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Fanfic / The Hill of Swords

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The Hill of Swords is a completed crossover fic between Fate/stay night and The Familiar of Zero by Gabriel Blessing, wherein Louise summons Shirou EMIya (partial caps intended) as her Familiar.

Afterwards, the events begins to roll the same way than in the novels of Familiar of Zero, but with an important twist: the summoned Shirou is from after a hybrid Fate/Unlimited Blade Works route and is very well on his way to becoming his future Anti-Hero self. Broken, bitter and cynical, Shirou will search for the blond swordwoman on the hill of swords...

It ends up becoming more serious than the original The Familiar of Zero. The dynamic between Shirou and Louise is different from her original familiar and those who disliked the harem dynamics of Zero no Tsukaima will be glad to know that is all that has been cut out, except for the Rule of Funny.

Note well: as is the case with Gabriel Blessing's following major work, this fic is very divisive: its Fandom will gush over it and explain (in great detail) why they enjoy it, while its Hatedom will go to similarly great lengths in justifying their dislike of it. Please recite the MST3K Mantra before reading.

This Fan Fic is regarded as having revived the concept of "Let's have Louise summon a totally different person than Saito!"

See In Flight for Gabriel Blessing's later work.

Tropes contained in The Hill of Swords:

  • Above the Influence: Shirou is all but immune to anyone's attempts to seduce him, whether they do so under the influence of a (very illegal) Love Potion or their own choice.
  • Agent Peacock: Guiche grows into this due to Shirou giving him Training from Hell.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Shirou in dealing with the Great Water Spirit during the Love Potion incident.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Shirou has likened Louise's experiments in knitting to tentacle monsters.
    "So when I had come into the room one night, all unaware, and found what looked like some kind of strange yarn composed tentacle monstrosity apparently attempting to devour my little Master I had reacted by attacking it with Derflinger. After the dust had settled, she had explained that the strange abomination was supposed to be a sweater. I had explained that sweater or not, the Root be damned thing had nearly won the battle anyway. Louise hadn't taken me pointing out that little fact very well at all."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Henrietta brings up that there hasn't been a Void user in centuries, Shirou suggests that because so little is known about Void magic, there might have been several, even hundreds of Void users who were mistaken for failures like Louise was, and accordingly never learned to utilize their Void magic.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Derflinger's response after Shirou kills Myoznitnirn with Unlimited Blade Works in chapter 22.
    "Your boot is unlaced?" the sword asked me, its voice incredulous. "You show me magic so powerful that it recreated existence, and blades so strong that they're leaving me feeling a little inadequate, and at the end of it all you tell her her boot is unlaced?"
  • Ax-Crazy: Shirou has a brief, hilarious moment of this in chapter 17. See Rage Against the Heavens below.
  • Back from the Dead: Shirou. Much to his anger.
  • Badass Boast: Shirou says the following lines after casting UBW during his last fight with Myoznitnirn.
    Shirou: "This is what you face now, Myoznitnirn," I told her, my own rage returning, though now it was cold. This battle had moved beyond the point where it was just two foes who hated each other battling to the death. This was now a match between one who had brought an army, and one who had matched that army. "Swords are not enough to win this battle? What you face now is an unlimited number of them: peerless weapons, wielded by heroes and villains, the great and the small alike. An unlimited armory of blades stands before you."
    • And before that, he gets this gem off:
    Shirou: "Walk away? Why would I do that? I'm going to walk over you, Myoznitnirn. I'm going to grind my boot into the back of your dead skull when I do so. And then I'm going to find your Master, wherever he is, and send him to join you."
  • Badass Creed: The UBW chant.
    "I am the bone of my sword.
    Steel is my body, and fire is my blood.
    I have created over a thousand blades.
    Unaware of loss, Nor aware of gain.
    Withstood pain to create weapons, waiting for one's arrival.
    I have no regrets, this is the only path.
    All my life had been: Unlimited Blade Works."
  • Badass Fingersnap:
    In a move I stole straight from Gilgamesh, I raised my left hand in the air as I turned away, focused once more on my destination, and I snapped my fingers once. Above me the gears of my soul hung in the sky churned once with a noise like the heartbeat of god. And from the sky a rain of silver flung itself down upon my foes.
  • Becoming the Mask: Originally, Shirou and Henrietta used rumors of a romance between them (which they themselves created for this very purpose) in order to justify serving under her without betraying his oaths. Henrietta eventually ends up falling in love with him for real.
  • Berserk Button: If you hurt, or even threaten to hurt Louise or any of his friends, Shirou will not even let you live long enough to regret it.
  • Better than Sex: Shirou offers Agnes "some fun" after they finish the next wineskin. When she asks just what he means, he replies that there's another band of mercenaries nearby.
    Agnes: "You lead a girl on thinking she's going to get some action, and then you turn around and offer something even better! You charmer you."
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the epilogue, after many more adventures, and five summon contracts later, Shirou EMIya dies and is finally reunited with Saber while Louise begins to walk on her own path.
  • Big Brother Mentor: After some bumps along the road this is what Shirou became to Louise, among his other roles. At some point she says that he is like a strange bloodthirsty older brother. She respects his experience and knowledge and is always willing to listen to his advice, they are friendly and often tease each other. Shirou also dies at the end and Louise inherits Derflinger along with Shirou's abilities. It's debatable if she was living in his shadow the whole time, since it's implied that he was a fairly famous person.
  • Black Comedy: The bit where Shirou explains his cruelty towards orcs. Orcs eat babies. See this? This is baby fat.
  • Black Magician Girl: Louise spends the entire story becoming one.
  • Brain Bleach: Louise asks Shirou to cut her eyes out after seeing her sister acting out a sexual fantasy while calling Shirou's name.
  • Break the Cutie: As a result of the dream cycle, Louise has been witnessing the many battles Shirou fought in back on Earth in all their glory, horror, and heartache.
  • Break the Haughty: Shirou does not take Eleonore's physical abuse of Louise well, and in chapter 13, threatens to kill her if she ever attempts to do so again after demonstrating that he is both willing and more than capable of doing so.
    "In the future," I spoke, my voice unconcerned, "please be advised that if you attempt to use magic against me again, I will simply kill you where you stand. Also, in regards to your failed engagement: the reason the Earl of Burgandi called it off is because you are a relentless harpy that would no doubt destroy his soul through your incessant and ruthless badgering. If you ever desire to find yourself a man I would advise you somehow manage to find a way to stop being such a heartless shrew."
    • While it succeeded in stopping the abuse, it had another unintended effect that he really doesn't want to think about.
    • Actually this is Shirou's default course of action to all Haughties, bordering on Bright Slap, he first breaks the Haughty by either physical or psychological means, or a mix of both, and then beats them into shape, turning them into a Badass man or woman that can then stand on their own. That he only does the first part here - forcing Eleonore to accept that she needs to change and that she can't manage this on her own - but then Shirou fails to follow through with the rest of the co-dependent relationship does make Eleonore's subsequent fixation and harassment seem almost justified.
  • Brick Joke: After several chapters' worth of absence, the Running Gag of Shirou being assaulted by reptiles returns in Chapter 13.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Shirou's principle is not to talk during fights, but during his fight with Myoznitnirn, he never raised his voice speaking casually the whole fight.
  • Chef of Iron: Shirou will make a meal that will make Zelretch, the Root of the World, and the Water Spirit purr with delight, and then will go and slaughter gigantic golems protected by Forcefields with one of his Wave Motion Swords.
  • Character Development: In spades. Shirou starts out as a Knight in Sour Armor who is well on his way to becoming Archer, but slowly comes out of his shell and starts softening as the story continues, while Louise goes from the Bratty Half-Pint she was in the original series to a strong, confident young woman who is actually likable as both a character and a person.
    • Guiche as well. He goes from blowhard fop to badass Magic Knight. It's especially noteworthy when Shirou remarks how surprised he is that Guiche hasn't taken advantage of having so many fangirls and Guiche is honestly confused as to why he'd do that; it might ruin his relationship with Montmorency.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Shirou mentions the idea of using Rule Breaker on himself in the first chapter. Guess what he uses in his final battle with Sheffield in Chapter 22?
  • Chick Magnet: Shirou, of course. As Malicorne puts it:
    "Two women at once, another at the castle, and that whole inn back in the city! You just have women falling out of the sky for you!"
    • And then one DOES fall out of the sky for him. Thank you, Irukukuu.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Shirou qualifies as both Multi-Melee Master and Multi-Ranged Master, as he can trace any weapon he has ever seen, and possibly has several thousand weapons in his arsenal.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Shirou takes a rather disturbing delight in killing and mutilating orcs. This is mainly due to their apparent habit of raiding villages for food, however, with the food in question being human children.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While this is mainly Agnes' forte, Shirou is capable of fighting this way. It helps him in defeating Myoznitnirn.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Slicing up orcs and letting them bleed out is giggle-worthy, amirite, Shiro?
  • Covert Pervert: Louise and Siesta have become friends in this timeline, and often spend their time together reading steamy romance novels. Louise's eldest sister Eleonore not only reads the same raunchy novels, but is also a closet masochist!
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Shirou himself believes he is a bad influence on Louise, so much so that he takes advantage of his death at Saxe-Gotha and unwilling revival to go into hiding, to give the now-Servantless Louise time to grieve for him with her friends and family. That doesn't last a month or so.
    • Every time Shirou goes into his Darth Shirou Mode he gains a powerful ability to corrupt and demoralize those around him, like turning Montmorency into the tool of his vengeance or almost convincing Kirche that by joining him she could wear sexy outfits she wanted and have sex-slaves.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Shirou will occasionally make these. Some of them are familiar to Type-Moon fans, others are completely unknown.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Guiche learns the hard way not to pick on Shirou after challenging him to a duel.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Sylphid/Irukukuu doing the 'little sister routine' is so Moe that anyone who witnesses it suffers a mental overload.
  • Cuteness Overload: Anyone's mind takes a vacation when when Sylphid hits them with too much Moe at once. Not even the hardened Shirou is immune.
  • Death Seeker: Shirou, to the extent that he is actually really, really upset when he miraculously manages to survive a Heroic Sacrifice suicide charge. The reason why:
    And as he stood upon the battlefields, she thought back to his oath: to be reunited with his love upon a hill of swords. To be reunited with his lover. His lover was dead. And it was only through battle that he could finally join her again. When he too was dead.
    • After being revived by Tiffania, he clearly states that at that moment, he really, REALLY hated her. He rather notably never thanks her for what she did, internally or to her face.
      Shirou's narration (after being revived by Tiffania): And in that moment, I had never hated anything as fiercely as I did her.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: This post-Fate/stay night Shirou has been through several wars and lost all of his friends prior the story.
  • Deflector Shields: As in Nasu canon, Rho Aias takes the form of a 7-layered energy shield.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Played straight with Guiche, who seeks lessons in swordsmanship from Shirou after getting curb-stomped in their duel. A rather twisted version involving Louise's sister Eleonore could accurately be described as "Death Threat Equals Love at First Punch", as she starts carrying a torch for Shirou after he lays down the law regarding her abusive treatment of Louise.
  • Demoted to Extra: Apart from several chapters after her introduction, Tiffania has no appearances until the epilogue. This is because unlike in canon, she stays in her orphanage instead of joining Tristain Academy.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Shirou is this to the survivors of the Battle of Saxe-Gotha. To the extent that one of their terms of surrender was that Henrietta "call him off".
    • Siesta's Frying Pan of Doom in Chapter 16.
    • Shirou has evidently met Aozaki Aoko, a.k.a. The Blue, and is so utterly, absolutely terrified of her that he thinks speaking about her for more than a few seconds will end up summoning her.
  • Determinator: Played hilariously straight. Shirou really wants to chop that wood in Chapter 15, don't he? And you thought he was going after Tiffania especially after the end of the previous chapter.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Shirou gets hit by this a few times, being from an entirely different society in a different technological level, never mind the whole "being a summoned Servant for the Grail Wars" thing.
  • Dirty Business: After rescuing Tabitha and her mother, Shirou realizes that the very guards they drugged will likely be sent after them and thus kills everyone in the castle.
  • Dissimile: When Louise ponders about making Shirou angry again. As she puts it:
    "It was like staring down an angry big sister Eleanor. An angry big sister Eleanor that could also summon monstrously powerful weapons capable of devastating entire castles."
  • Distant Finale: After chapter 22, the story is finished by showing how everyone involved has ended up, with Shirou finally reaching the Hill of Swords for good and Louise going off to continue living her life as one of Tristain's defenders.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Henrietta manages to pull this off twice in order to get away from guards after she stages her own kidnapping.
  • Dual Wielding: Shirou prefers Kanshou & Bakuya when not wielding Derflinger.
  • Dying Alone: Initially this was how Shirou predicted he would die.
    I released a long breath, the plume of frost drifting away and disbursing as I gathered my thoughts. "Some time ago, I was given a glimpse of the future that awaited me," I began. "I was shown how I would die. Since that day, I have always known that I would fall alone, against a vastly superior force, in the defense of many others, and that my final resting place would be on an empty hill, surrounded by buried swords."
  • Eldritch Abomination: Louise's knitting, according to those who witness the end result of her work.
  • Ensign Newbie: Guiche during the invasion of Albion, as in canon. Fortunately, thanks to Shirou's Training from Hell, he is more prepared for the position here.
  • Empathic Weapon: Derflinger, obviously.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Broken Phantasms, where Shirou deliberately overcharges one of his phantasms to magnify its strength, at the cost of that phantasm breaking.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Shirou and Henrietta during a stealthy excursion to fool some guards.
  • First-Person Smartass: Shirou. He's pretty close to being Archer in terms of cynicism, so it comes naturally.
  • Field of Blades: Unlimited Blade Works, obviously.
  • Fix Fic: Could be considered one for The Familiar of Zero in some ways.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Somewhat. Halfway through the fic, it becomes apparent that a Bittersweet Ending was not only the only ending that would make sense, but also the only true "happy" ending.
  • From a Certain Point of View: When Shirou teaches Louise about the Master/Servant dynamic and how it differs from the Master/Familiar arrangement she's used to, he glosses over certain details, such as the fact that human summons are generally done with Heroic Spirits, not living human beings.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Siesta has one, called by this exact name. If Shirou is to be believed, she can surround it with eldritch energies from the darkest reaches of the universe.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
  • Funny Background Event: While Shirou explains the Dragonslayer sword to Louise, Kirche keeps trying to participate in the roleplaying she thinks Shirou and Tabitha were doing.
  • Gecko Ending: The story only adapts up to the conflict with Joseph and his familiar, i.e. the anime's third season. This is due to the fact most if not all of the post-third season Light Novels weren't (and a few still aren't) fan-translated, and at the time, nobody expected that Familiar Of Zero would get a fourth and final season in 2012.
  • Gender Bender: When Shirou is exposed to the Mirror of Truth, which makes a person temporary transform into whoever they most admire, he turns into Saber.
  • Genre Savvy: As Shirou notes, magical weapons get used a lot for their power and therefore tend to break very quickly. Derflinger, on the other hand, is an extremely magical weapon that's still old enough to be covered in rust. Ergo, he must be insanely powerful.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Shirou and Henrietta end up kissing while he was in Saber's form and she was in Louise's form. Guiche and a few other boys are paralyzed by the sight.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Shirou in spades, at least in the beginning.
    • Though in the beginning he was more on the True Neutral side, not giving a damn about the world so long as his Master was okay. It would actually fit with his slow turning into Archer who was listed as simply Neutral in the game.
  • The Glomp: Sylphid's method of welcoming Shirou back to the academy was to dive-bomb him at top speed. Sylphid is a dragon. OUCH. Siesta and Kirche had much the same reaction.
  • Groin Attack: Mid-psychotic breakdown, Shirou proclaims he will do this to the Root of the World itself so hard that all of reality will feel it at once.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Guiche is really, really freaked out by witnessing Unlimited Blade Works in action.
    "I picked a fight with him," Guiche muttered, rocking back and forth. "I can't believe I picked a fight with him. What was I thinking, picking a fight with him? It must be my mother's fault. She must have dropped me on my head when I was a child…"
    • Shirou upon seeing Kirche roasted by the elf.
    • Shirou has a serious one upon seeing from his reflection with how his wardrobe changes have made him look little by little to be Archer.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Excalibur.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: When the group is smuggling Tabitha and her mother out of Gallia, a guard spots the two asleep in their cart. He promptly covers them up and declares the cart clear of contraband.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Kirche has this reaction when Louise shows her 'adorable Tsundere' side.
    "I just want to steal you away!" the redhead continued, rocking back and forth as she did so. "I could dress you up in pretty clothes, and we could go shopping together, and we could go man hunting together!"
    • Shirou develops a similar sentiment in regards to Tabitha; he wants to adopt her as a little sister and give her cute dollies and ponies and pretty dresses. The thought of Tabitha having Irukukuu's character, however, outright terrifies him; that would be just too much Moe for his fragile sanity.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Upon learning that not only is Eleanor a closet masochist, but seems to have fallen for him after he publicly threatened to murder her, he immediately tries to get himself drunk enough to forget the entire conversation in which he learned this. It doesn't work.
    • Just before him, Louise tried to do the same for the same reason.
  • Idiot Ball: Shirou in the latter half of the final battle. He gets into a sword fight with Sheffield while they are in Unlimited Blade Works (and the sword she is using is one of his). Then, after UBW runs out and he has removed their contracts with Rule Breaker, he beats her to death (nearly losing an eye as she fights back) instead of just getting Derflinger and stabbing her. Or calling all his friends for help.
  • Instructional Dialogue: Shirou gives these a lot, as he is often teaching others about subjects he knows about.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Shirou, considering the number of girls who want to get in his pants and aren't afraid of showing it.
    • It speaks volumes about his ability to ignore it when he can hold a normal conversation while Kirche's bust is latched onto the side of his head.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Many of them from Shirou's wide arsenal. Caliburn/Excalibur definitely count.
  • Invocation: "Trace On."
  • Insistent Terminology: Shirou insists on being called Servant rather than Familiar; after some time, even Louise starts to automatically correct people who call Shirou a familiar. Also at the end of the story, after Louise describes to her mother the fight between Shirou and Myoznitnirn, Karin starts to adamantly refer to Shirou as "Son-in-Law" – Hell will freeze over before she'll let him get away without marrying one of her daughters.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Right before the Battle of Saxe-Gotha, Derflinger tells Shirou, "For what it's worth, partner, it's been a pleasure to fight with you."
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Said verbatim by Kirche and Louise right before they are attacked. Shirou naturally lampshades it.
  • Jack of All Stats: Shirou deliberately doesn't specialize in any of his weapons; instead he tries to be equally skilled in using all of them.
    Shirou, comparing his and Agnes' combat styles: In the end our styles were nearly exact opposites of each other: one implacable silence and focus while the other distractions and maneuvering, one the jack of all trades and the other an ace.
    • This makes his Gandalfr runes particularly Game Breaking, as they give him complete knowledge of the use of any weapon he uses (the Gandalfr runes have some resemblance to Lancelot's Knight Of Owner Noble Phantasm). Combine that with Shirou's crazy-insane arsenal and you have someone who can effortlessly switch between bow to spear to sword to shield to axe to club to scythe-on-a-chain without slowing. Just thank god Gilgamesh didn't get summoned.
      • It is arguable if this is all that relevant for Shirou however. Part of tracing involves replicating the wielder's combat experience, hence why he can for instance use Nine Lives Blade Works in Heaven's Feel. As such, he should already be able to wield any weapon he traces by the skill imparted upon them by their original wielder. Of course, one could argue Gandalfr gives him skill beyond the skill of the weapons' original wielders.
  • Just Ignore It: Shirou's modus operandi when it comes to his Chick Magnet status.
    "Just try to ignore it, Louise," I advised her. It was a survival mechanism that I had become quite good at using. No, Jessica hadn't started to spread rumors of my sexual prowess. No, those imaginary rumors were not grossly exaggerated and humanly impossible. No, the other girls at the inn were not staring at me with wide eyes laden with worship and awe. No, they were not dangerously close to forming a cult.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Shirou was well on his way to becoming Archer when Louise summoned him.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Louise has no romantic interest in Shirou, instead seeing him as an older brother figure. This reaches the point where she not only starts sleeping cuddled up to him like she does with her older sister Cattleya, but she also decides she wouldn't mind it if Shirou married said sister.
  • Lonely at the Top: Prior to the start of the story, Shirou has been abandoned by his friends.
  • Lost in Translation: The translation spell on Shirou doesn't translate things like allusions, metaphors, and similes very well, causing Siesta's kinky romance novels to appear extremely disturbing when he reads them.
  • Love Potion: Beautifully deconstructed by Shirou who describes to Montmorency the possible effects of Guiche drinking her potion. Like how she would eventually get fed up with his obsessive love and throw him out which would result in either him committing suicide out of despair or taking MonMon by force.
  • Love at First Punch: In chapter 13, after Eleanor's failed attempt to attack Shirou with magic, he informs her that any further attempts will result in her immediate and painful death, then states that the reason her engagement had recently been called off is because she's an utter bitch. Louise, the poor girl, later witnesses her in the middle of a masochistic fantasy, spanking herself while calling Shirou's name.
  • Madness Mantra: Shirou has one in Chapter 19, but he snaps out of it just in time for him to keep himself from killing Tabitha.
  • Magic Wand: It's a magical world full of mages, what did you expect?
  • Magic Knight: Shirou and Guiche. By the Distant Finale, Louise is one as well.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Shirou refers to it as the 'Kirche Maneuver'.
    • "For Louise's sister!"
    • Referred to by name in chapter 14, when he is subjected to it from both Siesta and her cousin Jessica. Lucky bastard...
    • Doubled in chapter 22, between Kirche and her mother. Not to mention that even Louise is a fellow victim.
  • Master Swordsman: Shirou, the "King of Swords".
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Louise's mother Karin challenges Shirou to a trial by combat in chapter 13, everyone within earshot has a brief panic attack. When he accepts without fear, they start panicking more.
    Everyone present who heard her declaration except herself and I flinched simultaneously. Eleanor, who had been holding a fork and knife poised over her dish ground the silverware down hard enough to crack the plate. Cattleya whom had been taking a sip of what appeared to be coffee dropped it on her lap without noticing it. The duke's hand slipped, and his elbow entered the cold remains of the simulated invasion of Albion. Louise flat out fell out of her chair. One of the maids, who had been refilling a goblet didn't notice when the cup had finished filling and started overflowing. A butler who had been carrying a tray laden with some kind of cake dropped the platter.
  • Mental World: Unlimited Blade Works is a physical representation of Shirou's soul.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe example. Shirou, after the battle of Saxe-Gotha. Albion's forces were so damn scared of him that during the subsequent peace talks with Tristain, their first request was that Henrietta call him off.
  • Moe: This trope is invoked and used In-Universe with Sylphid, Tabitha's dragon familiar. She exudes so much Moe that Shirou is temporarily struck speechless in chapter 5, and actually knocked unconscious by it in chapter 8. And then she flattens an entire room with it in chapter 20.
  • Mooks: The main role of alviss.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Shirou will often follow this philosophy. It's hard to tell when he's joking about it or not.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Shirou's references to, for instance, 'Tohsaka Rin Lecture Position #1', which are reminiscent of the specific few character drawings of the aforementioned Rin that appear in the Fate/stay night visual novel.
    • The following exchange in Chapter 16:
    "Worked out," she ground out. "Worked out, he says. He twists the entire thing about in whatever way he wants, and then when it's all done he tells me that he was making it up on the spot. All works out, he says..."
    I rolled my eyes. "Stop being so melodramatic. Imagine how it would have turned out if you had summoned someone who didn't have the convenient Master/Servant model to base their actions off of. What would it have been like if you just summoned someone who had no experience at all with this kind of thing as a Servant? How well do you think they would have reacted to some of the earlier scenes we found ourselves in?"
    Louise's grimace widened a bit, but her fist gradually stopped shaking. Finally, she let her hand fall back to her side with a sigh. "You know what?" she admitted sounding tired. "You're probably right." She opened her eyes as she rubbed the back of her head awkwardly with her wand. "Towards the beginning there I might have acted a little over the top as a Master."
  • Named Weapons: Each of Shirou's more exotic weapons.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Shirou delivers an absolutely brutal one to Myoznitnirn.
  • Noodle Incident: When Shirou discusses his senses reinforcement ability:
    "I'd done some experimenting with doing the same to my sense of smell, but so far those experiments had ended with abject and humiliating failures that I'd really rather not talk about."
    • During the Distant Finale, Louise mentions that she had to re-summon Shirou five separate times, with absolutely no details about why each of those summoning rituals were necessary.
  • Noodle Implements: The love scenes in Siesta's romance novels invariably involve some.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The general reaction of anyone who survived Shirou's rampage at Saxe-Gotha when they see him again.
    • Shirou's reaction in chapter 19 when he comes face to face with an incredibly pissed Karin the 'Heavy Wind' during the Ball of Sleipnir. Turns out that it's actually Louise's disguise.
  • One-Man Army: Shirou, the "King Of Swords". He gets a widespread reputation for this after he literally fought an army at Saxe-Gotha by himself, but he knew how utterly outclassed he was by sheer numbers, and he technically didn't survive the fight after achieving his main objective.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: Kirche reaction to Shirou's tea is strong enough that he wonders if she actually orgasmed from it.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Since she knows the joke already, Agnes gives the punchline to one of Derf's dirty stories the moment he finishes the first line.
    Opener: There was a maid, a butler, and these twin noble girls...
    Punchline: So he said, 'That wasn't my mop'.
  • The Power of Blood: Louise uses Shirou's bloodstained clothes as a summoning reagent once their contract is broken. This absolutely ensures that Shirou is the one getting summoned, whether it's for the best or not.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: After faced with the prospect that he may be turning into Archer, worrying about the impending threat of shadowy enemies, enduring a welcome home from a dragon, and then discovering that a statue has been made of himself, and Shirou is standing right there while Kirche tries to commission a second, pornographic statue that includes herself, himself, and Mr. Colbert.
    Shirou: I've decided that I shall slaughter the innocent. I shall murder all who stand in my way, sparing none, until my name is synonymous with fear itself, thus cementing my status as an Anti-Hero. Then, once my reign of terror is finally ended, I shall wait patiently at the Throne of Heroes for however how long it takes until one of the infinite realities that exist that still performs the ritual of the Holy Grail War summons me forth. Then, I shall resume killing all around me until my bloodstained hands hold the Holy Grail itself. Once I have the all-powerful artifact, I shall use it to force the Root of the World, the wellspring of all creation, to assume a human male form in my presence. And then I'm going to kick it in the balls so hard that all of reality will simultaneously feel it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Shirou gives one to Montmorency for her actions regarding Louise being drugged with a love potion. First attempting to deny it, then dismiss it, and eventually belittle its relevance.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Shirou after Kirche gets hurt in chapter 20
    "Be silent," I told it, holding my right arm in front of me and tracing. The Muramasa blade in my hand, a blade which had been created for no other purpose but to end life, a blade which desired to do so above all else, which hungered for blood and death and pain, shrieked in pain. For the first time in its existence it tasted a blood thirst which surpassed its own, and it felt what all those poor mortals whom had been overwhelmed by its sentience in the past felt: fear. "The dead have no use for words."
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: The catchphrase variant. Every time Shirou makes a Broken Phantasm, he always utters the same phrase:
    It became fragile. It became dangerous. It became broken.
  • Properly Paranoid
  • Protectorate: Shirou is responsible for Louise's safety. Threaten his charge in any way, and he will end you.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Subverted. Most of Shirou's preferred weapons are Noble Phantasms, therefore each one is unique, but Shirou can trace an unlimited number of them.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Kanshou & Bakuya
  • A Rare Sentence: Louise tells Shirou not to kill "any faceless manipulators until we're certain her majesty doesn't need them anymore." After a moment, she remarks on what a terrible influence he's been on her.
  • Red Baron: As of chapter 15, Shirou now bears the moniker "King of Swords". He hates it, calling it horribly inaccurate. Probably because Arturia, the King of Knights, and Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes, actually were kings. (Also: Alexander, the King of Conquerors; Shirou had never met the man, but the title might have been widespread in the modern day Nasuverse.)
    • He picks up a few other jaunty names, such as "The Endless Armory" and "The Elf Bane". Louise, on the other hand, eventually becomes known as "The Duchess of Emptiness".
  • Rewriting Reality: The principle behind Reality Marbles like UBW.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The author has an unfortunate weakness with homonymns.
  • Running Gag: Shirou casually offering to kill someone for Louise, and later Henrietta, despite it being totally unnecessary.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Invoked twice by Shirou, the first heralding his Cuteness Overload by Irukukuu (he passes out), then immediately following up the second with I Need a Freaking Drink.
  • Shipper on Deck: All with Shirou. Sylphid wants him with Tabitha, Karin wants him hooked up with any one of her daughters, and Jessica ships him with Siesta. Louise just wants him with someone (who isn't Eleanor), so that he might start enjoying life again, but she favors Henrietta, Siesta, or her big sister Cattleya, more or less in that order. For certain reasons, Shirou is not interested in any of this shipping.
  • Ship Tease: A boatload between Shirou and Henrietta, and some between him and Tabitha, or him and Siesta. Nothing on Louise, though.
    • Ship Sinking: Unfortunately, none of these go anywhere, due to A) Shirou still being loyal to Saber, and B) his being dead at the end of the story.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shirou is well on his way to becoming Archer. Thanks to the dream cycle, Louise sees most of his bloodiest fights.
  • Shout-Out: Tons.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shirou to Sheffield in Chapter 22 after he activates Unlimited Blade Works:
    "Oh spare me the indignation. You're the one who brought a giant and an army to this battle. Don't get self righteous with me now that you know it isn't the mismatch you had planned on."
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Shirou has grown out of his "Save everyone" ideals by the time he was summoned by Louise.
  • Situational Sword: Literally. Hrunting, the sword Shirou Traces during his second fight with Fouquet, is capable of cutting anything that isn't protected by magic, but even the weakest magic armor stops it completely.
  • Sleep Cute: Louise tends to worm her way on Shirou's lap and sleep there, a couple of times, cuddled up to him.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Shirou apparently manages to impregnate one of the girls shortly before the Distant Finale. Which one is never specified.
  • Spit Take: Louise and Derflinger's reactions to Shirou telling them that he's got an arsenal of a few hundred Noble Phantasms. Particularly impressive since Derflinger, being a sword, wasn't actually drinking the tea in front of him.
  • Stab the Salad: In chapter fifteen, Shirou, who has been wronged greatly by being brought back from the brink of death brings an axe to bear. He starts swinging, with the one that healed him begging him to stop. It turns out, he's just chopping wood to vent his frustration and she's yelling at him to stop aggravating his injuries.
  • Storm of Blades: Shirou, when using UBW.
    "Fine!" the Myoznitnirn snapped, her voice shaking with rage. "Just because you have more swords doesn't change anything! You only have two hands to wield them, King of Swords!"
    I glanced back at her, and I think the smile on my lips unnerved her. "Oh? But you forget, Queen of Dolls," I chided her, my voice set in a sing song pitch. "This is my soul. Did you really think it'd be that easy?"
    In a move I stole straight from Gilgamesh, I raised my left hand in the air as I turned away, focused once more on my destination, and I snapped my fingers once. Above me the gears of my soul hung in the sky churned once with a noise like the heartbeat of god. And from the sky a rain of silver flung itself down upon my foes.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Louise always dreams about swords and battle, definitely not about kinky threesomes with Kirche.
  • Sword Beam: Excalibur
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Completely STOMPED by Shirou, who regards it both idiotic to talk in the middle of a fight and exploits his opponent's monologues for all its worth.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Amusingly, Guiche thinks this of himself, after he witnesses Unlimited Blade Works.
    Guiche: "I can't believe I picked a fight with him. What was I thinking, picking a fight with him? It must be my mother's fault. She must have dropped me on my head when I was a child…"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone. Shirou had already taken at least a good three-quarters of the levels in badass that Archer was known for by the time of his summoning, and most of the rest of the cast follows suit under his tutelage.
  • Together in Death: Shirou and Saber are finally reunited in the epilogue.
    In front of him was a woman. Her long hair, as gold as the sun above him blew in the soft breeze that rustled the grass of the field. Her green eyes found his, and she smiled.
    He smiled back.
    "I'm home, Saber."
    "Welcome home, Shirou."
  • Training from Hell: Shirou's method of training Guiche, partly due to it being the only way he knows how to train him, and partly due to Guiche reminding him of Shinji Matou.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Montmorency insists there's nothing to do for Louise because the reagents needed for a love potion antidote are expensive and she doesn't have them, Shirou calmly agrees and Traces a sword to kill her for her attack on his Master.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Justified Trope. Kanshou & Bakuya are basically forged for this.
  • Tsundere: GOOD GOD, ELEONORE. She's that much moreso that Louise is!
  • Unusual Euphemism: Shirou, and later to a lesser extent Louise, swear by the Root.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Students quickly stop paying much attention to Sylphid carrying Shirou around by his collar.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Shirou is subjected to this in the beginning, mainly due to his status as a commoner. He doesn't seem to care about that much, and proves himself much more than a simple commoner in time.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Shirou, sometimes he's serious, sometimes not, when talking about "frying pans of doom" or death by excess of cuteness, for example. One has to wonder which of his murder propositions were actually real.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Shirou does not take it well when Bidashal nearly kills Kirche.
  • Unwanted Revival: Shirou really hated Tiffania for reviving him after the battle at Saxe-Gotha, seeing as it was a perfect hero's end that would have gotten him to the Hill of Swords and she just wandered over and ruined it. See Death Seeker above.
  • Unwanted Harem: So far Shirou's consists of Kirche, Siesta, Henrietta, and a whole lot of attractive barmaids. And yet he manages to ignore all of them…
  • Villainous Breakdown: Sheffield in Chapter 22.
  • Walking Armory: Shirou is a literal example of this trope with several thousand blades stocked in his arsenal, and he only needs to see a weapon once and he can add it to his armory and trace it later on.
    • In the epilogue, Louise refers to Shirou by his several titles. One of them is the "Endless Armory".
    Louise: "You know about Heroic Spirits, Derf. Do you have any doubt in your hilt that the 'King of Swords', the 'Elf Bane', the 'Endless Armory' himself wouldn't qualify?"
  • War Is Hell: While duly noted in the original series, Shirou makes all notable fights A LOT more brutal than Saito could ever accomplish. The Battle at Saxe-Gotha is the most notable example. While Saito stalled the army with no casualties and a few hundred injured... Shirou gave them HELL by brutally maiming off limbs of soldiers standing in the way (to waste their time tending to the wounded and scare them), killing off officers and commanders, and spreading plenty of terror amongst the army. It was so bad that when the surviving commander went to Henrietta for peace talks, the first thing he asks for is to call him off. Shirou also hates wars for two more reasons: one is that it results in "old men talking and young men dying", and the other that those people who START the wars are always far away from the front lines or not on the battlefield itself.
  • Weapon Tombstone: In the epilogue, Shirou finally rests under a hill with a single sword denoting his presence.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Completely averted with Shirou—he decapitated Fouquet and later beat Sheffield literally to death with his fists, not to mention threatening a number of girls. He is all too aware of the fact that just because your opponent is female, doesn't mean she can't kill you within an instant like anybody else.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: SO, After a difficult battle, where Shirou manages to save the day, and everyone he has come to care for, he is finally able to reunite with Saber... Nope! You are so lucky to have been found by a Healer that can bring someone back from death, just in time Shirou! God knows you would be dead otherwise...
  • You Can't Fight Fate: One of Shirou's major issues, turning up in chapter 17, is trying to avoid becoming Counter Guardian EMIYA... and it's starting to hit him just how much he's been failing at that task.
    • Though this may or may not be the case, with the way Shirou is now slowly opening up.
    • Lucky for him the Together in Death ending reveals he does, in fact, successfully avoid that.