But it has been a struggle for me. For years, Balthazar was my mortal enemy. He killed my Teacher and Protector and two other wizards I considered to be as close as brothers. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed. We were forced to ally ourselves with him to stop Malo and Jhophes. It was a difficult decision to make because of the years of resentment I carried toward him.
And now, it seems that with the removal of most of his spark, Balthazar has transformed into someone completely different. He no longer talks or acts like the Wizard of Dead Magic I had grown to despise. Heck, he no longer really even looks like he did when he was a wizard. He seems completely different, a man striving for redemption.
And yet, I'm struggling to let go of my hatred for him. He has earned some respect, indeed a bit of trust, but deep down I'm struggling to embrace him as an ally, let alone as a friend. He has proven his worth, but there are so many years of animosity built up that I'm not sure I can ever truly let go. But perhaps things will change. Perhaps he will slowly undo the years of hatred that have built up. For me, it would be easier if I knew that his actions as the Wizard of Dead Magic were not really his own, that the dead magic had taken control of him, transforming him into the man I fought for all those years. At least that would provide me with some solace, something to help me accept the atrocities he has committed. For the time being, I have no choice but to take a wait-and-see approach.
Want to learn more about Nikko or Balthazar? Then download Rise of the Dead Magic, Book 1 of the Three Wizards Chronicles.