Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
“That’s the problem.”
The Elderclock began to sound ten bells.
“I’ll weaken the links,” said Jesper. “Look for a file or anything with an edge.”
Wylan held up the shears from the laundry.
“Good enough,” said Jesper. It would have to be.
We have time, he told himself as he focused on the chain. We can still get this done. Jesper hoped the others hadn’t met with any surprises.
Maybe Matthias was wrong about the White Island. Maybe the shears would snap in Wylan’s hands. Maybe Inej would fail. Or Nina. Or Kaz.
Or me. Maybe I’ll fail.
Six people, but a thousand ways this insane plan could go wrong.
NINE BELLS AND HALF CHIME
Nina dared one more glance over her shoulder, watching the guards drag Inej away. She’s smart, deadly. Inej can take care of herself.
The thought brought Nina little comfort, but she had to keep moving. She and Inej had clearly been together, and she wanted to be gone before the guard who had stopped Inej extended his suspicions to her. Besides, there was nothing she could do for Inej now, not without giving herself away and ruining everything. She ducked through the hordes of partygoers and shucked off the conspicuous horsehair cloak, letting it trail behind her, then allowing it to drop and be trampled by the crowd. Her costume would still turn heads, but at least now she didn’t have to worry about a big red topknot giving away her location.
The glass bridge rose before her in a gleaming arc, shimmering in the blue flames of the lanterns on its spires. All around her people laughed and clung to one another as they climbed higher above the ice moat, its surface shining below, a near-perfect mirror. The effect was disconcerting, dizzying; her too-tight beaded slippers seemed to float in midair. The people beside her looked as if they were walking on nothing at all.
Again she had the unpleasant understanding that this place must have been built by Fabrikator craft in some distant past. Fjerdans claimed the construction of the Ice Court was the work of a god or of Sënj Egmond, one of the Saints they claimed had Fjerdan blood. But in Ravka, people had begun to rethink the miracles of the Saints. Had they been true miracles or simply the work of talented Grisha? Was this bridge a gift from Djel? An ancient product of slave labor? Or had the Ice Court been built in a time before Grisha had come to be viewed as monsters by the Fjerdans?
At the highest point of the arch, she got her first real view of the White Island and the inner ring. From a distance, she’d seen the island was protected by another wall. But from this vantage point she saw the wall had been crafted in the shape of a leviathan, a giant ice dragon circling the island and swallowing its own tail. She shivered. Wolves, dragons, what was next? In Ravkan stories, monsters waited to be woken by the call of heroes. Well, she thought, we’re certainly not heroes. Let’s hope this one stays asleep.