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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Why aren’t there names on anything?” Brekker asked, gesturing at the plans.

“I don’t know Fjerdan, and we need the details right,” Wylan said. “Helvar should do it.” He drew back when he saw Matthias’ expression. “I’m just doing my job. Stop glaring at me.”

“No,” Matthias growled.

“Here,” Kaz said, tossing him a tiny, clear disk that winked in the sun. The demon had propped himself on a barrel and was leaning against the mast, his bad leg elevated on a coil of rope, that cursed walking stick resting on his lap. Matthias liked to imagine breaking it into splinters and feeding them to Brekker one by one.

“What is it?”

“One of Raske’s new inventions.”

Wylan’s head popped up. “I thought he did demo work.”

“He does everything,” said Jesper.

“Wedge it between your back teeth,” Kaz said as he handed the disks to the others. “But don’t bite dow—”

Wylan started to sputter and cough, clawing at his mouth. A transparent film had spread over his lips; it bulged like a frog’s gullet as he tried to breathe, eyes darting left and right in panic.

Jesper started laughing, and Kaz just shook his head. “I told you not to bite down, Wylan. Breathe through your nose.”

The boy took deep inhales, nostrils flaring.

“Easy,” said Jesper. “You’re going to make yourself pass out.”

“What is this?” asked Matthias, still holding the tiny disk in his palm.

Kaz pushed his deep into his mouth, wiggling it between his teeth. “Baleen. I’d planned to save these, but after that ambush, I don’t know what kind of trouble we may run into on the open sea. If you go over and can’t come up for air, wiggle it free and bite down. It will buy you ten minutes of breathing time. Less if you panic,” he said with a meaningful look at Wylan. He gave the boy another piece of baleen. “Be careful with that one.” Then he tapped the Ice Court plans.

“Names, Helvar. All of them.”

Reluctantly, Matthias picked up the pen and ink Wylan had laid out and began to scratch in the names of the buildings and surrounding roads. Somehow doing it himself felt even more treasonous. Part of him wondered if he could simply find a way to separate from the group once they got there, reveal their location, and thereby win his way back into the good graces of his government. Would anyone at the Ice Court even recognize him? He was probably believed to be dead, drowned in the shipwreck that had killed his closest friends and Commander Brum. He had no proof of his true identity. He would be a stranger who had no business in the Ice Court, and by the time he got anyone to listen—

“You’re holding back,” Brekker said, his dark eyes trained on Matthias.

Matthias ignored the shiver that passed through him. Sometimes it was like the demon could read minds. “I’m telling you what I know.”