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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“It would mean betraying the others,” she said. “They won’t get their pay from the Merchant Council.”

“True.”

“And Kaz will kill us both.”

“If he learns the truth.”

“Have you tried lying to Kaz Brekker?”

Matthias shrugged. “Then we die as we lived.”

Nina looked at Nestor’s emaciated form. “For a cause.”

“We are of one mind in this,” said Matthias. “Bo Yul-Bayur will not leave the Ice Court alive.”

“The deal is the deal,” she said in Kerch, the language of trade, a tongue that belonged to neither of them.

“The deal is the deal,” he replied.

Matthias swung his pick and brought it down in a hard arc, a kind of declaration. She hefted her pick and did the same. Without another word, they returned to the work of the grave, falling into a determined rhythm.

Kaz was right about one thing at least. She and Matthias had finally found something to agree on.

 

 

 

PART FOUR

 

THE TRICK TO FALLING

 

 

 

 

21

 

INEJ

 

Inej felt like she and Kaz had become twin soldiers, marching on, pretending they were fine, hiding their wounds and bruises from the rest of the crew.

It took two more days of travel to reach the cliffs that overlooked Djerholm, but the going was easier as they moved south and toward the coast. The weather warmed, the ground thawed, and she began to see signs of spring. Inej had thought Djerholm would look like Ketterdam—a canvas of black, gray, and brown, tangled streets dense with mist and coal smoke, ships of every kind in the harbor, pulsing with the rush and bustle of trade. Djerholm’s harbor was crowded with ships, but its tidy streets marched to the water in orderly fashion, and the houses were painted such colors—red, blue, yellow, pink—as if in defiance of the wild white land and the long winters this far north. Even the warehouses by the quay were wrought in cheerful colors. It looked the way she’d imagined cities as a child, everything candy-hued and in its proper place.

Was the Ferolind already waiting at the docks, snug in its berth, flying its Kerch flag and the distinctive orange and green parti-color of the Haanraadt Bay Company? If the plan went the way Kaz hoped, tomorrow night they would stroll down the Djerholm quay with Bo Yul-Bayur in tow, hop on their ship, and be far out to sea before anyone in Fjerda was the wiser. She preferred not to think of what tomorrow night might look like if the plan went wrong.

Inej glanced up to where the Ice Court stood like a great white sentinel on a massive cliff overlooking the harbor. Matthias had called the cliffs unscalable, and Inej had to admit that they would present a challenge even for the Wraith. They seemed impossibly high, and from a distance, their white lime surface looked clean and bright as ice.

“Cannon,” said Jesper.

Kaz squinted up at the big guns pointed out at the bay. “I’ve broken into banks, warehouses, mansions, museums, vaults, a rare book library, and once the bedchamber of a visiting Kaelish diplomat whose wife had a passion for emeralds. But I’ve never had a cannon shot at me.”