(Primary) Elemental Series: M. Phoenix x F. Framed Reader
Winter had been lasting far longer than anyone had anticipated. The gods were outraged by the continual wars and inflicted a curse on the land. All over the world, an eternal winter broke out, leaving countless to die. If not for the freezing climate, the starvation that it brought caused numerous to suffer. The people were weak and unable to survive, especially the poor. While the nobility was able to expend great money to raise plants in a warm environment, commoners were not so lucky.
In particular, a (h/c) haired girl was struggling. She was working in the Southern Kingdom for the tyrannous king. Most believed he was responsible for the frigid climate inflicted on them, especially due to his greedy nature. Even before the curse, he had been siphoning away his people’s funds and making them suffer in terror. Working in the castle with the same man was sure to give her great stress.
She didn’t remember the last time she ate. Every day, the king and his family had giant feasts with every kind of food imaginable while the servants watched on with crippling hunger. If they were lucky, they could have gotten the scraps, but not without demeaning themselves. They were harmed, whipped, and even bled for no reason other than sheer enjoyment. It made the younger girl think. Obviously, something needed to be done.
However, it wasn’t as if she could do something. She was weak from her hunger and didn’t have that much physical strength in the first place. As such, she had given up any hope of her or anyone else being freed from the king’s ruthless grasp. Sighing, she picked up the tea set he had requested and made her way to his chambers. The entire way, she shivered, wondering what he would do to her. Perhaps she wouldn’t make it out alive.
Her shaky hands pushed open the doors to his room, the tray she carried crashing onto the floor. The king was dead. He was laying in a puddle of his own blood, long since gone from that world. It was obvious he had been murdered, but by who, she had no idea. The only thing she did know was that the noise had alerted guards, and immediately, they chased after her, believing her to be responsible for the dictator’s death.
She could only run, knowing they wouldn’t listen to her side of the story. Stumbling over her own feet, she ventured outside the castle grounds. That being said, they were unrelenting in chasing her, hunting her down to use her as a scapegoat. Her breath was visible in the freezing air, her body shivering uncontrollably. Without thinking, she ran into the forest, hoping they wouldn’t follow after her.
Several hours passed and she was running out of energy, trudging through the ever-building snow. She shook, on the verge of passing out. Her vision became woozy, spinning at a nauseous rate. However, she was determined not to perish in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps if she could just find a cave, but alas, there were none in sight and she was reaching her limit. One, two, three steps, and her body collapsed, being buried by the falling snow.
(Y/n) was quickly freezing, hypothermia setting in. She could no longer move her body, having passed out in the snow for but a moment or two. Everything within her was suffering, slowly being encased by frost. Her fingertips were numb, as was the rest of her. The only thing she could manage to move was her eyes, but as she was unable to move her head, there was only a small portion of things she could see. Truth be told, it would have been a relief if a wolf had found her and put her out of her misery, but she wasn’t so lucky. Or so she thought.
She saw but one thing in her peripherals, catching a glimpse of the sun. It had been so long since she had seen it, the sight bringing tears to her eyes that immediately turned to ice and clung to her frigid skin. Filled with relief, she let herself fade back into her slow death, passing out with warmth in her heart. Perhaps when she woke up, she would be in paradise, a shining sun peering down at the beautiful world below.
. . .
The (h/c) haired girl felt light caress her face, dancing along the walls of wherever she was and disturbing her sleep. Her eyes closed tightly as she tried to push it away and return to her peaceful slumber, but it was too bright. She slowly opened her (e/c) pupils to see a flame before her. There was a warm cape resting on her that shimmered brilliantly. It appeared to be made of flames itself, but it didn’t burn her. Rather, it warmed her up and kept her feeling at ease.
Sitting up while tucking the cape around her tightly, she surveyed her surroundings, mildly surprised to see no snow in sight. It was hardly paradise, being dim aside from the fire and the walls almost appeared to crumble. Inscriptions littered the place with detailed bricks and stones building up to giant pillars that held up the stone ceiling. It appeared to be ruins of some sort, but she didn’t know how she had managed to end up in such a place. Some kind samaritan must have rescued her.
As she was alone, the younger girl rested her gaze on the fire, holding her hands out to it to warm herself up in the empty chamber. However, she pulled back when she saw a spirit exiting the flames. It cooed at her, tilting its head as it approached her. The small being that was barely bigger than a dandelion’s stem placed its hands on her ankles. It burned her, prompting her to hiss and shy away in fear, but it appeared as though it didn’t mean to do such a thing. Frightened, the spirit ran back into the fire.
After a while of empty sound bouncing off of the walls, the younger girl felt guilt boil within her. She wasn’t entirely sure what a spirit would have like as an apology gift, but she knew that fire liked to devour wood. As such, she picked up a small twig that was on the ground and held it in front of her with an apologetic expression. The flame spirit eventually made its way to her and accepted the branch, munching on it as it sat on the stone.
Giving a grateful smile, it cooed once more, leaving a relieved feeling in the (h/c) haired girl’s chest. She then noticed a brighter flame approaching. It lit up the room entirely, vanquishing the dim darkness from the chamber and revealing its elaborate beauty. All of a sudden, not only did the heat warm her up but the positive and uncontrollable feelings the form imbued as well.
As she turned to look at the unknown approacher, she felt her cheeks warm up. It was a male. He had brilliant flaming wings extended behind him, likely the reason that the light came from his direction. Obviously not of human origin, he fascinated her, and she was unable to take her eyes off of him. His black and red hair resembled fire and ashes and his different colored eyes were a stunning sight to see. In his arms were countless herbs and roots.
“How rare,” he hummed, leaning over the younger girl and peering at the flame spirit she had fed, “I would have guessed he would stay far from you. Humans have a tendency to harm first and think later. Yet it appears you are a reasonable person.”
The younger girl couldn’t get any words out. She was simply mesmerized by his appearance and his wings made of flame that even all thoughts of hers were wiped away. Her cheeks were bright pink, her attraction prominent. Perhaps it was the feelings his kind imbued with others or maybe it was just her personal take on him. Either way, she wanted to reach out and touch him, and strangely enough, she did.
The male was a bit taken aback by her sudden movements, feeling the cool touch of her skin on his. Her fingers caressed his cheek. It rapidly turned red, heat rising from them as if they were flames themselves. At some point, it turned so hot that she had to take her hand away from him, being burned once more. It was mild, of course, but still surprising. That being said, she far preferred being hot than freezing.
“That was...sudden,” he stuttered, unable to respond without flaring up further.
“You’re so beautiful.”
(Y/n)’s eyes shimmered at the sight of him, unable to remove her eyes from his form. It only made the atmosphere in the chamber rise more and more, but she nonetheless wanted to be near him. Obviously, he was unused to the attention, trying to keep himself together, but the more she stared at him, the more he squirmed. Eventually, he proceeded to exhibit the plants he held in his arms, placing them on the ground.
“I figured you must be hungry, so I gathered these. I hope they’re acceptable.”
Again, there was no response from the younger girl, her attention solely on his appearance. When he began to sort the roots and herbs in a way that he believed she would like, she stared at his wings, tempted to reach out and touch them. And, in fact, she did. The moment her fingers grazed the soft and warm feathers, he let out an embarrassed squeak, his being once more warming up. Clearly, her stay with him was bound to be continually surprising.
After she had been staying with him for weeks, he had almost gotten used to her fascination with him. Her questions came nonstop, and eventually, she learned of his favorite foods, abilities, and his name, which she had come to know as Ancharis. She always wanted to be by his side, his warmth far different than the freezing climate outside the ruins they were in. In fact, when he had taken her out to gather plants to eat, she remained under his warm cloak, clinging to him with stars in her eyes.
It was not odd for a human to be overly attached to the supernatural, especially a rare phoenix. In fact, it was to be expected, and it wasn’t as if he minded. After being reincarnated after 1,000 years, the world was much different, and everyone he had known had vanished, deceased. They belonged to the earth at that point. (Y/n)’s company was a blessing to him. He enjoyed her as much as she did him, and much to her surprise, any questions she asked of him, he asked in return. It seemed his experience of humans was limited.
“Where did you come from anyway?” the red-haired male inquired, “When I found you, you looked like you’d traveled all the way from the northern kingdom.”
The thing that the younger girl had come to know about the fire being before her was the male - true to his nature - was a very strict person when it came to morals. He firmly believed that people should only ever do good, so telling him she was wanted for murdering the king would have shocked him. Even if she didn’t do it, he might have thought of her in a negative light, and it hurt her to think that could have been a possibility.
She chuckled nervously as the smaller flame spirit crawled onto her knees. It didn’t burn nearly as much as it previously had, being more of a lukewarm feeling. As she fed him a piece of bark they had gathered earlier that day, Ancharis glared at her for hiding something from him. Whenever she did that, it typically meant she was wounded but her pride wouldn’t let her tell him. Of course, he had ways to find out the truth of the matter. That being said, he would have preferred the truth from her lips.
Huffing, the male took the younger girl and placed her in his lap, the flame spirit being thrown to the ground. The small thing didn’t mind it as he took no real damage, letting out a small coo in response and he continued feasting on the wood. However, the (h/c) haired girl blushed as the male’s arms wrapped around her waist, his chin resting on her shoulder. He had found it was quite an effective way to get what he wanted to know.
Yes, over the time that they had been together, the red-haired male had taken quite a shine to her. He was overprotective of her, wishing her no harm even if it came from herself. As such, he took it upon himself to save her from any potential pain she might have been inflicted with. While their relationship was not defined, it was clear they both loved the other dearly. Hugs were something they did to the other often, but a kiss was yet to come from either of them, on the lips or otherwise.
“Come now, you’ll make me worry,” he hummed, his wings folding around her like a blanket.
“I’ll make you worry either way.”
“You couldn’t have done anything terrible. I know you. You are quite innocent in the ways of human beings. Won’t you please tell me?”
The (h/c) haired girl pouted and hid her face in the male’s chest, refusing to say a word. It was like her to hide whenever she was embarrassed or uncomfortable. Truth be told, it was an endearing action to the male. The way she made his heart beat was never boring, always making his skin tingle with heat. As such, it was difficult not to nuzzle her. He had to show his love somehow.
“I was running away from the castle,” she finally mumbled, “They think I killed the king, but I swear I didn’t!”
“I believe you,” the male smiled, petting the top of her head, “You would never do something so cruel even if someone hurt you. I love that about you, you know. I imagine the humans misunderstood, and blind with rage, they must have wanted to take it out on the nearest person. It’s only unfortunate it was you, (Y/n).”
The younger girl was flooded with relief. She didn’t know whether or not he would have been disappointed in her, but, seeing as he saw the best in her, it was unlikely for him to blame her for something as large as murder. Thanking her for telling him the truth, the red-haired male nuzzled her neck, hesitating as he thought about kissing her. Without debating the options, his lips grazed her skin.
He hugged her tighter, her emotions flowing into him. There was fear and uncertainty in her that wouldn’t fade without assistance. He disliked the way it made her feel as if it stole away what made her so beautiful to him. Her kindness and curiosity were blocked by such terror. It was cruel of human beings to hold such things over her when it was never her fault, to begin with. On the contrary, it was their fault. He huffed.
“I will be going out tomorrow,” he announced, blushing when the younger girl began to play with a handful of his feathers, “I’d prefer you stay here. I will not be there to warm you up, after all.”
“Alright. I’ll stay here with An’hul.”
The younger girl picked up the small fire spirit, the being climbing up to her shoulders with stubby and ever-moving legs. While the phoenix next to her was somewhat surprised that she had named the little thing, but it put him at ease. The spirit was quite attached to him, meaning that it could keep her company without seeking to harm her or him. He used his pinky to pet the being’s small head, earning a coo from it.
While they had all fallen asleep by one another next to the fire, the red-haired male appeared missing the next morning. His vast wings stretched out in the frigid snow, melting any nearby snow. Fire raged, having been trapped for the younger girl’s sake. He had known she was fragile, unable to touch him without burning. As such, he controlled what he let out, careful only to release it when he was at a safe distance from her. Truth be told, it was a relief to let himself roam free.
His wings covered the vast sky like a sun, glowing upon the freezing carpet. If he so wished, he could have melted at least one hundred miles of it, but why bother? The only reason he needed the snow gone was to gather herbs and roots to eat. Otherwise, he cared little for what happened with the pile of snowflakes. That being said, it was about time to exhibit his power. After all, he had been angered.
The distance the male traversed was trivial. Whatever kingdom it was the younger girl had come from was in his sight. People appeared to be going about their lives as normal, uncaring of the death of their tyrannous king. Nonetheless, the male still wished for his vengeance. Falling down into the sky, he landed in the center of that city, flames spreading from his body to the ground, melting the snow.
People looked on in fascination, their hands reaching to warm themselves up by the fire. However, it soon spread, and their admiration turned into terrifying fear. The male’s eyes narrowed in disgust, livid both with the things they tried to do to the younger girl and the things they had succeeded in. They could burn for all he cared. Every last one of those guards and monarchs deserved it. If they died, the fear in (Y/n) would be gone and he could continue to protect both her physical and emotional state of mind.
The armor on guards melted into their skin, plaguing them like searing acid and turning them into burnt corpses. Still, it was not enough. Every guard he saw was burned to ash, but whereas they would not rise again, he would. Ancharis spared the innocent, those who hadn’t ever thought of harming the younger girl. In fact, he had even let some of the children warm themselves up by the small fires he created.
When he had finished his goal, his wings once more spread out, prepared to fly back to the ruins to see the (h/c) haired girl before she woke. However, some of the children held out some berries for him. They were kinds he hadn’t ever seen as well as bread. He normally wouldn’t have accepted such generosity, but when thinking of how (Y/n) would like something more akin to her tastes, he couldn’t refuse it.
Rather, he had accepted them with thanks, telling the children and their parents to gather logs. They did as he said, throwing them in the center of the city. Then, with great satisfaction, the male lit the pile on fire, the stunning light and warmth vanquishing the snow from its borders. Clearly, the people were overjoyed, thanking him and his kindness. They asked him if he would like something in return, and indeed, he did.
“Hear me!” he spoke loudly, attempting to reach as many ears as possible, “My fire will burn for eternity as long as I see fit. It will warm your borders and prohibit the snow from harming you or your farming lands. However! I will return once a week for a small bit of food such as these. Nothing much, just a gift of gratitude between us.”
The people once more continued to cheer, rushing around with joy. It was more than an agreeable trade. Thus, with the arrangement set in place, the male carefully flew back to the ruins in order to assure (Y/n) was at ease. When placing his feet back on the ground, he shook his wings and ensured he had them under control. He then entered the chamber of the ruins and peeked into it, giving a grin as he saw her playing with the fire spirit.
“Ah, welcome back, Ancharis!” she chuckled, the spirit by her ankles waving quickly as he jumped up and down in an attempt to be made noticed.
“Good morning. You didn’t go outside, did you?”
“No, I listened. An’hul and I just played a bit while we waited for you.”
Giving a relieved smile, the red-haired male stepped forward, placing the berries and bread he had been given in her arms. She was surprised to see such treats, knowing he had not just merely found them in the forest by chance. As such, she opened her mouth to speak but was prohibited as the male’s lips placed against her own, their cheeks flushing a deep crimson color. At that point, he declared his affection for her without words and flipped everything on its side.
Over the course of decades, the people of the previous kingdom’s main city built an elaborate stone design around the ever-lasting fire. They were grateful for it, always offering more and more to the phoenix. He would rarely show himself when he collected the treats, but he never took meat, leaving it there on the offering table while everything else was taken. Some say this was how the Southern Kingdom of the Phoenix came to be.