Darkness and uncertainty surrounded me. The time was ticking away and I
felt so helpless, like there was nothing I could do to break my binding
with the fiery phoenix. She was bleeding, her flames bruning dimmer and dimmer with each passing second. She refused to retreat from this battle and risk having the malicious griffin kill me. She'd rather die trying to
protect me.

I could sense the presence of Death lurking oh-so-ominously around me. I could even smell its rancid stench of it. And it was coming from her, the
phoenix. She was slowly being approached by the invisible reaper, but
showed no fear of her impending doom.

My memory suddenly drifted off to a distant place I had long-forgotten...
my childhood. I remembered seeing a scarlet bird, surrounded by inferno nearly extinguished. She lay with mortal wounds and laboured breathing on the damp, muddy ground before me, her beautiful down caked in sticky mud. As I saw a tear run down her face, I could no longer resist the temptation
to approach and help her, though she was quite a feral creature and potentially dangerous. Years later, after I had completely nursed her back
to good health, her fire burned brighter than ever.

Yet now, in front of me, she was practically defenseless, even moreso now than when I had first befriended her as a child. Uncountable thoughts raced aimlessly through my mind. Should I flee? Should I fight? Or should I even do anything at all? To flee would be cowardly, to fight would be foolish,
and to do nothing was what I was doing now and it certainly wasn't
accomplishing anything except getting me closer to Death's irreversible grip. Fighting might've been foolish, yes... but, that's what I had trained
myself to do when I was small and that was all I really knew how to do.

That final screech from my bonded spirit broke me. I screamed at the top of my lungs, tearing straight through the sounds of approaching doom and the bloody battle, drew my holy swordfrom the black, leather sheath on my back, and lunged forward at the golden-headed griffin before me. It was beheaded
with a sickening crunch.

The death of Phoe had been avenged.