She opened her eyes to the familiar depths of her lake. What? She thought groggily. How did I get here? The last thing I remember… Undine shuddered. The flames wrapping around her, consuming her, in the center of the lake. Golem falling to his knees, crying out for her to come back. A true friend…her soulmate.
The memory of those last few moments was so vivid, as though the fire had burned it into her mind. But then how could she still be alive? Could it all have been a dream?
Her hand brushed against something floating in the water beside her. She caught it and brought it to her face. Three roses, tied together, like someone might leave at a grave…or toss into the water for one who had perished beneath it.
Did I die? Undine thought. Then how…
Realization hit her as she recalled the ancient legend of the Phoenix. Golem had been searching for the Phoenix. Then that must mean…
Undine swam to the surface of the lake. The sky to the north was ablaze with flames. Shadows flared up and struggled against them. The shadows and flames fought back and forth, but neither seemed to gain the upper hand. The final battle was beginning.
“Golem…” Undine whispered. She strained against her ties to the lake with all her will. She had to be there, had to help him. She owed him that much, at least, for his kindness. But the ties held fast. She could not leave the lake.
She collapsed, defeated, back into the water. “Golem…forgive me…”
She could imagine him there, trying to fight against Moo, although Moo was far more powerful than any ordinary monster could ever be. Would he manage to survive the battle? Would he even remember her if he did? What if he forgot…forgot her, forgot his promise to return? He might never come back to her.
Undine swam once more to the surface and stood in the center of the lake. The silver moonlight streamed down around her, as it had the night she first spoke to him.
Undine turned and shot an arrow of light into the starless sky. If she could not leave the lake, she could at least give him a sign.
The rainbow streamed down on her as she stood, bathing in its light. “Golem…please come back to me…” she prayed. The rainbow danced in the tears that slid, one by one, down her face, finally falling into the water below. Then it faded, leaving Undine to sink back into her lake, alone in the darkness of the night.