Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
Kaz had been impressed with the sketches.
“You think like a lockpick,” he’d told Wylan.
“I do not.”
“I mean you can see space along three axes.”
“I’m not a criminal,” Wylan protested.
Kaz had cast him an almost pitying look. “No, you’re a flautist who fell in with bad company.”
Jesper sat down next to Wylan. “Just learn to take a compliment. Kaz doesn’t hand them out often.”
“It’s not a compliment. I’m nothing like him. I don’t belong here.”
“No arguments from me.”
“And you don’t belong here, either.”
“I beg your pardon, merchling?”
“We don’t need a sharpshooter for Kaz’s plan, so what’s your job—other than stalking around making everyone antsy?”
He shrugged. “Kaz trusts me.”
Wylan snorted and picked up his pen. “Sure about that?”
Jesper shifted uncomfortably. Of course he wasn’t sure about it. He spent far too much of his time guessing at Kaz Brekker’s thoughts. And if he had earned some small part of Kaz’s trust, did he deserve it?
He tapped his thumbs against his revolvers and said, “When the bullets start flying, you may find I’m nice to have around. Those pretty pictures aren’t going to keep you alive.”
“We need these plans. And in case you’ve forgotten, one of my flash bombs helped get us out of the Ketterdam harbor.”
Jesper blew out a breath. “Brilliant strategy.”
“It worked, didn’t it?”
“You blinded our guys right along with the Black Tips.”
“It was a calculated risk.”
“It was cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best. Believe me, I know the difference.”
“So I’ve heard.”
“Meaning everyone knows you can’t keep away from a fight or a wager, no matter the odds.”
Jesper squinted up at the sails. “If you aren’t born with every advantage, you learn to take your chances.”
“I wasn’t—” Wylan left off and set down his pen. “Why do you think you know everything about me?”
“I know plenty, merchling.”
“How nice for you. I feel like I’ll never know enough.”
“About anything,” Wylan muttered.
Against his better judgment, Jesper was intrigued. “Like what?” he pressed.
“Well, like those guns,” he said, gesturing to Jesper’s revolvers. “They have an unusual firing mechanism, don’t they? If I could take them apart—”
“Don’t even think about it.”
Wylan shrugged. “Or what about the ice moat?” he said, tapping the plan of the Ice Court. Matthias had said the moat wasn’t solid, only a slick, wafer-thin layer of ice over frigid water, thoroughly exposed and impossible to cross.
“What about it?”
“Where does all the water come from? The Court is on a hill, so where’s the aquifer or aqueduct to bring the water up?”
“Does it matter? There’s a bridge. We don’t need to cross the ice moat.”
“But aren’t you curious?”
“Saints, no. Get me a system for winning at Three Man Bramble or Makker’s Wheel. That I’m curious about.”
Wylan had turned back to his work, his disappointment obvious.
For some reason, Jesper felt a little disappointed, too.
* * *