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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

But he felt different, even with the familiar weight of his pearl-handled revolvers at his hips and a rifle on his back. He kept thinking of the Tidemaker woman, screaming in the drüskelle courtyard, her face speckled black. He looked down at his hands. Did he want to be a Fabrikator? To live as one? He couldn’t help what he was, but did he want to cultivate his power or keep hiding it?

Kaz left Rotty and Jesper at the dock while he went to find a runner to take a message to Van Eck. Jesper wanted to go with him, but Kaz told him to stay put. Annoyed, Jesper took the chance to stretch his legs, aware of Rotty observing him. He had the distinct sense that Kaz had told Rotty to keep him under watch. Did Kaz think he was going to bolt straight to the nearest gambling hall?

He looked up at the cloudy sky. Why not admit it? He was tempted. He was itching for a hand of cards. Maybe he really should get out of Ketterdam. Once he had his money and his debts were paid, he could go anywhere in the world. Even Ravka. Hopefully, Nina would recover, and when she was back to herself, Jesper could sit down with her and figure it out. No commitments right away, but he could at least visit, couldn’t he?

A half hour later, Kaz returned with a message confirming that representatives from the Merchant Council would meet them on Vellgeluk at dawn the following day.

“Look at that,” Kaz said, holding the paper out for Jesper to read. Beneath the details of the meet it said, Congratulations. Your country thanks you.

The words left a funny feeling in Jesper’s chest, but he laughed and said, “As long as my country pays cash. Does the Council know the scientist is dead?”

“I put it all in my note to Van Eck,” Kaz said. “I told him Bo Yul-Bayur is dead, but that his son is alive and was working on jurda parem for the Fjerdans.”

“Did he haggle?”

“Not in the note. He expressed his ‘deep concern,’ but didn’t mention anything about price. We did our job. We’ll see if he tries to bargain us down when we get to Vellgeluk.”

As they rowed back to the Ferolind, Jesper asked, “Will Wylan come with us to meet Van Eck?”

“No,” Kaz said, fingers drumming on the crow’s head of his cane. “Matthias will be with us, and someone has to stay with Nina. Besides, if we need to use Wylan to twist his father’s arm, it’s better that we not show our hand too early.”

It made sense. And whatever discord existed between Wylan and his father, Jesper doubted Wylan wanted to hash it out in front of the Dregs and Matthias.

He spent a restless night tossing in his hammock and woke to a muggy gray dawn. There was no wind, and the sea looked flat and glassy as a millpond.