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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

But if Jesper was anxious, Wylan looked like he might actually throw up.

“What are we supposed to do now?” Wylan whispered. “What good is a lockpick without his picks?”

“Be quiet.”

“And what good are you? A sharpshooter without his guns. You’re completely extraneous to this mission.”

“It’s not a mission; it’s a job.”

“Matthias calls it a mission.”

“He’s military, you’re not. And I’m already in jail, so don’t tempt me to commit homicide.”

“You aren’t going to kill me, and I’m not going to pretend everything is okay. We’re stuck in here.”

“You’re definitely better suited to a gilded cage than to a real one.”

“I left my father’s house.”

“Yeah, you gave up a life of luxury so you could slum it with us sobs in the Barrel. That doesn’t make you interesting, Wylan, just stupid.”

“You don’t know anything about it.”

“So tell me,” Jesper said, turning to him. “We have time. What makes a good little merch boy leave home to keep company with criminals?”

“You act like you were born in the Barrel like Kaz, but you’re not even Kerch. You chose this life, too.”

“I like cities.”

“They don’t have cities in Novyi Zem?”

“Not like Ketterdam. Have you ever even been anywhere but home, the Barrel, and fancy embassy dinners?”

Wylan looked away. “Yes.”

“Where? The suburbs for peach season?”

“The races at Caryeva. The Shu oil fields. The jurda farms near Shriftport. Weddle. Elling.”

“Really?”

“My father used to take me everywhere with him.”

“Until?”

“Until what?”

Until. My father took me everywhere until I contracted terrible seasickness, until I vomited at a royal wedding, until I tried to hump the ambassador’s leg.”

“The leg was asking for it.”

Jesper released a bark of laughter. “Finally, a little spine.”

“I have plenty of spine,” Wylan grumbled. “And look where it got—”

He was interrupted by a guard’s voice shouting in Fjerdan just as the Elderclock began to chime six bells. At least the Fjerdans were punctual.

The guard spoke again in Shu and then in Kerch. “On your feet.”

Shimkopper,” the guard demanded. They all looked at him blankly. “The piss bucket,” he tried in Kerch. “Where is … to empty?” He pantomimed.

There were shrugs and confused glances.

The guard’s gloomy sulk made it clear he couldn’t care less. He shoved a bucket of fresh water into the cell and slammed the bars shut.

Jesper pushed to the front and took a big gulp from the cup tied to its handle. Most of it splashed on his shirt. When he handed the cup to Wylan, he made sure it soaked him as well.

“What are you doing?” Wylan protested.

“Patience, Wylan. And do try to follow along.”

Jesper hiked up his pants and felt around the thin skin over his ankle.

“Tell me what’s happen—”

“Be quiet. I need to concentrate.” It was true. He really didn’t want the pellet buried beneath his skin to open up while it was still inside him.