"Fortune's Friend": Something in Hong Kong is not right, and John Constantine knows it. He heads into the Gold Peak hotel there, noting the wards against deception and bad fortune - seems as though someone might have been expecting him. Stopped in the a
- Thing about luck, though. Even stolen luck... It always picks the worst time to run out.
Appearing in "Fortune's Friend"
- Graceful Moon (Apparent Death)
Synopsis for "Fortune's Friend"
Something in Hong Kong is not right, and John Constantine knows it. He heads into the Gold Peak hotel there, noting the wards against deception and bad fortune - seems as though someone might have been expecting him. Stopped in the atrium by a guard, John fakes his way past with an enchantment, and enters the elevator. Worriedly, Mister E warns from within John's sword that the witch Graceful Moon will not be happy to see John unannounced. John ignores him, noting that the whole building seems to have been designed to draw in good luck, and drive out bad luck - which is all the more reason why it would be a mistake for John to intrude.
Upon reaching the top floor, John is instantly attacked by a Qilin - a typical portent of blessing, though it doesn't look like one. Dropping the Moonblade, he expresses his intent for peace, and finds himself disoriented by the vastness of Graceful Moon's penthouse and its charms. She stands before him, having hidden her entire palace within the hotel's top floor. John expresses dismay at the cheat, and the danger of maintaining it. She is remorseless, explaining that as the true masters of the world, mages such as she deserve to live as royalty, whatever the cost. She knows already his reason for coming; to learn who taught him his first spell.
However, she will not help him in finding the answer until he reveals the identity of the spirit inside the Moonblade. She explains that as a girl, she was manipulated into killing with her first spell, and it caused her great pain. The story is familiar to John, and he realizes that it was the Cult of the Cold Flame who was responsible for both of their becoming mages.
Meanwhile, at the Temple of the Cold Flame, Sargon discovers the secret of the Moonblade: it captures dreams. This makes it a dangerous weapon, and Tannarak comments that John tricked them into letting him keep it, without their realizing what it could do. Sargon is worried by this, and she begs Tannarak to use the hex that Papa Midnite gave them to kill John before he can destroy them. In response, Tannarak murders all of Sargon's acolytes, warning that if she shows fear before her followers, she loses their loyalty. Besides, he is unconcerned by the threat John poses. They have all the magic in the world. He has nothing but guile.
By force, Graceful Moon takes the Moonblade, determining at last that its occupant is indeed Mister E; the same man who destroyed her childhood. John, meanwhile, takes her distraction to hide in plain sight. He warns that the problem with relying on luck - even luck she has stolen from the people of Hong Kong - is that it always runs out. With that, the Moonblade moves of its own accord, and slices off her hand. John warns that the blade belongs to him - and if she wants revenge against the Cult of the Cold Flame, she will need to offer him a fair trade. Angrily, she responds that she will tear down her whole building just to find and kill him, rather than stoop to helping him.
Casting a spell, John manages to disable all of Graceful Moon's magic long enough for all of the spells keeping her palace concealed within a regular building to dissipate - which has a destructive effect on both structures. As the building comes down around him, John addresses the Moonblade and demands to know if it was Tannarak who taught him the spell that killed him family. With Graceful Moon presumably crushed within the collapsing building, Mister E has been rid of a troubling student and fulfilled his bargain with Constantine.
In that moment, John is struck by a sudden vision of the chains that bind the realms of reality being broken, and he realizes that disaster is coming.
- This book was first published on June 11, 2014.
- No special notes.
- None of the floors in Graceful Moon's building have a 4 in them because that number is considered unlucky in Chinese culture, because the word for that number is a near-homophone with the word for death.
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