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Fan Fic / Nerve Damage

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... There was no activated noble phantasm. It was skill that had turned that weapon into such a lethal missile. No. It was more than that. Due to his phantasm, any weapon he touched seemed as if he had been using it for years, yet he would never have been able to do something like that with a spear. It was skill and power and lethality turned into an actualized mystery over time in history.
...Truly, this Grail War seemed unlike all others before it. Heroes even he would consider mighty walked the battlefield prolifically, and their power was tremendous and terrifying to behold.

Nerve Damage is a Fate/stay night fanfic by CrossyCross.

The facts are these: Instead of learning magecraft from Kiritsugu, Shirou was taught during the in-between years by a mysterious man who not only allowed him to perfect his Projection with Word magic, but to convert ALL of his nerves into Magic Circuits in an act of such mind-blogging stupidity that made Shirou an industrial-level prana battery.

But while very powerful with his Word-swords and lake-size reserves, he nearly ends being killed by Lancer as in canon, when in desperation he flings all his mana to the summoning circle, breaking the rules by brute force by summoning four Saber-class Servants: Saber ("King of Knights"), Saber Alter ("Tyrant of Knights"), Saber Lily ("Immortal Queen of Camelot"), and Red Saber ("The Great Artist of Rome"). This of course gives him the right to pretty much cheat the war and win single-handedly without even a sweat.



The gem of the fic is that, instead of going with the route of "Shirou the Broken Magus" whose team-up with the Sabers makes them unstoppable, it makes every Servant in the War into an absolute badass. ALL OF THEM. Making the original "fracas" into a fight between Titans so epic that made their canon counterparts look like amateurs.

In addition, since Shirou got four Servants, and since no one has ever actually gotten a chance to use the Grail for it's intended purpose and make a wish, Angra Mainyu decides to even the playing field by putting all that stored energy to good use. There are now twenty-eight Servants (four to each class), and no Master has only one Servant. This includes letting the canon Masters summon more Servants in addition to the ones they have in canon after the fact.


CrissyCross also released a list of Stat Sheets for each extra Servant in the story.

When CrossyCross put the fic on hiatus, he allowed the story to be continued by other authors. One such author, LoneTaker took up the offer on May 2018. However, after many negative reviews, Nerve Damage: Season 2 was cancelled and deleted. Then the author decided to try again and at the very end of 2018, released Nerve Damage: Season 2: Sensory Overload. In this continuation, Angra Mainyu gets angry that despite there being 28 Servants, no one important has died. So he decides to intervene again and summons four Avengers who can function without Masters and whose only purpose is to kill as many people as possible. This action causes four Rulers to be summoned, again without Masters, who attempt to protect the people and keep the Avengers in check. Meanwhile, a detective and his assistant arrive in Fuyuki to investigate the events of ten years ago (the Great Fuyuki Fire) and discover history may be repeating itself.

This fanfic has examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Shirou never knew it was impossible to create more Magic Circuits. Now he has 2,628 of them. Granted, they're only about 1/4th as good as the real thing, but that's still the same thing as having 657 true Magic Circuits. Daaaayuuuum…
    • For comparison, Rin canonically has 40 natural circuits (plus 30 more from her family's Crest) and this is considered an exceptional number for a human magus.
    • In-canon, a normal human magus has on average 20 circuits, which means Shirou has the combined raw power of 32 human magus or sixteen Rins (without the Magic Crest).
  • The Ace: All of the servants. The fic goes to great lengths to show how unbelievably extraordinary each is and why they are the legends of the world.
  • Adaptational Badass: Shirou Emiya, as the result of unknowingly achieved an impossible feat, is a walking prana power plant whose very words can cut Heroic Spirits.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Several of the Servants' full/true names. Examples: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Merlin Ambrosius, Gaius Julius Caesar.
  • Badass Army: Waver Velvet possesses the combined might of Ionioi Hetairoi and the entire Mongol Horde.
    • Napoleon brings out the firepower of not only La Grande Armee, but also the entire history of France, against Gilgamesh. And he outpowers the Gate of Babylon with it!
  • Badass Boast: Open Chapter Twelve and read Napoleon's battle with Gilgamesh.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Jackie and Alter to their masters.
    • Sakura Matou promises to help Assassin destroy the Grail, after the latter rescues her from Zouken.
    • Sakura Matou commands her Servant to back down from Shirou, despite knowing he is a rival Master, because of his kindness to her in the past. This contradicts her earlier promise, costing her Assassin's loyalty.
    • Sasaki Kojirou to Lancer.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Napoleon, being himself, has two: teasing him about his height (which actually becomes one of his Noble Phantasms, giving him an advantage against people taller than him), and insulting heroes.
    • Shirou practically smashes Rin's Berserk Button to pieces (unknowingly), having achieved in a single act of stupidity a feat that Rin and every other magus alive can only DREAM of. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Blatant Lies: The nail in this fic? A mage named Henry Hallmark feeding Shirou a load of bullshit For the Lulz.
  • Blood Knight: Many of the Servants jump for joy at the chance to fight one another, to the point where it's more noticeable when a Servant isn't one to a degree.
  • Boobs of Steel: Of the four Sabers, Nero is the bustiest, and physically the strongest.
    Saber Lily: "She's from an earlier time than us, yet we all look almost exactly the same. She may have some basis for thought."
    Saber Alter: "But... She..."
    Saber Nero: "ALMOST exactly. It seems you three haven't quite inherited one of my more important... hmm... assets."
  • Cold Sniper: Simo Häyhä (a.k.a. the White Death) is summoned by Rin as Assassin.
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Nerve Damage Shirou's future self. He's so broken, the author can only show him in an omake, where he proceeds to defeat every single antagonist without breaking a sweat.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Nerve circuits, of course.
  • The Chew Toy: Lancer in the first chapters. Then it's thrown away after his fight with Samson and his use of the Warp Spasm. Rin with her inability to catch the rest of the Masters until chapter twelve.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Sabers VS Lancer.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kotomine Kirei has only shown up in one scene thus far (two if you count the ND!Archer wrecks everyone omake), as the overseer of the Holy Grail War. Gilgamesh is still around, as is the basement full of forsaken orphans, so it's likely there's a bigger role in Kirei's future.
    • Rin's Servant Archer has only shown up in two scenes, one at the beginning when Shirou sees him fighting Lancer (he's the Servant in red), and one in Chapter Twelve when Rin summons additional Servants, and Archer provides commentary.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: To compensate for the fact that Shirou has four Servants, the Servant Avenger sleeping in the Grail decides to allow more Servants in play, several of them more than enough to kill the Sabers.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Apparently, Lancelot flies any airplane like he's in a dogfight. Luvia gets quite airsick.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Appears to be something of a theme with Napoleon. Not only is he belittled in legend, he's also belittled to his face by Gilgamesh.
  • Everybody Lives: In an extremely brutal, continually No-Holds-Barred Beatdown death-match, not a single servant or Master has died in nearly 100,000 words. This is due to partly because of Plot Armor and that the Heroic Spirits are just that ridiculously hard to kill, that many of the heroes quickly retreat when the situation turns against them. Shinji doesn't count.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Alter has one that she can summon and control, named Nek'il Hi'tiyad'ril.
    • It seems more likely to be a demon, since it's reluctant to fight a divinity like Herakles.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Although averted, Bonaparte gets an awesome line against Gilgamesh.
    "This is a good death. I will not bend my knee. No hero will bend his knee to a threat." A chuckle. "A good run I suppose, short as it is. I, a hero with a legend barely two hundred years old, to one whose own spans four thousand years back. Perhaps it was hopeless in the beginning, but I matched your power until the very end, and in death, I will meet the standard. I will die standing." His eyes narrowed. "So unleash your wrath, King of Uruk. I will face death with honor and dignity befitting a heroic spirit." He declared, readying himself for destruction.
  • For Want of a Nail: In which Shirou using his nerves as makeshift Circuits is seen as a revolutionary move instead of a gamble of life or death each time.
    • Though given the heat generated and how close he's brought to death by using all of them at once, chances are this normally would've killed him and he's only alive thanks to Avalon, if he has it implanted in this story.
      • According to one of the omake, he does. But take that with a grain of salt.
  • For the Lulz: Henry Hallmark's entire motivation for... anything.
    Henry: Should I, or should I not. Do I dare force this young man to aim for godliness? Will he believe? Will it even work?
    Henry: Oh the fudge with it, I'm doing it for shits and giggles anyway.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Shirou takes out Shinji with a laser Word chainsword this way after catching him murdering innocents via Rider. Somewhat averted, though, in that Shirou remarks to himself afterward that it looked as though Shinji had been mauled by an animal.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Rider versus Genghis Khan. Both men have No Indoor Voice. Both men are Large Ham generals. Both men have a lot of free time on a commercial airplane. Waver responds accordingly.
  • Historical-Domain Character/Public-Domain Character: Due to the expanded roster of the Holy Grail War, there are many new Servants drawn from the history, folklore, and religions of many cultures.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Zouken orders Sakura to summon a second Servant. Said Servant immediately attacks Zouken to protect Sakura.
    • It seems likely that Henry Hallmark is going to seriously regret teaching Shirou all that nonsense that Shirou turned into genuine power.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Scathach almost literally won her battle against Moses single-handedly, as until he unleashed his Noble Phantasm, she was casting spells with only one hand, after which she raised her other one...
    And Moses noted with terrifying clarity that she had been casting spells the entire battle with one hand.
    Scathach: Playtime's freakin' over.
  • Implacable Man: Take your pick God-empowered Samson, Master Swordsman Herakles, Invulnerable Siegfried, or Conceptual Victory Scathach. And those are just the obvious ones.
  • Improvised Weapon: Lancelot's "Knight of Honor" Noble Phantasm from Fate/Zero returns, letting him expertly wield anything he can identify as a weapon. Hector's Noble Phantasm ability subverts the trope; anything he wields becomes a spear.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite Shirou being insanely powerful with his word-magic and nerve circuits, he still gets attacked by Lancer and is forced to summon Saber.
    • Despite Shirou's physical, magical, and mental training under antiheroic Jerkass Combat Pragmatist Henry Hallmark, he's still an idealistic Nice Guy with Idiot Hero ambitions who can usually be found cooking, cleaning, or mending things.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Shinji is killed by Shirou. He deserved it in spades.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Lancer runs when he realizes he's outmatched.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The expanded Master/Servant roster ensures this. See Up to Eleven.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: According to Word of God, Cain was the one who taught Word Magic to Shirou's teacher, Henry Hallmark.
  • Master Swordsman: Any servant with a sword-like ability, but the cake had to go to Sane!Herakles, who can use Nine lives, possibly the greatest sword attack in the series (that surpasses even dimension-cutter Tsubame Gaeshi, if only by number of slashes + flexibility + sheer brutal force). Or Lancelot, who managed to block Hercules' Nine Lives attack without getting hurt.
  • Mêlée à Trois: FAR more than just three. The original seven servants are now bumped up to 28, FOUR TIMES the original. And all of them Took a Level in Badass.
  • Morality Pet: Shirou to Alter. She doesn't like that. Not one bit.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Nero, natch.
  • Mundane Utility: Nero mentions that her "Imperial Privilege" ability is useful for carousing incognito. Lancelot's "Knight of Honor" gets used for transportation, saving Luvia the cost of hiring a pilot (but getting her airsick).
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: While all Servants are contractually loyal, Herakles, Hector, Odysseus, Medea, Jackie, Nero, Simo, and Merlin stand out because their Master is everything to them and only care that they are safe and happy.
    • Averted with Moses and Samson, given that their Master is Cain. He doesn't mind, though.
  • Mythology Gag: Plenty.
    • Saber Red is from Fate/EXTRA, and her wedding dress outfit is her civilian guise.
    • Medeas's Lancer was the Berserker of Fate/Extra.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Several of the Servants, including their names and/or titles. Simo Häyhä, AKA "The White Death", being one shining example. To a lesser extent: Gaius Julius Ceaser, Genghis Khan, Jack(ie) the Ripper, Karna.
  • The Napoleon: The man himself. It's pointed out that realistically he should be rather taller than he is, and Napoleon is less than amused by how the legend forced this trope upon him. And was just as amused for it being brought up in the first place.
    • And it's his Noble Phantasm. A surprisingly useful one, too, as it increases several of his stats by a rank (but not his height) when he fights against people taller than him, Which considering the characters is practically everyone except the sabers
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Berserker. Those who are or just transform, are either impossible to hurt or else regenerate to bullshitting velocity that would make Wolverine look like he has Hemophilia. Its even lampshaded by one of the Berserkers themselves.
  • Oh, Crap!: Not a single Servant or character in the entire story has not faced this at least once. Not even Gilgamesh.
  • Original Character:
    • Henry Hallmark, the mage who taught Shirou the basics of Word Magic. He becomes another Master, summoning Achilles and Karna.
    • Enforcer Jordan Lionstone. Master of Assassin Jackie the Ripper, and Archer Napoleon Bonaparte.
    • The Ancient Being who summoned Moses and Samson. He's in fact the Death Seeker Cain.
  • Physical God: Scathach, Witch of Dun Scaith. A normal mortal so unbelievably skilled that she managed to obtain godhood by killing gods and become the conceptual personification of "VICTORY" in Atalaya. According to Word of God, the reason she wasn't able to complete her temple was because she would have become too broken.
    • Subverted; she's not actually a divinity by the rules of the Grail War. This caused Moses's anti-god powers to fail against her.
  • Papa Wolf: Illya activates the paternal instincts of all three of her servants.
  • Power Copying: Nero's EX-Rank Imperial Privilege skill allows her to copy other's powers temporarily. She uses this to mimic the Arturias' Prana Burst and magnify her already-prodigious strength.
  • Serial Escalation: See Drama-Preserving Handicap.
  • Serious Business: Shirou in God Of Cooking mode takes his attitude as a Supreme Chef to ludicrous levels.
    • Napoleon does not take being considered inferior, in any way, by anybody, lightly. No, not even Gilgamesh.
  • Shown Their Work: To the Author, who seems to go into greater detail in looking into each hero's legend.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Napoleon calls out Gilgamesh on the latter referring to him as merely a mongrel. His high Charisma, combined with his refusal to stop fighting even in the face of death, convinces Gilgamesh to spare him for now.
    "We are heroes, Gilgamesh of Uruk, and if you deign to think yourself above us, never mock our accomplishments, for they are all memorable to a man, feats that earned us eternal glory. Even if you are our better, never deny that we are above the nameless masses that chose to be mediocre. We are not mongrels. We. Are. Legend."
  • Storm of Blades: Even before summoning the Saber Squad, Shirou cuts loose at Lancer with a storm of half a hundred swords made from Words.
    • Gilgamesh and Archer (Rin's Archer) as well.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Samson's Noble Phantasm gives him strength according to the threat of the enemy. While fighting Lancer Cu Chulainn it got up to A+++, and according to Word of God, it's going to go EX against Gilgamesh in the future.
  • Supreme Chef: Shirou, of course.
    They collapsed, their bodies overwhelmed by The Dessert. It was a foodgasm in the very literal sense.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Moses and Samson with their Master. Considering who he is, though, it makes sense that they ditched him the minute they set foot in Fuyuki.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Whether this trope applies to Noble Phantasms is discussed (and demonstrated) during a battle in Chapter 12. Being willing to freely use and break his Noble Phantasms very nearly earns Napoleon a victory over Gilgamesh!. Noble Phantasms are actually broken throughout the story. But that's only because the heroes who do it can create more of them (e.g Lancelot who can turn create more makeshift noble phantasms by touching something).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Honestly, each of the fights are more brutal and epic than the ones in the Unlimited Blade Works movie AND Fate/Zero series combined. That's' saying a lot.
  • Up to Eleven: Again, 28 Servants. Including (besides the canon ones and the three other Sabers Shirou has):
    • Iskander, Genghis Khan, Fate/Apocrypha's Jack the Ripper, Napoleon, Lancelot, Merlin, Siegfried, Samson, Moses, Scathath, Lu Bu, Hector, Odysseus, Karna, Achilles, the Zealot Assassin, Simo Hayha, and finally Julius Caesar.
  • World of Badass: Everyone except Shinji is exceptional in some way.


Example of: