The leaves & pine needles that form the canopy of Lucifer's domain had long sense soaked up as much water as they could. Now it was pouring down even on the ground. He stood on a hill that overlooked his recent construction of multiple rings. He had decided to let humans and other creatures settle here. He was incredibly bored.
Like most devils Lucifer's natural form was tinged with red & had horns on his head, but the rest was standard humanoid fair of a long torso, two arms & legs, ten fingers & toes, et cetera. However, their bones were made of a stronger material & muscles attached so there was greater leverage to compliment greater density. They also healed much faster than any other natural species, & faster than most paranormal creatures.
The reason for why humans still risked Lucifer's Forest is because it produced better animals, fruit, and anything else they harvested. The reason because death was much more voracious in his domain. It consumed the dead at a much faster rate and was exquisitely more dangerous, even to other Devils. Ironically, the natural animals that he harbored were technically supernatural creatures because of their enhanced physical attributes.
Lucifer's actual layer was one of the many continent sized caverns that wove through his area of the crust of this planet. It was an extension of his forest, but the lack of sun light forced certain creatures to adapt, either to provide light, or to see in complete darkness.
For lucifer, pray had to be a sapient biological creature. It could be either natural or paranormal but the blood of the later obviously tasted better. Nothing quiet beat the taste of a Nymph's blood. He reasoned it was probably do to half their blood being genetically tied to Zeus.
However, because of their blood. Fae in general could often sense Lucifer well before he could. Unlike his foolish brother the church that used his name, or Zeus/ Enlil or whatever he wanted to be called this month, Lucifer largely kept to himself & rarely feed by killing. His brother forced this curse upon him for helping humans previously. Yet enough time had passed that the memory had partially faded, now he thought it was time for another round of the family feud.
This ambivalence extended towards Lucifer's excursions either to explore, feed, or whatever spiked his interest. So long as he was left alone, he would leave almost anyone without bringing trouble. Yet there were a few who failed to be content with that. They often called themselves Holy & of the Light, or even those claiming to be a Luciferian. That only sealed their actual deaths as he refused to suffer assault by his brother's brainwashed minions.
'This is the curse of immortality, seeing all that you fought for being twisted & perverted into the exact opposite.'
A melodic giggling reached Lucifer's ears and broke him out of his melancholy mood. He stood up slowly as he tried to angle himself to hear what sapient creature dared to enter his domain. Unlike his excursions, he only reinforced the reputation of his forest being deadly. It would be troublesome to fight off a full crusade.
Then Lucifer heard the soft musical giggling like it was made from a glass harmonica. Warily & with lento he moved to peer through the canopy, and saw a nymph. A demigod by all accounts.
Unwittingly settling below Lucifer's sentry seat in the canopy, the Nymph was divinely beautiful even amongst the Gods. However, even with that strange resemblance she seemed more human than nymph. She intrigued him, to more than a small degree,
The nymph's larger & fluttering wings were more like a bird instead of a butterfly. Her face was rounder and conveyed an innocence that was very alien to the faces of nymphs in general.
Lithe & long legs with svelte hips curving her contour. A violet shimmering material covered waist, torso, & B cup breasts, but it was very translucent so truly little was hidden. Her blond hair was long but wound tight around either side of her head.
Lucifer would have assumed she was a divinely beautiful human if not for her angelic wings. He always liked pretty things, and normally his quests to obtain them brought only trouble to himself. Yet now he had built this continent sized forest as his own personal curated castle. Any crusade against him would make those thinking to assault him regret it.
Nymphs purposefully sought to bring trouble upon travelers & animals. Yet their traps & snares are more that of a humorist, instead of seeking malicious harm. When seeing mortal assault being visited upon travelers & animals, they were known to aid the victims.
Marginally entertained, Lucifer pauses in middle of stalking the creature to see what trap was being made by the creature. If the nymph was making a trap for a human, she was wasting her effort. With her enthusiastically distracted, her divine senses were mitigated. So limited she was negligent of the danger above her. Devils had a reputation for eating nymphs.
The sense of danger must have broken through the nymph's revere as she saw Lucifer crouched above her. He grinned at the game they were about to play. He could have simply ended the charade now but instead he chose to pause & wait for her to bolt. Her frightened & sky-blue eyes triggered something primal within Lucifer. Faster than his eyes could register, she bolted back towards her territory.
Lucifer's fifth sense was unbiddenly drinking in the nymph's fear. He could have run after her blind folded. He frequently lost sight of her, but she was getting lost in his forest. He was often stumbling into his own trees trying to catch up to her. He would have to go back to heal them, any break in the cycle he designed could have unwanted side-effects.
Evading brushwood, twisting around timber close enough to shave bark, & gracefully jumping over dead wood the lithely built nymph scrambled to get ahead of lucifer.
Abruptly Lucifer halted in his pursuit when he broke into a clearing the nymph had entered. She wasn't visible but he could steel feel her fear. It was difficult for him to restrain himself from finishing the hunt. The fear was almost overwhelmingly tempting, and it told him she was hiding instead of having ran through this clearing.
The dull rhythmic pounding against Lucifer's ribcage from his heart built a sort of expectancy of how divine her blood would taste. Yet he was growing dissatisfied with the idea of harming her and it was rather successfully overcoming his instincts all on its own.
Nymphs were preternaturally beautiful to all creatures. Even the most normal among them were highly sought after, but rarely caught by anyone. Lucifer never dreamed he would capture one of his brother's offspring from mating with a human. They were quicker & faster than even Zeus let alone any other devil or demon.
Such an exciting turn of events for the day gave Lucifer a thrill of blissfully triumphant joy. It was impossible to be precisely certain of the nymph's location in the clearing. However, he could hear her whispering involuntarily gasp for breath similar to a scared doe hiding from a wolf.
Now, in this scene even this nymph's abnormally high physical attributes would fail to help her escape Lucifer. There was only two ways out & he had one covered. So, she had one way to evade his seizing of her. As he made deliberate calculated steps into the thicket hiding her, at some point he would be too close & her instincts would force her to bolt.
With a frank honesty that marked Lucifer as different from any other devil he spoke to the nymph, "You will never be physically or maliciously hurt by me my nymph.
"It was a delightful game we played until now. I must admit you have exceeded my expectations. Maybe I will let the game continue a little longer. You are extremely far from home now; your fright dulled your sense of direction. I'll even help you in your abrupt quest to get home. It is that way." Lucifer indeed did point in the opposite direction that the nymph had been running towards. At this rate should reach the human capital of a nearby state in a couple months... It would take a human three years because of his forest... if they survived that long.
"However, even if you take my advice, you will be conquered by me. It would be easiest for you my nymph to just reveal yourself. No sapient creature has breached this far into my domain in five millennia."
Lucifer waited for a moment with his calculated steps. Far enough to give her hope of escape, but close enough to grab her. Then he leaned into the bush until he saw the whites of her eyes. "Boo!"
As she bolted exactly in the direction Lucifer knew she would go. He also knew she would disbelieve his words and continue in her previous heading. All creatures know to never trust a devil... Yet he had to agree with that philosophy. Almost all other devils were worse than cow shit in his eyes. They did lie as a matter of habit.
Demons though were another matter. They used lawyers & contracts to trick mortals. They used the law in their service'to'self. They also held little supposed allegiance to Lucifer, as the devils did. It was aggravating to see his former allies so twisted & perverted and yet still do it in his name.
Lucifer now could smell the nymph's personal scent as she struggled to get ahead of him. She must have been getting tired as she was slower now than she was previously. The exhaustion must have been why she tried hiding. He could barely see the backs of her legs as they pumped as fast as her body could withstand in absolute panic. Her wings fluttered.
The nymph's pheromones revealed her new absolute panic mixed with delectable dread. Yet still a sense of protecting her was growing stronger more quickly than his instincts. Surprise colored Lucifer's expression as two elves appeared as the nymph & him burst into the clearing. He could tell by her gasp of relief she thought they were her saviors and home were just beyond the horizon.
Calling upon the force of gravity, the nymph used her remaining strength to burst towards the elves. Shrieking she said, "Please Help me!"
However, the nymph burst failed to get her close enough to the elves. Large devilish hands encircled her left breast and right hip. Then the arms attached to the hands yanked her back, before she could reach them.
The nymph's wings were pressed flush against the devil's body. His impossibly denser body was like a ton holding her down to the ground & out of sight.
Lucifer chuckled, "Like I said you are a wonderful surprise dear."
"Princeptissa Syrah?" The foolish hunters had called out. They were foolish for venturing so far into my domain.
"You are hunting in my personal domain. I have let your people flourish because you have avoided crossing me. I am sure your leaders will dislike that relationship changing.
"If fail to immediately head home then I will hunt you. Of course, as I am sure you know, my pets will probably do it for me. Stick to your own domain."
With a soft whisper Lucifer spoke in the nymph's ear. "Princess Syrah? Well, you are still so full of surprises dear, it will be very pleasurable to claim you as mine." An unbidden whimper escaped her throat.
"It will be better than you think. However, as a gift, I will spare you from being responsible for the deaths of two of your hunters."
With that said, Lucifer turned them both into mist, and hugged the ground as they went back to his lair in a relatively short amount of time compared to the labyrinth of Syrah's escape route.
While in the lair, Lucifer could tell that the elves they encountered were heading his advice to immediately leave the area. The gigantic cavern held a labyrinth he had designed & built himself. Thirty-nine foot tall by thirteen feet deep granite columns hide several divinely constructed traps that were vicious & deadly.
The Minotaur's Labyrinth was original designed by a close friend an exceptionally long time ago. This was used his design but was constructed by Lucifer. It was often called Gehenna.
The elves must have been willing to brave his pets to hunt but were loath to continue with Lucifer's attention directed at them personally. Their princess was lost to him now, there failed to be an army on the planet that could hope to rescue her from him. Yet as Lucifer
"Syrah you've figured out it is pointless to scream. Yet you are in good condition. Does that not strike you as odd that a Devil wouldn't immediately drain you of blood? Particularly since we have such a voracious appetite for Nymph blood?"
Far from home, Syrah continued to sob at the horror her life had quickly become. "I will never bind with you, Demon."