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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Do you mean the dress or the cell?”

A laugh shook him. “Definitely the cell.” Then he cupped her face in his hands. “Jer molle pe oonet. Enel mörd je nej afva trohem verret.”

Nina swallowed hard. She remembered those words and what they truly meant. I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath. It was the vow of the drüskelle to Fjerda. And now it was Matthias’ promise to her.

She knew she should say something profound, something beautiful in response. Instead, she spoke the truth. “If we make it out of here alive, I’m going to kiss you unconscious.”

A grin split his beautiful face. She couldn’t wait to see the real blue of his eyes again.

“Yul-Bayur is in the vault,” he said. “Let’s go.”

As Nina raced down the hall after Matthias, the clanging bells of Black Protocol filled her ears. If Brum had known about her, then chances were the other drüskelle did, too. She doubted it would be long before they came looking for their commander.

“Please tell me Kaz hasn’t gone missing again,” she said as they hurtled down the corridor.

“I left him in the ballroom. We’re to meet him by the ash.”

“Last time I looked, it was surrounded by drüskelle.”

“Maybe Black Protocol will take care of that.”

“If we survive the drüskelle, we won’t survive Kaz, not if we kill Yul-Bayur—”

Matthias put up a hand for them to stop before they turned the next corner. They approached slowly. When they rounded it, Nina made quick work of the guard at the vault door. Matthias took his rifle, then Brum’s key was in the lock, and the circular entry to the vault was opening.

Nina raised her hands, prepared to attack. They waited, hearts pounding, as the door slid open.

The room was as white as all the others, but hardly bare. Its long tables were full of beakers set over low blue flames, heating and cooling apparatuses, glass vials full of powders in varying shades of orange. One wall was devoted to a massive slate board covered in chalk equations. The other was all glass cases with little metal doors. They contained blooming jurda plants, and Nina guessed the cases must be heated. A cot was pushed up against the other wall, its thin covers rumpled, papers and notebooks strewn around it. A Shu boy was seated cross-legged on it. He stared at them, his dark hair flopping over his forehead, a notebook in his lap. He couldn’t have been more than fifteen.

“We aren’t here to harm you,” Nina said in Shu. “Where is Bo Yul-Bayur?”

The boy brushed his hair back from his golden eyes. “He’s dead.”

Nina frowned. Had Van Eck’s information been wrong? “Then what is all this?”

“Have you come to kill me?”

Nina wasn’t quite sure of the answer to that. “Sesh-uyeh?” she ventured.

The boy’s face crumpled in relief. “You’re Kerch.”

Nina nodded. “We came to rescue Bo Yul-Bayur.”