Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
She tried to roll over, but the pain was too intense, so she settled for turning her head. Nina was drowsing on a stool tucked into the corner by the table, Inej’s hand grasped loosely in her own.
“Nina,” she croaked. Her throat felt like it was coated in wool.
Nina jolted awake. “I’m up!” she blurted, then peered blearily at Inej. “You’re awake.” She sat up straighter. “Oh, Saints, you’re awake!”
And then Nina burst out crying.
Inej tried to sit up, but could barely lift her head.
“No, no,” Nina said. “Don’t try to move, just rest.”
“Are you okay?”
Nina started to laugh through her tears. “I’m fine. You’re the one who got stabbed. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s just so much easier to kill people than take care of them.” Inej blinked, and then they both started laughing. “Owwww,” groaned Inej. “Don’t make me laugh. That feels awful.”
Nina winced. “How do you feel?”
“Sore, but not terrible. Thirsty.”
Nina offered her a tin cup full of cold water. “It’s fresh. We had rain yesterday.”
Inej sipped carefully, letting Nina hold her head up. “How long was I out?”
“Three days, almost four. Jesper is driving us all crazy. I don’t think I’ve seen him sit still for more than two minutes together.” She stood up abruptly. “I need to tell Kaz you’re awake! We thought—”
“Wait,” Inej said, grabbing for Nina’s hand. “Just … can we not tell him right away?”
Nina sat back down, her face puzzled. “Sure, but—”
“Just for tonight.” She paused. “Is it night?”
“Yes. Just past midnight, actually.”
“Do we know who came after us at the harbor?”
“Pekka Rollins. He hired the Black Tips and the Razorgulls to keep us from getting out of Fifth Harbor.”
“How did he know where we were leaving from?”
“We’re not sure yet.”
“I saw Oomen—”
“Oomen’s dead. Kaz killed him.”
“Kaz killed a lot of people. Rotty saw him go after the Black Tips who had you up on the crates. I believe his exact words were, ‘There was enough blood to paint a barn red.’”
Inej closed her eyes. “So much death.” They were surrounded by it in the Barrel. But this was the closest it had ever come to her.
“He was afraid for you.”
“Kaz isn’t afraid of anything.”
“You should have seen his face when he brought you to me.”
“I’m a very valuable investment.”
Nina’s jaw dropped. “Tell me he didn’t say that.”
“Of course he did. Well, not the valuable part.”
“Also an idiot. Do you think you can eat?”
Inej shook her head. She didn’t feel hungry at all.
“Try,” urged Nina. “There wasn’t much of you to begin with.”
“I just want to rest for now.”
“Of course,” Nina said. “I’ll turn down the lantern.”
Inej reached for her again. “Don’t. I don’t want to go back to sleep yet.”
“I could read to you if I had anything to read. There’s a Heartrender at the Little Palace who can recite epic poetry for hours. Then you’d wish you had died.”