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Fanfic / Heroes, Dreams, and Destiny

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"He did not know if could ever truly find it within himself to once more pursue the ideal he once kept. But at that moment, Emiya Shirou knew one truth. One does not need to be a hero to reach out to another in need."

With what he believed to be his final breath, Emiya Shirou destroyed the Holy Grail. Devoid of purpose after discarding his ideals, he laid down to die. Through outside intervention, Shirou does not die, but instead awakes in a new world. Now, he who no longer wishes to be a hero will have to forge his path once again, this time in a world in need of heroes.


Heroes, Dreams, and Destiny by Lord of Penguin is a Crossover fic between RWBY and Fate/stay night, in which after being rescued from what should have been his death and sent to Remnant by Zelretch, Shirou is enrolled in Beacon and ends up on a team with Ruby, Yang, and Weiss. As he becomes more involved with the people and problems of Remnant, he finds a new purpose and drive while growing closer to his new teammates, realizing that no matter what, the man known as Emiya Shirou can never turn his back on those in need.


Tropes present in Heroes, Dreams, and Destiny:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Kanshou and Bakuya possess anti-monster properties that enable them to cleanly and easily cut through Grimm. Juuchi Yosamu was a blade of unparalleled sharpness in legend — as a Noble Phantasm, it imparts the concept of "being cut" upon whatever touches its edge, cleanly and effortlessly slicing through anything it touches, even other weapons and the Auras of its victims. Worse still, it spreads the concept of "being cut" through whatever it touches while it remains in contact, cutting every aspect apart from the inside out.
  • The Ace: Shirou quickly establishes himself as an extremely competent fighter, even in comparison to the professors at Beacon. Since he is drawing upon Archer's combat experience and tactics in his battles, he is far more skilled than someone his age ought to be — multiple characters note how he fights less like a gifted student and more like a veteran Huntsman. He also displays his considerable skills in archery, cooking, and even smithing during his time in Remnant.
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  • Almighty Janitor: Shirou is a first-year student, but is already among the most powerful fighters at Beacon, even including the Professors.
  • Anti-Hero: Shirou shows little inclination to fully trust Ozpin even in their first meeting. When Ozpin tries to recruit him for the fight against Salem, Shirou pushes back against his word games and secrecy, and is even willing to go against Ozpin's wishes concerning Salem if it would keep his team safe, because he knows his teammates would almost certainly get killed in any direct confrontation against her.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: When Ozpin decides to tell Shirou about Salem, he finds the idea of someone commanding the Grimm hard to believe. Ozpin calls him out on this, pointing out Shirou knows about the Grimm and has magecraft. Shirou says he's seen them, but has never seen Salem and can't just trust Ozpin's word, though his narration implies he isn't actually disbelieving, but is uncomfortable with how cagey the headmaster is being and is trying to get him to reveal more. Ozpin is only able to convince him by using magic to show Shirou some of his memories of Salem.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Structural Analysis enables Shirou to fully comprehend objects through maintaining physical contact while channeling the spell. His Reality Marble, Unlimited Blade Works, expands that into the ability to instantly understand every aspect of, and almost perfectly replicate, any bladed weapon he sees, enabling him to always detect and comprehend any shape-shifting ability or hidden functions of such weapons. The less it resembles a bladed weapon, however, the less effective a mere glance becomes. His first look at Crescent Rose enables him to copy both the weapon and Ruby's close combat skills with it (but not her marksmanship), while his first look at Crocea Mors also shows him its entire history (which prompts him to judge it on the way to becoming a minor Noble Phantasm). On the other hand, a glance at Ember Celica in bracelet form tells him they can expand into gauntlets that can fire shotgun shells, but nothing else.
    • As a result of inheriting Archer's tactical ability, Shirou can quickly dissect his opponents' combat patterns and put together the most efficient method of defeating them.
    • He later uses Structural Analysis to locate the sensors on Roman's Paladin in an attempt to blind it. Mercury's boot-mounted guns don't register at all to UBW (Shirou detects them by virtue of his experience with Remnant weaponry at that point), and nor do his prosthetic legs (which Shirou does not detect at all). UBW is able to record the full history of Adam's sword Wilt (since it's only a sword), showing Shirou how Adam's Semblance works and all the innocents he has killed - the latter enrages Shirou into charging him, resulting in a fight he wins almost entirely by himself despite Adam having cover fire for most of the battle.
  • Badass Creed: As Shirou hones his magecraft and works towards unlocking his own Reality Marble, he begins to add new lines to his still-incomplete aria that are significantly different from both Archer's and UBW Shirou's. To date:
This body is made of swords
With blood of iron and a heart of glass
Surpassing every limitation, I forge my path

Sacrificing everything, but never grasping victory
  • Being Watched: As in Fate/stay night canon, Shirou's instincts are so sharp that he can sense when he's being watched, which makes it difficult for Emerald to avoid detection when she tries to spy on him.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Although Pyrrha is still doing most of the teaching when it comes to Jaune, Shirou occasionally gives Jaune advice in improving his swordsmanship and helps him sort out his infatuation with Weiss.
  • The Blacksmith: By way of the knowledge he's acquired through Unlimited Blade Works, Shirou is a skilled bladesmith. These skills become a lucrative side gig repairing students' weapons and even creating commissioned weapons (though he isn't able to create any of the hybrid/shape-shifting weapons favored by most Huntsmen and Huntresses). Later on, at Ruby's suggestion, he helps her create a pair of swords that can transform into a bow called Aster. In return, she creates a replica of Kiritsugu's Thompson Contender at his request. He also creates personalized armor sets for Yang and Weiss — they are light enough to not hinder movement and tough enough to stop huge chainsaws cold with no visible damage.
  • Blame Game: According to Zelretch's letter, the Einzberns tried to pin the disaster that was the Fifth Holy Grail War on Rin and Sakura. Zelretch, irritated by this, released the truth of the Grail's corruption and the disasters the family either caused or enabled.
  • Born Unlucky: Shirou seems to have acquired Archer's E-Rank Luck, though this mostly manifests in interactions that we are told of after the fact.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Not only does Shirou have Archer's bow and all the weapons within Unlimited Blade Works, his magecraft is able to reshape swords into arrows (which Archer's bow is specifically designed to be able to use as ammunition). Ruby later designs for him a pair of swords that can mech-shift into a bow, called Aster. The experience of using a weapon specifically designed for him leads him to continue using Aster even though Archer's bow and his array of Noble Phantasms are generally superior.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Several characters observe that Shirou counters his opponents' attacks so quickly that he appears to be predicting them in advance. When asked, he replies that he doesn't actually know — he is doing it subconsciously, and assumes it to be due to Archer's combat experience. This is in line with Archer's Mind's Eye (True) skill, which manifests his vast combat experience as preternatural reflexes and the ability to envision exactly how to win any fight in which any possibility of victory exists.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • As Shirou acquires more of Archer's skills and memories, he adopts more elements of Archer's fighting style and favored tactics such as using explosive and incendiary ammunition directly on living opponents, and collapsing buildings on top of them by destroying the foundations with magic daggers.
    • Yang appears to be adopting tactics like these when she uses an unconscious White Fang grunt as a Human Shield during the battle of Mountain Glenn, among other tactics.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Shirou, as per canon. His experiences in the Fuyuki Fire and the Fifth Holy Grail War have almost completely desensitized him to death and violence, making it easier for him to kill people and speak openly of sacrificing his life. This greatly disturbs his teammates and friends, and even adult Huntsmen find it very out of place in someone so young.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: By limiting his use of Tracing, especially the types of weapons he Traces, Shirou is able to hide it from most of his peers and pass it off as a Semblance to everyone else. After using Dyrnwyn to end the fight at the docks, he tells Ruby, Weiss and Yang the truth about his abilities — they accept his explanation and request to keep it secret. Ozpin appears to accept the cover story they agree on, but clearly knows they're lying, and has suspicions about Shirou's abilities and origins. Shirou uses Tracing much more fully and extensively during the battle at Mountain Glenn. Though they cover up by "explaining" that his Semblance is able to replicate any bladed weapon he's ever seen, its scope still inspires shock and awe in Qrow, Professor Port and JNPR. Among other things, he destroys the train with a Broken Phantasm fired as an arrow (explained as a dangerous experimental weapon they made), cuts off the roused Grimm by collapsing the train tunnel with explosive daggers, and leaves hundreds of Traced swords impaled across the battlefield, many of them pinning or skewering enemies, until he dispels them all.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Seemingly averted thanks to Zelretch's intervention. After being left in Remnant, Shirou discovers that rather than being slowly killed by Archer's arm invading his soul and uncontrollably manifesting swords inside his body, he is able to access the Magic Circuits of Archer's arm without drawbacks, at the cost of not having full access to Archer's memories and arsenal — not yet, anyway.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Due to the influence of Archer's arm, Shirou inadvertently inherits some of his personality traits, such as his sarcasm. It becomes more pronounced during his hangover after drinking with Taiyang or when talking with Qrow (he seems to particularly enjoy teasing Qrow, much to the Huntsman's ire).
  • Demoted to Extra: Blake's spot in what would have been Team RWBY has been taken by Shirou, making it Team RXSE (read as Rose: Rose, Xiao Long, Schnee, Emiya). Rather than abandon Adam during an operation as she did in canon RWBY, she abruptly leaves the White Fang in the dead of night, totally undetected. Instead of seeking a new life as a Huntress, Blake became an informant, gathering intel on White Fang operations from other disgruntled members and forwarding that knowledge to Beacon. She appears here and there in the fic (though not explicitly named until Adam's death scene in Chapter 25) and is often seen with a cloak and mask. Her encounters with Team RXSE have mostly been rough sailing since she doesn't really trust them and Ruby's naivete annoys her — however, Shirou's display at the docks impressed and intimidated her, and she suspects that he has yet to truly cut loose and show his full power.
  • The Dying Walk: After Shirou stabs Adam with Juuchi Yosamu, and then blows up the train he was attempting to flee on (the one meant to breach Vale's walls), Adam slowly bleeds out and becomes increasingly delirious before succumbing to his wounds and dying as he attempts to escape the tunnels of Mountain Glenn.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Shirou runs into several situations where he has to unleash powerful Noble Phantasms to address unexpected threats, often using weapons Archer had access to that were not seen in Fate/stay night canon. So far, we've seen Dyrnwyn unleash its true power in response to Shirou's desire to protect his teammates at the docks, the armor of Achilles fully protect against Adam's Semblance-boosted slash as Shirou turned his back to shoot down a Paladin attacking Weiss with Hrunting, and Juuchi Yosamu effortlessly cut through Adam's Semblance attacks and Aura, cleanly bisect Wilt AND Blush in single slashes each, and destroy an entire train after being turned into a Broken Phantasm and shot as an arrow.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Oobleck's research into Shirou's condition of having two Aura colors results in the detection of Shirou's Magic Circuits, which Oobleck designates as "Aura Channels". Glynda's observations of Shirou in combat lead the Beacon staff to assume that his Aura flows internally through his Channels instead of manifesting as an external barrier like it does for everyone else. They believe studying Shirou's physiology will help them find a solution to Amber's condition. All of these conclusions are wrong.
    • Ozpin rejects a potential explanation for Shirou's physiology - a genetic mutation creating a link between the body and the soul — on account of believing such a thing to be impossible. That is actually exactly what Magic Circuits are.
    • Even after Zelretch all but confirms his involvement in Shirou's presence at Beacon, Ozpin still doesn't make the connection that Shirou is from another world (even though he knows that Zelretch regularly hops between worlds) and initially assumes that the reason his "Aura" functions so differently is because of something Zelretch did to him. He eventually cottons on and suspects that Shirou, like Zelretch, is from another world altogether.
    • Upon realizing that he has detected magic in Mt. Glenn, Shirou assumes that the bird from which it emanates is either a magus or its familiar. It is actually Raven in her bird form, and her Maiden powers are different from magecraft.
  • Exact Words: Shirou's claim of being "self-taught" when asked about his skills is technically not an untrue statement — he acquired them through Archer's arm, learning them from an alternate future version of himself — but is very obviously not what the term is intended to mean. When asked about aspects of his background and unusual constitution, he likewise offers technically true statements, evasive non-answers, or vague explanations that lead others to fill in the blanks. Taiyang is the first to openly challenge the idea that Shirou was self-taught, leading him to describe Archer to Tai as an unwilling teacher who left Shirou with a pile of knowledge and weapons that he had to figure out what to do with on his own — which is a technically correct but vague and distorted way to describe what Archer's arm does.
  • Everyone Can See It: Yang regularly teases Jaune about Pyrrha, Nora has been urging her to shove him into a locker and get in with him, and even Ruby and Shirou seem aware of their Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Evil Weapon: Juuchi Yosamu bears the Curse of Muramasa, which afflicts its wielders with mounting, eventually uncontrollable bloodlust. Shirou's distorted mindset and Affinity and Origin of "sword" enable him to resist the blade's curse far better than normal humans, but by the end of the fight at Mountain Glenn, when he finally lets it go by changing it into an arrow and using it to destroy the train meant to suicide-bomb Vale, his eyes are completely bloodshot, he is seeing almost entirely red, and the blade's whispers are filling his thoughts, forcing him to temporarily turn his mind to steel to withstand the curse.
  • Eye Colour Change: As Shirou's convictions begin to form anew, his eyes occasionally change from their usual gold to Archer's steel-grey when he is meditating or using magecraft. When Adam attacks Ruby after blasting Shirou into a collapsing building, Shirou snaps and his eyes change, this time for more than just a few seconds. Adam finds his totally emotionless countenance and eyes of hardened steel transfixing. After the fighting at Mt. Glenn, Shirou discovers that his gold eyes now have flecks of Archer's grey in them, another side effect of his magecraft.
  • Foil:
    • Ruby and Shirou. Both are young teenagers skilled in combat and both received a personal invitation from Ozpin to attend Beacon. Both also idolize the idea of being heroes, but where Shirou is badly traumatized by his past and has come to accept the impossibility of that ideal due to his experiences in the Grail War, Ruby wants to be a hero for simpler, more childish reasons, and still clings to the notion of everyone having a happy ending. Shirou has a nigh-uncountable arsenal (including some extremely powerful artifacts), can faithfully recreate said weapons out of thin air and duplicate the original wielders' skills, and instantly comprehends and memorizes everything about any blade he sees, while Ruby made her own transforming hybrid weapon, specializes in only its use, and is fascinated by nearly every weapon she sees. Where Ruby is hyperactive, not well-mannered and sometimes immature, Shirou is reserved, polite, disciplined and diligent. And where Ruby has never killed and hesitates to leave even enemies to likely deaths, Shirou had to kill Saber and Sakura and will not hesitate to kill, suffer, or even die, if he believes it's the only way to assure the safety of his friends. In many of their early interactions, he treats her like a little sister, patiently indulging her enthusiasm and childishness while ensuring she studies and eats properly.
    • Shirou and Cinder. They are both magic wielding warriors who use dual swords and a bow as their weapons of choice. They both received their magic from outside sources (Cinder stole hers from the previous Fall Maiden, while Shirou gained his from Archer's arm, which was given to him while he was unconscious). But where Cinder uses her abilities for her own selfish desires, Shirou uses his abilities solely for the sake of helping or saving others. The coincidence in their preferred armaments is not lost on Cinder, which is part of why she wants him to be watched closely (his involvement in foiling Roman's heists is the primary reason).
    • Ozpin and Zelretch. The two of them are ancient Wizards and have a tendency to manipulate people for their own ends. But where Ozpin is incredibly serious about his duties, Zelretch has less regard for formalities, which includes a penchant for finding creative ways to needle Ozpin. Where Zelretch is more willing to allow people to act on their own accord and often secretly keeps tabs on his "projects", Ozpin puts greater effort into making sure people make the choices he wants them to and makes little effort to hide himself in the process.
    • Shirou and Ozpin. Chapter 28 highlights their skill at word games, penchant for withholding information, and cynicism from their traumatic experiences. Both of them are among the few wielders of magic on Remnant, and both have been in a romantic relationship with a woman who eventually became a threat to humanity that they had to fight against. Shirou succeeded at dire cost in the frantic and short timespan of the Holy Grail War, while Ozpin has lost much over his many years and is still locked in a stalemate.
    • Archer and Ozpin. Though Archer is "gone" by the fic's beginning, his influence is prominent throughout Shirou's journey and still plays a great role in his decisions and actions. Both of them are tasked with defending humanity by higher forces, have had their idealism crushed by their trials and are looking for an end to their torment. However, while Archer eventually came to terms with himself and his choices, Ozpin still hasn't found closure and continues to struggle.
    • Salem and Sakura. Shirou can't help but notice Salem's resemblance to his deceased lover. Both of them grew up in controlling and abusive households, and their only salvation was in the first man to show them any kindness, whom they fell in love with. Because of their abusive histories, they grew extremely dependent on their lovers to the point that each would break without them. Due to dark mystical forces and their own negative emotions, each of them came to despise their world and became threats to humanity. However, Sakura eventually came to her senses, asked Shirou to kill her to stop her unwilling rampage, and died peacefully beside her sister. Salem is still trying to destroy her world, and shows no signs of stopping, nor of wanting to be stopped.
  • For Want of a Nail: Several of the events that took place during the Grail War differ from the canon Heaven's Feel route. The most important difference was that Shirou was unable to retrieve Rule Breaker from Archer's arm to save Sakura, forcing him to instead kill her to prevent Angra Mainyu from manifesting and destroying all life on Earth. Smaller differences include Kirei being killed prior to the failed final attempt to save Sakura, Gilgamesh unexpectedly showing up on the final day of the war and attacking Saber Alter in a rage before dying, Rider being killed by Saber Alter, and Rin being killed by Dark Sakura. These accumulated differences leave Shirou without a reason to continue living even if he had survived. The loss of all his ties makes him a perfect candidate for Zelretch's purposes.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Upon joining Beacon, Shirou becomes embroiled in two rivalries where the other individual is much more enthusiastic about fighting him than he is. As his unique variety of skills and superior experience become exposed, their interest in fighting him increases mostly accordingly. For his part, Shirou still has yet to use Tracing in any public duel at Beacon, though the most common rumors as to his "Semblance" are fairly close to the truth.
  • Heroic Vow: Upon hearing why Shirou is so recklessly selfless and unafraid of pain and death, Ruby vows that she'll fix him by changing his unhealthy and dangerous mindset. Shirou doubts he'll ever change, but doesn't object to the unlikely scenario where she succeeds.
  • Hope Bringer: Shirou for Ozpin as of Chapter 28. Ozpin believes that because Shirou is from another world with powers alien to Remnant and completely outside of the Brother Gods' design, he may just be capable of destroying Salem, which Ozpin has believed to be impossible for millennia.
  • Hurting Hero: Shirou saved his world but was forced to kill Sakura and failed to save anyone else he loved. His character development throughout the fic is about him healing as he slowly opens up to his new teammates, and redeveloping his convictions as he eventually comes to terms with what happened in his Grail War.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: As Shirou unlocks more of Archer's memories, he gains access to several Noble Phantasms from Archer's Unlimited Blade Works that were not seen in Fate/stay night canon. So far, these "new" additions include the Aegis (clothing that protects against magic), the armor of Achilles, Dyrnwyn, Kusanagi, Ascalon, and Juuchi Yosamu. Other weapons that he "acquired" from Gilgamesh are mentioned in passing.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: To avoid attention in general (particularly to prevent people from realizing that his abilities are not native to Remnant), Shirou refrains from Tracing weapons in the open, Reinforcing himself too strongly, or using any abilities that couldn't pass as Aura empowerment or a Semblance. He even decides to stop his first fight with Pyrrha by forfeit once he realizes that the only way to beat her would be to show more strength, speed or abilities than he's already demonstrated. Even with these self-imposed limitations, he's still one of the best fighters at Beacon, easily besting everyone except for Pyrrha, whom he goes toe-to-toe with — when he later forces a draw with her in a Combat class duel, it causes such a stir that it's the thing most people (including Coco, Taiyang, and Cinder) best know him for.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Ozpin recalls the last time Zelretch visited, he dropped off sentient coffee beans the size of apples that literally begged to be processed into coffee, and continued speaking even after being brewed. For the next visit, Zelretch brings Kopi Luwak and Black Ivory blends.. Nonethless, he is shown to be enjoying the brew in Chapter 27, remarking on its "unique taste".
  • I Did What I Had to Do: During the debriefing for the joint mission at Mt. Glenn, 27 deaths of White Fang members are confirmed, almost all of them caused by Shirou. Shirou simply replies that he didn't have the luxury of ensuring his attacks were non-lethal. On their way back to their rooms, Pyrrha voices her concern about his desensitized reaction, and Yang explains that Shirou has lived a harder life than the rest of them. Weiss believes that he killed so many to protect them because they weren't ready for life-or-death fights, and wants them all to better prepare by training with Shirou.
  • Ironic Death: Adam's murderous zeal is in part the result of being branded over his eye with the initials for the Schnee Dust Company. Schnee translates to "snow", and Adam is killed by Juuchi Yosamu, which is Japanese for "Ten-Thousand Cold Nights".
  • Killing Intent: When Shirou stops Cardin's bullying of Velvet in the cafeteria, he subconsciously releases prana tinged with his anger, filling the air with a dread-inspiring chill and utterly terrifying Cardin. He explains it away as a 'killing intent' palpable to others nearby — Shirou considers it a shoddy lie, but his teammates and JNPR readily accept it as both an explanation and the first sign that Shirou is holding back his full capabilities. Nora's first reaction is to demand to be taught how to do it, before she then names it a "Super Shirou power" and wonders if others using it would cause their hair to stand up and turn blond (or in Jaune's case, blue).
  • Multicolored Hair: Perhaps as a result of whatever Zelretch did to his connection to Archer's arm before dumping him in Remnant, Shirou has a streak of Archer's white in his red hair. He also makes mention of the fact that his magecraft will eventually change more of his hair to that same white and after the battle at Mt. Glenn, where he was forced to make extensive use of Tracing and Reinforcement, a full fourth of his hair has turned white.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: One of the first things Yang says to Shirou when she first meets him. She's surprised to learn he was actually looking at her weapon (Shirou, of course, initially has no idea why she'd think otherwise).
  • Nice Guy: When Weiss points out that Shirou's overly accommodating nature will lead to others taking advantage of him (something Ruby often did at that point), Shirou shrugs it off, as he doesn't mind at all. His offer to repair a fellow student's weapon turns into a side gig because his skill was so in demand that people started offering to pay for his services — while he wasn't initially willing to accept payment, practical needs eventually won out.
  • The Nicknamer: Yang hands out at least one to nearly everyone, and Qrow also refers to very few people by their actual names. Aside from the many nicknames that originate from RWBY, for Shirou specifically we've heard Handsome (Yang's first and favored nickname for him, and one he is not fond of), Forge Fairy, Magic Boy, Magic Fingers, and Hawkeye (from Qrow, after he counter-sniped White Fang sentries undetected, in the darkness of night, inside Mount Glenn's underground city).
  • The Nose Knows: Shirou, like most magi from the Nasuverse, has the innate ability to sense magical phenomena — in his case, not only is said ability extremely strong, it registers in his mind as a scent. Aura and Semblances do not trigger this sense, but large pools of magic — like those possessed by the Maidens — do. During his close encounters with Cinder in Beacon, he detects her half of the Fall Maiden powers as a faint whiff of smoke and ash, though he doesn't recognize it as magic at the time. When in Mt. Glenn, he detects Raven's Spring Maiden powers as the smell of fresh grass and ozone, which leads him to realize that magic exists on Remnant because such scents should not exist in a barren underground city. He does eventually detect Ozpin's magic by its "scent of age" but because his magic has grown weak, Shirou has to actively focus to detect it.
  • The One Guy: Shirou is the only male on a team with Ruby, Yang, and Weiss. So far, they've managed to avoid any of the usual shenanigans associated with such an arrangement.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Shirou for everyone on Remnant due to being from a different world and possessing powers no one else understands. It is for this exact reason that Ozpin believes Shirou is the key to defeating Salem, as he is completely outside of even the Gods' design, and thus is capable of things that would otherwise be impossible on Remnant.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The fic starts off with a unique bad end of the Heaven's Feel route where Shirou succeeds in destroying the Grail but fails to save Sakura or anyone he else he cares about. Some of these losses are averted when Zelretch later sends him a letter saying Illya is still alive, has been made his apprentice, and is being given treatments to fix her shortened lifespan, which all greatly heartens Shirou.
  • The Reveal: After using Dyrnwyn to destroy five Bullheads with one fiery slash, Shirou explains the true nature of his abilities and magecraft to his teammates. He's able to convince them — Ruby readily embraces the ideas and wants to see as many of his weapons as she can, while Weiss is eager to learn as much about magecraft as Shirou can teach, developing an interest in legends and fairy tales that might be connected to magic.
  • Runaway Train: The bomb-laden train that breached Vale's walls in RWBY Volume 2 barely leaves Mount Glenn before being destroyed by Shirou with Juuchi Yosamu (Altered into a Broken Phantasm arrow). He fires it into the train, piercing through every car until it reaches the lead car and detonates, utterly destroying the train and its payload and caving in the tunnels around the tracks.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shirou was already this due to the fire that Kiritsugu rescued him from as a child, but the events of the Holy Grail War add a new layer: he killed Sakura to stop her from becoming the Lesser Grail. Early on, Yang accidentally sets him off by touching his face while teasing him, causing him to react very badly and briefly relive Sakura's dying moments, when she touched his face as she thanked him for "saving" her.
  • Ship Tease:
  • Shipper on Deck: While sizing up their peers during initiation at Beacon, Yang judges Shirou an ideal potential friend and partner for Ruby, to the point that she seems to have no reservations about the possibility of them eventually becoming something more. Nora surreptitiously takes a few pictures of Ruby clinging to Shirou's shoulder while zoning out, and is exasperated with Pyrrha not making a move on Jaune despite Nora having urged her to do so.
  • Shout-Out: Jaune offers an inverted version of Emu Hojo's "I'll clear this without any continues" while losing to Ruby in a fighting game, stating that he will be using continues.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: During the debriefing after Mount Glenn, Qrow all but laughs at how idealistic most of the kids are about being Huntsman and bluntly tells them that, sometimes, killing your enemies may ultimately be the best solution, even if you can capture them. Conversely, he approves of Shirou's more ruthless tactics, which included demolishing buildings to crush them in the rubble and skewering them with remotely launched Projections.
  • Smart Ball: During a moment spent thinking about his peers' combat styles and their relation to their abilities and inclinations, Jaune realizes that the only one who doesn't fit that mold is Shirou — where he sees how others favor brute force (Yang/Nora), speed (Ruby), or precision and caution (Pyrrha, Ren, Weiss), each in accordance with their personalities and Semblances, Shirou shows incredible skills but no overarching style he can discern, and certainly not one that matches his apparent personality. He describes it as looking at a piece of glass, seeing everything except for the item itself. Given that much of Shirou's ability derives from Archer and the accumulated experience Unlimited Blade Works has copied, and that his Aria speaks of a "heart of glass", it's a very accurate insight from someone whose own combat skills have a ways to go to catch up.
  • Spotting the Thread: A comedic example. Ozpin figured out that Shirou was from another world because he recognized the Black Ivory coffee Zelretch had given to Ozpin — Black Ivory doesn't exist on Remnant.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Shirou designs and creates arrows filled with Dust that provide added punch and various secondary effects. His skill with archery is rare in Remnant due to the prevalence of Dust ammunition and hybrid weapons, but proves extremely versatile and potent even before considering the option of Broken Phantasms. Later on, he helps Ruby create a pair of swords that can collectively mech-shift into a bow.
  • Supreme Chef: Shirou, as per Fate canon. Though he doesn't get many chances to cook, his culinary skills haven't rusted — those who have the chance to eat his cooking have nothing but praise, with Yang swearing that it all shines with a golden aura. As he gets sucked into the food fight that originally kicked off RWBY Volume 2, his inner thoughts are rife with commentary on the state of the food being used as weapons.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: While observing Adam's recovered corpse, Qrow remarks that the branding on his face gave him a much better reason to wear a mask than his compatriots, and makes it obvious why they would hate the SDC in particular. Shirou is likewise repulsed, even if it doesn't improve his low opinion about the man himself.
  • Teens Are Short: Played straight with Shirou, as in canon RWBY the average height of male teens seems to be a smidge over 6 feet, while adults are well over that. Shirou is just below the average Japanese height of about 5'6", barely making him one head taller than the shortest members of the cast.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Ruby at Mountain Glenn. She and Weiss face off against the White Fang Lieutenant and at the end of the fight, Ruby — not realizing how depleted his Aura was — shoots him in the head with Crescent Rose, killing him instantly. She freezes up in horror, forcing Weiss to drag her to safety when a Paladin ambushes them. This continues to bother her for several days after, and it takes a late-night conversation with Qrow and an encounter with Shirou to help her settle down.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Shirou's access to Archer's memories (including the weapons in Archer's arsenal) is incomplete, and he discovers that the best way to access more of Archer's weapons and skills is meditation. As time passes, he continues to add more techniques and weapons to his already-considerable repertoire, many of which should help with certain impending events RWBY fans are familiar with and/or see use in a crucial moment.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The pendant Rin used to revive Shirou at the beginning of the Holy Grail War fits this category due to her death in the events prior to the beginning of this fic. He recovers it along with the Shroud of Martin in a package from Zelretch at the end of Chapter 25.
  • Training from Hell: Weiss, Ruby and Yang ask Shirou for this at the end of Chapter 28, after being debriefed on Mt. Glenn. Weiss convinces them to do it because she believes that Shirou was forced to kill so many people at Mt. Glenn due to their inability to handle themselves in intense combat situations. Shirou responds in the next chapter with a 3-on-1 spar where he fights much more seriously, pushing them to their limits.
  • Trick Arrow: Early on, Shirou creates several types of Dust-filled arrows for use as specialty projectiles. So far he's created explosive, firestorm, ice, gravity, lightning and frag arrows.
  • Villain Respect: Adam Taurus actually praises Shirou's swordsmanship and remarks that if he had been a faunus, he would have been an excellent addition to the White Fang. Shirou replies that he would never have considered the offer.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: It's implied in chapter 28 that after seeing Shirou in action at Mountain Glenn, Raven becomes interested in his abilities, to the point that she tells Qrow she's no longer interested in watching Yang.
  • Wham Line: In Chapter 27, after weeks of deliberation about Zelretch's warnings, Ozpin simply confronts Shirou directly.
    Ozpin: Tell me, Mr. Emiya, does the name "Kaleidoscope" mean anything to you?
  • Witch Species:
    • Aura scanners read two colors to Shirou's "Aura", one of the first reasons he attracts Ozpin's interest — he suspects that Shirou having two Auras did not occur naturally (little does he know he's right). In-depth scans detect Shirou's Magic Circuits, christened "Aura Channels", and trace his two "Auras" to different parts of his body. All of these findings are unprecedented, even to Ozpin's knowledge, and are deemed an even higher secret than the Maidens. Shirou feigns ignorance when presented with these findings since the truth is even crazier.
    • Ironically, one of the big reasons Shirou has kept his origins secret is briefly discussed by Ozpin, Glynda and Oobleck — though they believe further testing may reveal even more, none involved want to start experimenting on him. Similarly, one of the reasons they keep their findings on Shirou top-secret is that Ironwood and Atlas would likely trip over themselves in a scramble to "study" him.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Shirou. Due to his traumatic experiences from the Fuyuki Fire, the Holy Grail War, and inheriting Archer's memories through his arm, he is far more mature and insightful than his age would suggest. Even Ozpin is surprised by Shirou being cunning enough to be able to pick up on Ozpin's word games and play his own.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Played for laughs, but during the break between semesters, Yang is finally able to land a punch on Shirou. Too bad it was because he was suffering from a hangover.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Shirou's magecraft. His first read on Semblances makes him think of Reality Marbles, as both are manifestations of the person's soul (but are otherwise very different). When he first explains to his teammates the true nature of his abilities, they first react with disbelief and confusion, but soon accept his explanations, and the existence of magecraft, as the truth. None of them think to question how he has seen hundreds of thousands of different weapons, including several Noble Phantasms. When he senses Raven's Spring Maiden powers, he believes it to be magecraft of some kind, and is unsure of exactly what the bird-like thing he detects is.


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