Drei watched the glint of the setting sun dim in the reflections of the rings on her fingers. Her hand moved back and forth, light sparked off the metallic edges. The power of the rings had long held her to this place, fending off animated and strategically working through the dungeons she had come to love. The power was as old as the adventures. Solar Rays, the very first, placed on the index finger and never removed. Hack, the fierce, long desired and long held. Fire Rain, often replaced but never permanently. Bandage, Divinity, Pot Lid, Improbability Sphere, Meat. All combined into the devastating solo set that the young ranger had come to love. The carefully chosen rings were comfortable. A soft sigh escaped her lips.

Gideon's striped beak clicked with concern, he swiveled to peer at her. "What troubles you?"

"Just thinking about all the adventures I'm leaving behind. They were great, but I've spent too long here."

Gideon nodded, his red eyes cool and accepting. "You've grown wiser. I remember trying to stop you from running onto the beach at CL 5. You knew what you wanted, but you weren't deliberate about it. You've thought for a long time about this."

"A very long time. Months. I'm older now, and it's time to move on."

Gideon stood, wings ruffling, an air of sadness about him. "You're prepared. Run onto the beaches, and I won't stop you." He turned slowly, his lithe blue form slinking in the direction of Barton Town.

"Wait, Gideon! Where are you going? You're coming with."

The gryphon's fluffy blue ears twitched with confusion, and he paused, turning back over his shoulder. "Coming with?"

"Yes. Remember when I joined that magic school? You're going there, with me. I can't just leave you here." Gideon's tail flicked uncertainly as he turned back around to face the ranger - the magi.

"They'll let me in?"

"Of course. Come on." Drei beckoned the gryphon over, used his neck to pick herself up from her seat on the ground. The orange sun sunk below the hills on the horizon. Hand still upon the soft fur of the gryphon's neck, the ranger began to walk, leading her companion away from the few rays that still speared the darkening sky.