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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Jesper,” Wylan gasped. “Metal. Fabrikate.” And then he started to scream.

In a flash, Jesper understood. This was a fight he couldn’t win with a gun. There was no time to think, no time to doubt.

He ignored the pain tearing over his skin and focused all his attention on the bits of metal clinging to his clothes, the shavings and tiny particles from the severed link in the gate chain. He wasn’t a good Fabrikator, but they didn’t expect him to be a Fabrikator at all. He thrust his hands forward, and the bits of metal flew from his uniform, a gleaming cloud that hung in the air for the briefest second then shot toward the Tidemakers.

The female Tidemaker screamed as the metal burrowed into her flesh, and she tried to turn to mist. The other Tidemaker did the same, features liquefying, but then solidifying once more, his face gray, speckled with bits of metal. Jesper didn’t relent. He drove the metal home, into their organs, questing deeper. He could feel them attempting to manipulate the particles of metal. If the problem had been a bullet or a blade, they might have succeeded, but the flecks and shavings of steel were too many and too small. The woman clutched her stomach and fell to her knees. The man screamed, coughing up clotted black specks of metal and blood.

“Help me,” the woman sobbed. Her edges blurred, her body vibrating as she struggled to fade to mist.

Jesper dropped his hands. He and Wylan scooted away from the writhing bodies of the Tidemakers.

Were they dying? Had he just killed two of his kind? Jesper had only wanted to survive. He thought again of the banner on the wall, all those strips of red, blue, and purple.

Wylan tugged at his arm. His face looked slightly transparent, the veins too close to the surface. “Jesper, we have to go.”

Jesper nodded slowly.

“Now.”

Jesper made his feet move, made himself follow Wylan, scale the rope to the roof. He felt woozy and lightheaded. The others were depending on him, he knew that. He had to keep going. But he felt like he’d left some part of himself in the courtyard below, something he hadn’t even known mattered, intangible as mist.

 

 

 

37

 

NINA

 

ELEVEN BELLS AND QUARTER CHIME

 

When Matthias opened the door to Nina’s cell, she hesitated for the briefest moment. She couldn’t help it. As long as she lived, she would never forget Matthias’ face at that window, how cruel he’d seemed, or the doubt that had sprung up in her heart. She felt it again, looking at him standing in the doorway, but when he held his hand out to her, she knew they were done with fear.

She ran to him, and he swept her up in his arms.

He buried his face in her hair. She felt his lips move against her ear when he said, “I never want to see you like this again.”