base. One can count the number of well-adjusted individuals on one hand. Ezio's efforts gradually raise that number up somewhat.
  • Exact Words: Saber Alter ends up exploiting this during the confrontation with the party during the endgame. Sakura's orders were to kill her enemies, but upon having Avalon retunred to her the Servant simply concluded that the party were not Sakura's enemies and used that to grant them safe passage.
  • Genre Savvy: Ezio's other great skill. He seems to be able to predict where certain events will go and who might appear with such startling frequency that some readers outright question whether Bakasmurf is truly blind to F/SN. That being said, there are a few points where Ezio is also Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • The Heart: Ezio in a nutshell. While he isn't proficient at direct combat, he is undoubtedly the glue that holds a later alliance together. Reaches the point where he's able to get Medea of all people to not only trust him but also cut down on her ruthlessness.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Medea performs this not too long into the story thanks to Ezio reaching out to her. She goes from being an extremely dangerous enemy to being a valuable tactician and ally.
  • Help Yourself in the Future: PHOLUS pulls this to stop his younger self from becoming a Counter Guardian, and again to get him back up on his feet at his lowest point. So far, it seems to have worked.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Upon realizing that Zouken will not rest until she is dead, Caster opts to instead self-destruct when the Shadow comes for her rather than be consumed by it. This plays into the Thanatos Gambit entry below.
    • Hassan pulls one as well at Iliya's request, aiding her in closing up the corrupted Grail for good.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: Ezio is pulled out of the Canadian wilderness by a bizarre summoning ceremony spoken in his voice and wakes up as a Demi-Servant in the Fuyuki forest.
  • Killed Offscreen: Zouken is dispatched without even a hint of fanfare due to the party focusing on saving Sakura and simply leaving the decrepit mage to Kotomine.
  • Knife Nut: Ezio by virtue of True Assassin being bound to him. While he largely avoids fighting and abhors killing, he tends to lean toward throwing daggers when he does need to engage in battle and can generate them at will. Caster assists him in creating throwing knives with greater utility, up to and including a singular copy of her Rule Breaker when she realizes that its powers need to be hidden with Ezio instead of her.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Ezio briefly mistakes Rin and Sakura for having this type of relationship, but discards the notion once he learns more about both of them.
  • Mundane Utility: Ezio occasionally uses his Servant powers for more mundane things, like taking advantage of his Cursed Arm's reach and strength to carry Ilya's luggage once she moves into the Emiya household.
  • Oblivious to Love: Tied to Clueless Chick Magnet above. When Ezio sees a woman who is obviously in need of comfort, support, and advice, he'll do everything in his power to provide such things and even get her to smile if he can, even if he has to resort to acting like a fool to do it. The problem is that Ezio is an insert into Stay Night with all the Dysfunction Junction involved, so performing actions that he adamantly believes to be him 'just being nice' have an impact magnitudes greater than he expects, leading to no shortage of headaches and exasperation for a good chunk of the female cast who don't understand how he works, especially those who develop crushes on him. It gets so bad that even Shirou calls him dense later on.
  • Off the Rails: It's a Friend Insert, so this was bound to happen. Ezio's antics have done everything short of snapping the setting over his knee and forcing his Game Master to scrap every available canon route in favor of a introducing a Greater Grail War ala Fate/Apocrypha. The only reason that shift doesn't happen is purely because this is supposed to be Bakasmurf's introduction to Fate/Stay Night, and Luckychaos didn't want to introduce more concepts than the sum of Fate/Stay Night's original parts.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: For being an Assassin-class Demi-Servant, Ezio picks up exactly two kills to his name The phantasmal False Assassin, because he had no choice and it wasn't exactly stealthy, and Shinji, because he had at the time just activated Blood Fort Andromeda out of spite. This trait utterly flabbergasts and exasperates both magi and servant alike and is a large reason as to why he can get through to Ilya and get her to cease hostilities far sooner than in canon. Justified in that prior to being summoned, 'Ezio' was a normal civilian in a non-magical world and utterly lacking in both the training and mindset required to kill.
    • Finally averted in the final chapter, where Hassan assures Eizo that his victory over Lancer was everything a proper Assassin should strive for in killing a mark.
  • Spanner in the Works: Ezio is practically the embodiment of this trope in-story through the power of being a well-adjusted adult with common human decency and common sense. Reaches the point where Noble Shade could be considered a somewhat Lighter and Softer version of Heaven's Feel.
    • The biggest instance of this involves managing to gain Caster's trust early on, which functionally de-rails the entire plot as far as she's concerned.
    • Ezio and Caster stumble onto the true nature of the Holy Grail far sooner than in canon, prompting both of them to adjust plans accordingly, and to seek out alliances that the latter would normally not even consider.
    • Ezio blows the lid on Zouken's abuse of Sakura far earlier in canon, which greatly assists him in forming alliances with Rin and Shirou.
    • Ezio manages to gain Ilya's favor as well, de-fusing tensions with her early and bringing her to the alliance as an Aloof Ally.
    • Caster joins in on the fun by predicting her own death and leaving Ezio with several mementos, including a Golden Fleece mystic code, a copy of her Noble Phantasm 'Rule Breaker,' and an echo of her conscience to give him a proper final farewell and an urge to not linger on her memory, because she knows it will ultimately do more harm than good.
    • Ezio essentially leads up to the point to where he is able to expose the 5th HGW as the sham that it is and unifies a majority of the Masters against Zouken, as he is functionally cheating his ass off to win everything. He even gets Kotomine's blessing to hunt the decrepit mage down.
    • And topping perhaps all of these is the interference of Counter Guardian PHOLUS, who appears to have called in a past version of himself and binding that version to True Assassin. This deprives Zouken of his second most powerful tool and forces the decrepit mage into a less favorable position, ultimately changing the entire course of the war.
    • King Hassan trumps absolutely everyone in this regard. His influence with Counter Guardian PHOLUS is the entire reason Ezio is even in Fuyuki to begin with. Given how long this entry is, one can see just how much this altered events.
    • Kotomine provides a villainous example by exploiting his Command Seals to turn Lancer against the party during the final battle. The party had assumed that he would be wounded or killed dealing with Zouken.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: All instances are spoilers, so proceed with caution:
    • Saber appears to have been spared her normal Heaven's Feel death thanks to the efforts of the party convincing her to let them through to see a corrupted Sakura.
    • Cu Cuchulain is denied this due to Kotomine using one of his last Command Seals to force him to fight Eizo in a cruel instance of Yankthe Dog'sChain.
    • Kotomine doesn't live, but he does last longer than in canon due to Shirou not disposing of him earlier. He does still ultimately die.
    • Gilgamesh is spared his unceremonious death at Shadow Sakura's hands due to Cu lasting longer than in canon, though he reverts to his child form as a result of taking near-lethal damage in the process.
  • Stealth Expert: Ezio, due to his Demi-Servant fusion with Hassan, gets the Presence Concealment skill, allowing him perfect stealth outside of combat. Despite his own misgivings on his proficiency as an Assassin, Ezio is none the less able to infiltrate the Matou Mansion, recover after setting off Zouken's insect-based alarm system merely once, and locate and identify Zouken's carefully hidden workshop. While he's found out immediately afterward, he escapes in one piece and severely hinders the bundle of bugs in the process.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Just because it's a good idea for various masters and servants to put aside their differences, doesn't mean all of them have to like it. Rin in particular seems to abhor the idea of working with Caster, though it's more because the latter is good at pushing the former's buttons.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Caster correctly predicted that Zouken both knew her true identity and precisely why he would want to remove her and her Rule Breaker from the War, and left Ezio tools that mimicked her most powerful assets with Zouken none the wiser, ultimately banking on her death to keep the decrepit mage in the dark about her deceit.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted in the sense that Ezio takes up the mantle for anyone willing to lend him an ear. Played straight because it's Fate. Justified in that most of the characters with major issues are magi, Servants, or other characters in the know who either can't seek help because it would likely bring the Mage Association or something far worse down on their heads, or won't seek help because they're convinced that nothing is wrong with them or feel that they can't be fixed. It doesn't help that most Magi fall squarely under The Sociopath and thus would not see the need for mental health care in the first place.
  • Tsundere: The poster girl of Tsundere herself, Rin Tohsaka. Whether she's displaying more 'tsun' or 'dere' depends on how mercilessly she is being teased at the time.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Ezio starts to lean toward this after a while. He is by far the weakest Servant in the HGW by far (to the point where a phantasmal False Assassin gives him trouble) but makes up for it by training his rear off to make good use of the tools he has.
    • Though he does end up adding both Hercules and Cu Cuchulain to his kill count by the end, cementing Eizo as this.

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