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Fanfic / The Invisible Princess

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The Invisible Princess is a completed multi-chapter Fire Emblem Fates fanfic by The Apocryphal One.

Warning: This fic is written under the assumption that the reader has played A.) the Revelation route of Fire Emblem Fates, and B.) the Hidden Truths DLC. As such, this page has unmarked spoilers for the game.


Set years before the game's present setting, it follows Mikoto's life as a princess of Valla, before eventually becoming the Queen of Hoshido. While most of the fic's story is original due to how the time frame is largely unexplored, it follows the canon laid down by the game and tries to fill in the blanks of some unanswered plot points.

Has a few companion pieces set in the same continuity, including:

  • The Lost King, which follows Garon between Chapters 4-6 of The Invisible Princess.
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  • Fire Emblem Fates: Aftermath, which follows Corrin and the army after the main events of the Revelation scenario.

The Invisible Princess contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The goal of the fanfic is, among other things, to develop Mikoto's Backstory.
  • All for Nothing: During her Heroic BSoD after Kamui's kidnapping, Mikoto starts to believe everything she's done has ultimately been pointless. She starts thinking that Anankos's victory is inevitable and nothing she can do will stop it. She turns out to be wrong, when Shura successfully brings Azura to Hoshido, and her actions do set the stage for Anankos' eventual downfall in Fates: Revelation.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • It's mentioned that royalty often have to marry for their countries over love, such as Arete and Sumeragi's first marriages.
    • Mikoto and Arete decide to arrange for Azura and Kamui to get married as part of a deal to help Hoshido and Nohr to get along. Although circumstances nix the idea, Mikoto sees that it could have worked out regardless.
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  • Big Bad: Anankos is the main antagonist, just like in the game, plotting to exterminate/subjugate humanity. However, he largely works through his puppet soldiers, and only shows up in the rotting flesh once: while attacking Castle Gyges with his army.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mikoto has foreseen her own death, knows it's unavoidable and coming soon, and knows that she will be subjected to a Fate Worse than Death by Anankos once she dies. However, she's been reunited with her son, got to see her family being happy together, and is comforted by the knowledge she'll at least die protecting someone she loves. And while Anankos is still alive, the next generation have people who will be able to stop him.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: The young Ryoma is described as being splattered with blood when Mikoto and the Hoshidan soldiers find him in the aftermath of the Cheve ambush.
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  • The Cameo: Kagero, Kaze, Saizo, Orochi, Scarlet, Hana (by mention), and Izana all make a cameo as children, with Orochi herself making several recurring appearances. The author even states in one author's note that she enjoyed seeing how many Fates non-main characters she could slip in.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Life-binding is mentioned early on as a way to ensure some long-term spells, such as the curses Anankos casts over Valla, can never be broken (though they can weaken/be weakened) without the caster either dying or breaking them themselves. Mikoto later uses it herself to extend the life of the protective Barrier spell around Hoshido.
    • The staff Arete crafts is the very staff Mikoto uses to raise that barrier in the first place.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Mikoto does this a lot while worrying about Arete, who has become Queen of Nohr.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Arete's response to Mikoto telling her about Hoshido's economic trouble just drips this:
  • Death by Childbirth: Queen Ikona's birthing of Sakura is very bloody and painful due to Sakura being a breach baby, and she dies shortly afterward from the blood loss.
  • Demonic Possession: Anankos can seize control of any of his undead soldiers and use them as mouthpieces to speak through.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Mikoto is Doomed by Canon since she dies in Chapter 5 of Fates, but the entire story is built around characterizing her and giving her a fleshed-out backstory.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": When Corrin returns to Hoshido, he insists on not being called by his birth name since he's more used to his Nohrian one.
  • Doomed by Canon: As a prequel fic to Fates, the reader knows that Mikoto, Arete, Sumeragi, and Garon are all doomed to die.
  • Dramatic Shattering: When using a crystal ball to see the truth behind Hydra, Mikoto drops and breaks it when she sees the image morph from Hydra - her beloved husband - into Anankos, the Silent Dragon himself. Needless to say, neither Mikoto nor Arete, who saw this at the same time, take this well (Arete less than Mikoto, as Anankos had killed King Theophilus in a fit of rage).
  • Enemy Without: The case with Anankos; he ripped out his soul, which went on to be the Anankos Mikoto met, fell in love with, and had a family with, and the body that remained is the antagonist driving the story.
  • Evil Gloating: Anankos likes to brag about his superiority and how doomed the human race is when he talks with Mikoto and Arete. Garon also partakes in it in Cheve, to further drive a wedge between Hoshido and Nohr.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hoshido and Nohr have bad blood that originates from being on opposite sides in the First War, so both have negative and racist views towards the other—Hoshido considers Nohr to be little more than barbaric warmongers, and Nohr considers Hoshido haughty snobs. Mikoto herself ends up being somewhat racist towards the Nohrians after Kamui gets kidnapped.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The few times we see his evil half, Anankos is very cordial, talking to Mikoto as if they're old friends, and also very prone to mocking, gloating, and snapping at the drop of a hat.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The fic is in-line with the canon of Fates, so the reader knows that Mikoto and Arete's attempts to stop Anankos and unite Hoshido and Nohr are ultimately doomed to failure. The best they do is stall for time.
  • Going Native: Mikoto and the Hoshidan royals are faced with the unpleasant reality that this is what happens when someone spends all their remembered childhood in another country. When they finally reunite with Kamui, they learn that he has completely adjusted to Nohr, going by his Nohrian name of Corrin, preferring to wear Nohrian clothes, having a Nohrian accent, and so on. It causes quite a bit of friction between them.
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: The conflict between Hoshido and Nohr is expanded on, with both sides having a hand in it. Nohr has been raiding Hoshido for some time as of Chapter 4, but Hoshido raised the taxes for Nohr's food imports beyond what Nohr could reasonably pay. It's later revealed Hoshido was pushed into doing this by their greedy merchant clans, who were unhappy with their cut of the profits and would go into rebellion if they didn't get more, making things even murkier.
  • Guile Hero: Mikoto is politically savvy and very clever at crafting plans and manipulating people, to the point of sometimes overlapping with Manipulative Bitch (though she grows out of the latter aspect).
  • Heroic BSoD: After Sumeragi is killed and Kamui gets kidnapped at Cheve, Mikoto falls into a deep depression that takes an entire chapter (several months in the story) to get through.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Anankos' decision to spare Mikoto and Arete comes back to bite him in the ass later on, as it gives them time to fight back. Arete is able to create a special spell that keeps out hostiles, which Mikoto uses very late into the story to (temporarily) prevent Nohr from invading Hoshido.
  • Hope Spot: Garon's letter for negotiations makes it look like that Hoshido and Nohr will final work towards getting along. It turns out to be a trap to kidnap Kamui. Sort of; the letter was sent by the real Garon as a genuine offer of peace, after Arete died trying to warn him about Anankos. But he was killed and replaced by Anankos's familiar shortly after sending it, and Anankos took the opportunity to further divide Hoshido and Nohr. The Lost King elaborates on the events surrounding Garon's "replacement".
  • Humanoid Abomination: The resurrected Vallite soldiers are depicted to be this underneath their "invisible" glamours (e.g. rotting skin, visibly missing organs).
  • Identity Amnesia: "Hydra", a.k.a. Anankos's good half, lost his memories when he was torn out of Anankos's body, and only regains them in a flood when he holds his newborn son Kamui for the first time.
  • Important Haircut:
    • When Vallites lose loved ones, it is customary for family members to cut off their hair, with the amount cut off being proportional to how close they were to the deceased. Arete shaves down to the scalp after her husband is killed by Anankos, and Mikoto does likewise after Sumeragi is killed and Kamui is kidnapped.
    • When Mikoto tries to talk to Hinoka after Kamui's kidnapping, she asks about the queen's short hair. After getting a(n understandably) vague answer, Hinoka vows to cut her own hair short until she gets Kamui back.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Arete dies trying to warn Garon about Anankos, but it's only revealed after the fact.
    • Sumeragi dies in the Cheve ambush, which Mikoto sees the aftermath of but not the actual event.
    • Garon is killed by Anankos and replaced by his familiar sometime shortly after Arete's death.
    • Arete's first husband, Theophilus, is killed in the very first chapter after a failed attempt to talk down Anankos. It's only made known after the murder has happened.
  • Kissing Cousins: It's mentioned that Vallite royalty and nobility have been known to marry their cousins for political reasons, so Mikoto has no compunctions for setting up a marriage between her son and niece. While those plans fall through, Corrin and Azura's heavy Ship Tease in Chapter 10 hints that they're falling in love and will eventually get married anyway.
    • Side note: apparently, Hoshido and Nohr have also had this at least once each.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: A few years before the fic's start, Anankos cast a spell that erased Valla and the people within it from the collective memories and written records of the world, explaining why no one is aware of this old kingdom in the time of Fates.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Nearly all of the game's main spoilers—the existence of Valla, Mikoto's past, Corrin and Azura being both Vallite royalty and cousins, and Corrin's father being Anankos—are revealed within the first three chapters. The author even warns the reader in her first author's note to not read the story if they haven't finished Revelation.
  • Love at First Sight: Both Hydra (Anankos) and Sumeragi fall for Mikoto the minute they see her.
  • Making a Splash: Valla as a whole is associated with water, with natives possessing the ability to travel through it as a gift from Anankos. Naturally, this ability extends to Mikoto and Arete, which they use to escape.
  • Meaningful Name: "Theophilus", the chosen name for Arete's husband and Azura's father, means "friend of god", referring to his close friendship to Anankos before his death at Anankos's hands.
  • Meaningful Rename: Kamui is renamed Corrin by the Nohrians after his kidnapping. Since he can't remember his upbringing in Hoshido at all, he keeps the new name even after reuniting with his mother and siblings.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mikoto has a moment of this at the end of Chapter 2, when she realizes that while her manipulations paid off and allowed her to marry Hydra, they also hurt her sister, Queen Arete, deeply.
  • Mysterious Past: Since the Vallite curses mean that A.) no one remembers Valla, and that B.) Arete and Mikoto can't speak of their pasts there, they have to present themselves as having this.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Anankos comes within a hairs breadth of creating a war between Hoshido and Nohr. Had it not been for Arete's barrier staff and Mikoto figuring out how to make it last years, he would have succeeded.
  • Original Character: Many, as a necessity to fill out the world. Mikoto has her own set of retainers, and some of the Fates characters have their parents show up, all of whom are original.
  • Outside-Context Hero: Subdued cases in Mikoto and Arete, in that they can only do so much to prepare either side for the true enemy.
  • Parent with New Paramour: The reason behind Ryoma and Hinoka's dislike of Mikoto (and subsequently Kamui), after she marries Sumeragi—they view her as trying to "replace" their mother. That attitude comes back to bite them both in the ass after Kamui is kidnapped and Sumeragi is killed.
  • Parting-Words Regret: In Chapter 7, after an argument, Hinoka angrily yells at Kamui that she hates him before storming off. He then goes on a trip to Cheve and is kidnapped before either can apologize. Hinoka breaks down crying later on because she didn't really mean it, and is unable to make up to her lost brother.
  • Politically-Active Princess: Mikoto has been involved in the politics of Valla's court since she was twelve, and is actually her sister's chief adviser. She keeps it up after she flees to Hoshido, working her way onto Sumeragi's council.
  • Pride: Anankos's biggest flaw is his complete certainty that he's going to win, no matter what, because humans are weak creatures who could never possibly hope to defeat him. It comes back to bite him in the ass when he decides Arete and Mikoto aren't a threat to him and lets them go when they're in his grasp; the sisters go on to delay his plans long enough for Corrin, Azura and the royals to grow up. Had he simply killed them when he had the chance, he would have won.
  • Rebellious Princess: Mikoto, in her early years, would sneak around outside the palace to consort with "Hydra", volunteered to go on adventures, and manipulated or broke the rules to suit her own ends. She matures out of it as the fic goes on.
  • Shared Family Quirks:
    • It's mentioned that Hydra dislikes wearing shoes, a trait that Kamui/Corrin inherits.
    • Izana's mother, Hiromi, is shown to be every bit as eccentric and hammy as he is.
  • Ship Tease: The last chapter shows Corrin and Azura spending a lot of time together, and Corrin's very clearly interested in her.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Invoked by Mikoto. She knows that she cannot get married to Hydra due to him being a commoner, but she also knows that Arete would be forced to allow a union if they have sex out of wedlock so as to preserve the family's honor. Mikoto then sleeps with Hydra and purposefully gets caught by one of her gossipy maids, leading to a quiet and hastily thrown together wedding.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Mikoto deliberately presents herself as meek and mild on the outside to hide how cunning and determined she is on the inside. There's also Arete, who is normally cool-headed, dutiful and reserved, but proves to have a sarcastic and defiant streak underneath; and Queen Ikona, who is civil to Mikoto when they meet but very politely tells her, in no uncertain terms, that she will ruin her if Mikoto tries to hurt her or her children.
  • Spanner in the Works: Mikoto and Arete for Anankos. Arete by creating and giving her sister the Barricade staff, Mikoto by using it to raise the barrier around Hoshido, delaying the Hoshidan-Nohrian war until the time of Fates.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mikoto wears a variety of "masks" for a variety of purposes—to make herself look weaker than she is, to make herself look like a ditz to cover up her lack of cultural knowledge in Hoshido, and finally to pretend she's happy while hiding her inner despair as her Trauma Conga Line goes on. Her son turns out to have inherited this tendency from her.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: After being gone for fourteen years, Corrin has trouble adjusting to life in Hoshido, and his family there in turn has trouble adjusting to how he went native in Nohr.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Kamui is noted several times to bear a strong resemblance to Mikoto, which is how Kaze is able to recognize him despite his name being changed to Corrin.
  • Succession Crisis: Averting this is mentioned as one of the reasons for the Arranged Marriage between Kamui and Azura. Both actually have an equal claim to the Vallite throne, and Mikoto worries that the Vallites could form factions about which should lead and start a civil war. The answer, then, is to marry them to each other so they both become ruler.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • She never says it to his face (since being rude to a mad god isn't exactly smart), but Word Of God is that Mikoto considers her husband Anankos and the Big Bad Anankos to be two different people, as the former was a loving and kind man and the latter is an insane murderer out to destroy the world.
    • Corrin views himself as a different person from Kamui, as he cannot remember his life in Hoshido at all. Takumi even openly states that he considers his brother to have died in Cheve.
  • Time Skip: 14 years pass between chapters 9 and 10, catching the story up to just before the point in Fates where Corrin arrives in Hoshido.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Mikoto's already lost her parents before the story starts, but then systematically loses her country, her retainers (and best friends), her sister, both her husbands, and finally her son. The last three in particular drive her to a Heroic BSoD.
  • Truth Serums: The throne in Valla is enchanted so that anybody sitting on it cannot lie. When Hydra remembers his identity as the soul of Anankos, he's able to prove it (along with his non-hostility) to Arete and Mikoto because he sat down on the throne sometime during their conversation.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Anankos's good half is never seen again after the fall of Valla, and Mikoto later privately suspects him to be dead.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Arete is decidedly not happy with her sister manipulating her in Chapter 2, and gives her a good dressing down for it.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: When Anankos' troops surround Mikoto and Arete, they both think they are about to be killed. One discussion with Anankos later, the soldiers let them go, to their surprise.
  • Worldbuilding: Besides expanding on several pre-Fates characters, the fic also explores and expands the world of Fates, particularly Valla, the Fire Tribe, Izumo, Hoshido, and Nohr.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Anankos proves himself spectacularly able to do this during Chapter 7. Upon learning that Mikoto and (posthumously) Arete are close to making peace between Hoshido and Nohr and that the planned meeting is at Cheve, he kills and replaces Garon. The fake Garon is then sent to Cheve on Anankos' orders and, taking advantage of the trust the Hoshidans had placed in the Nohrians, slaughters Sumeragi and kidnaps Kamui, in one fell swoop giving Anankos both the things he wanted: a destruction of any chance of peace between the two countries, and his son. That single move nearly ensured his win.
  • You Are Too Late: After receiving a vision of Nohr's ambush at Cheve, Mikoto desperately gathers as many pegasus knights as she can and sets out to stop it...and arrives just after it happens.