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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Chaos,” said Matthias.

“Yes,” said Van Eck. “Chaos will come, and I will be its master. Its very wealthy master.”

“You will be ensuring slavery and death for Grisha everywhere,” Inej said.

Van Eck raised a brow. “How old are you, girl? Sixteen? Seventeen? Nations rise and fall. Markets are made and unmade. When power shifts, someone always suffers.”

“When profit shifts,” Jesper shot back.

Van Eck’s expression was bemused. “Aren’t they one and the same?”

“When the Council finds out—” Inej began.

“The Council will never hear of this,” Van Eck said. “Why do you think I chose scum from the Barrel as my champions? Oh, you are resourceful and far more clever than any mercenaries, I give you that. But more important, you will not be missed.”

Van Eck lifted his hand. The Tidemakers spun their arms. Kaz heard a yell and turned to see a coil of water looming over Rotty. It slammed down on the longboat, smashing it to bits as he dove for cover.

“None of you will leave this island, Mister Brekker. All of you will vanish, and nobody will care.” He raised his hand again, and the Tidemakers responded. A massive wave roared toward the Ferolind.

“No!” cried Jesper.

“Van Eck!” shouted Kaz. “Your son is on that ship.”

Van Eck’s gaze snapped to Kaz. He blew his whistle. The Tidemakers froze, awaiting instruction. Reluctantly, Van Eck dropped his hand. They let the wave fall harmlessly, the displaced sea sloshing against the side of the Ferolind.

“My son?” Van Eck said.

“Wylan Van Eck.”

“Mister Brekker, surely you must know that I sent my son packing months ago.”

“I know you’ve written to Wylan every week since he left your household, begging him to return. Those are not the actions of a man who doesn’t care for his only son and heir.”

Van Eck began to laugh—a warm, almost jovial chuckle, but its edges were jagged and bitter.

“Let me tell you about my son.” He spat the word as if it were poison on his lips. “He was meant to be heir to one of the greatest fortunes in all of Kerch, an empire with shipping lines that reach all over the globe, one built by my father, and my father’s father. But my son, the boy meant to rule this grand empire, cannot do what a child of seven years can. He can solve an equation. He can paint and play the flute most prettily. What my son cannot do, Mister Brekker, is read. He cannot write. I have hired the best tutors from every corner of the world. I’ve tried specialists, tonics, beatings, hypnotism. But he refused to be taught. I finally had to accept that Ghezen saw fit to curse me with a moron for a child. Wylan is a boy who will never grow to be a man. He is a disgrace to my house.”

“The letters…” said Jesper, and Kaz could see the anger in his face. “You weren’t pleading with him to come back. You were mocking him.”