Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
This isn’t right, Nina thought miserably. Practicing the Small Science made a Grisha healthier, stronger. It was one of the things she loved most about her power. But the body had limits. It was as if the drug had caused Nestor’s power to outpace his body. It had simply used him up.
Kaz and Jesper returned, panting.
“Anything?” asked Matthias.
Jesper nodded. “A party of people heading south.”
“He was calling out for the Shu,” Nina said.
“We knew the Shu would send a team to retrieve Bo Yul-Bayur,” said Kaz.
Jesper looked down at Nestor’s motionless body. “But we didn’t know they’d send Grisha. How can we be sure they aren’t mercenaries?”
Kaz held up a coin emblazoned with a horse on one side and two crossed keys on the other. “This was in the Squaller’s pocket,” he said, tossing it to Jesper. “It’s a Shu wen ye. The Coin of Passage. This is a government mission.”
“How did they find us?” Inej asked.
“Maybe Jesper’s gunshots drew them,” said Kaz.
Jesper bristled and pointed at Nina and Matthias. “Or maybe they heard these two shouting at each other. They could have been following us for miles.”
Nina tried to make sense of what she was hearing. Shu didn’t use Grisha as soldiers, and they weren’t like the Fjerdans; they didn’t see Grisha power as unnatural or repulsive. They were fascinated by it. But they still viewed the Grisha as less than human. The Shu government had been capturing and experimenting on Grisha for years in an attempt to locate the source of their power. They would never use Grisha as mercenaries. Or at least that had been the case before. Maybe parem had changed the game.
“I don’t understand,” said Nina. “If they have jurda parem, why go after Bo Yul-Bayur?”
“It’s possible they have a stash of it, but can’t reproduce his process,” Kaz said. “That’s what the Merchant Council seemed to think. Or maybe they just want to make sure Yul-Bayur doesn’t give the formula to anyone else.”
“Do you think they’ll use drugged Grisha to try to break into the Ice Court?” Inej asked.
“If they have more of them,” said Kaz. “That’s what I would do.”
Matthias shook his head. “If they’d had a Heartrender, we’d all be dead.”
“It was still a close thing,” replied Inej.
Jesper shouldered his rifle. “Wylan earned his keep.”
Wylan gave a little jump at the sound of his name. “I did?”
“Well, you made a down payment.”
“Let’s move,” said Kaz.
“We need to bury them,” Nina said.
“The ground’s too hard, and we don’t have the time. The Shu team is still moving toward Djerholm. We don’t know how many other Grisha they may have, and Pekka’s team could already be inside.”
“We can’t just leave them for the wolves,” she said, her throat tight.
“Do you want to build them a pyre?”
“Go to hell, Brekker.”
“Do your job, Zenik,” he shot back. “I didn’t bring you to Fjerda to perform funeral rites.”