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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

The maid’s brow furrowed. “I think they were just visiting for a time from Zierfoort.”

“No,” Jordie said. “They’ve lived here for years. They—”

The maid shook her head. “That house stood empty for nearly a year after the last family moved away. It was only rented a few weeks ago.”

“But—”

She’d closed the door in his face.

Kaz and Jordie said nothing to each other, not on the walk home or as they climbed the stairs to their little room in the boarding house. They sat in the growing gloom for a long time. Voices floated back to them from the canal below as people went about their evening business.

“Something happened to them,” Jordie said at last. “There was an accident or an emergency. He’ll write soon. He’ll send for us.”

That night, Kaz took Saskia’s red ribbon from beneath his pillow. He rolled it into a neat spiral and clutched it in his palm. He lay in bed and tried to pray, but all he could think about was the magician’s coin: there and then gone.

 

 

 

19

 

MATTHIAS

 

It was too much. He hadn’t anticipated how difficult it would be to see his homeland for the first time in so long. He’d had over a week aboard the Ferolind to prepare, but his head had been full of the path he’d chosen, of Nina, of the cruel magic that had taken him from his prison cell and placed him on a boat speeding north beneath a limitless sky, still bound not just by shackles but by the burden of what he was about to do.

He got his first glimpse of the northern coast late in the afternoon, but Specht decided to wait until dusk to make land in hopes the twilight would lend them some cover. There were whaling villages along the shore, and no one was eager to be spotted. Despite their cover as trappers, the Dregs were still a conspicuous group.

They spent the night on the ship. At dawn the next morning, Nina had found him assembling the cold weather gear Jesper and Inej had distributed. Matthias was impressed by Inej’s resilience. Though she still had circles beneath her eyes, she moved without stiffness, and if she was in pain, she hid it well.

Nina held up a key. “Kaz sent me to remove your shackles.”

“Are you going to lock me in again at night?”

“That’s up to Kaz. And you, I suppose. Have a seat.”

“Just give me the key.”

Nina cleared her throat. “He also wants me to tailor you.”

“What? Why?” The thought of Nina altering his appearance with her witchcraft was intolerable.

“We’re in Fjerda now. He wants you looking a little less … like yourself, just in case.”

“Do you know how big this country is? The chance that—”

“The odds of you being recognized will be considerably higher at the Ice Court, and I can’t make changes to your appearance all at once.”