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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Because I’m the diplomat of the group?”

“There is no diplomat of the group. Now listen,” Kaz said. “The rest of the prison isn’t like the holding area. Patrols in the cellblock rotate every two hours, and we don’t want to risk anyone sounding an alarm, so be smart. We coordinate everything to the chiming of the Elderclock. We’re out of the cells right after six bells, we’re up the incinerator and on the roof by eight bells. No exceptions.”

“And then what?” asked Wylan.

“We cross to the embassy sector roof and get access to the glass bridge through there.”

“We’ll be on the other side of the checkpoints,” said Matthias, unable to keep a hint of admiration from his voice. “The guards on the bridge will assume we passed through the embassy gate and had our papers scrutinized there.”

Wylan frowned. “In prison uniforms?”

“Phase two,” said Jesper. “The fake.”

“That’s right,” said Kaz. “Inej, Nina, Matthias, and I will borrow a change of clothes from one of the delegations—and a little something extra for our friend Bo Yul-Bayur when we find him—and stroll across the glass bridge. We locate Yul-Bayur and get him back to the embassy. Nina, if there’s time, you’ll tailor him as much as possible, but as long as we don’t trigger any alarms, no one is going to notice one more Shu among the guests.”

Unless Matthias managed to get to the scientist first. If he was dead when the others found him, Kaz couldn’t hold Matthias responsible. He’d still get his pardon. And if he never managed to separate from the group? A shipboard accident might still befall Yul-Bayur on the journey back.

“So what I’m getting from this,” said Jesper, “is that I’m stuck with Wylan.”

“Unless you’ve suddenly acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of the White Island, the ability to pick locks, scale unscalable walls, or flirt confidential information out of high level officials, yes. Besides, I want two sets of hands making bombs.”

Jesper looked mournfully at his guns. “Such potential wasted.”

Nina crossed her arms. “Let’s say this all works. How do we get out?”

“We walk,” Kaz said. “That’s the beauty of this plan. Remember what I said about guiding the mark’s attention? At the embassy gate, all eyes will be focused on guests coming into the Ice Court. People leaving aren’t a security risk.”

“Then why the bombs?” asked Wylan.

“Precautions. There are seven miles of road between the Ice Court and the harbor. If someone notices Bo Yul-Bayur is missing, we’re going to have to cover that territory fast.” He drew a line in the snow with his walking stick. “The main road crosses a gorge. We blow the bridge, no one can follow.”

Matthias put his head in his hands, imagining the havoc these low creatures were about to wreak on his country’s capital.

“It’s one prisoner, Helvar,” said Kaz.

“And a bridge,” Wylan put in helpfully.

“And anything we have to blow up in between,” added Jesper.