Leif: So . . you had the chance to become a magical boy, but you chose to pursue a heartsword instead, right? Is there any reason you couldn’t do both?
Thorn: Theoretically, no . . .
But one lifetime isn’t long enough to get good at both. It’s like trying to become a world-class singer, or pass the exam for a doctor or lawyer. It takes dedication. So you have to make a choice . . .
Magical Boy: Advantages
– Versatile power set (no theoretical limit to what you can learn!)
– Manifest lots of cool things, not just a sword
– DIY magic can replace expensive spelltech with overworked customer service
Magical Boy: Disadvantages
– Vulnerable to power-blocking bracelets, and/or theft of your transformation item
– Powers only work this side of the mountains
– Spelltech already does a lot of this stuff with no studying required
– Nobody can block or steal a heartsword
– Physical training is effective anywhere
– Takes much longer for magical boys to create a sword this cool
– Having a magically sharp sword is pretty much your only trick.
Thorn: Hey! I can hack, slash, thrust, parry, slice, dice, and make Julienne fries. That’s at least seven tricks right there.
Leif: Ah — you said “one lifetime”! That means a long-runner could do both, right?
Thorn: That would make it easier! But long-runners only keep the memories of their past lives. You still have to rebuild the muscles for swordfighting.
Thorn (magical AU): . . . And it’s the same with magic. You have to reawaken your powers, basically from scratch.
Which is probably for the best! It would be a scary world if a handful of people could keep adding new powers without limit over multiple lifetimes. Especially if it could happen to a Kudzu. Brr.