Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
“Your client will wait. What do you know about jurda parem?”
Nina shrugged. “There are rumors, but they sound like nonsense to me.” With the exception of the Council of Tides, the few Grisha working in Ketterdam all knew each other and exchanged information readily. Most were on the run from something, eager to avoid drawing the attention of slavers or interest from the Ravkan government.
“They aren’t just rumors.”
“Squallers flying? Tidemakers turning to mist?”
“Fabrikators making gold from lead.” He reached into his pocket and tossed the lump of yellow to her. “It’s real.”
“Fabrikators make textiles. They fuss around with metals and fabrics. They can’t turn one thing into another.” She held the lump up to the light. “You could have gotten this anywhere,” she said, just as he had argued to Van Eck a few hours earlier.
Without being invited, Kaz sat down on the plush settee and stretched out his bad leg. “Jurda parem is real, Nina, and if you’re still the good little Grisha soldier I think you are, you’ll want to hear what it does to people like you.”
She turned the lump of gold over her in her hands, then wrapped her dressing gown more tightly around her and curled up at the end of the settee. Again, Kaz marveled at the transformation. In these rooms, she played the part her clients wanted to see—the powerful Grisha, serene in her knowledge. But sitting there with her brow furrowed and her feet tucked under her, she looked like what she truly was: a girl of seventeen, raised in the sheltered luxury of the Little Palace, far from home and barely getting by every day.
“Tell me,” she said.
Kaz talked. He held back on the specifics of Van Eck’s proposal, but he told her about Bo Yul-Bayur, jurda parem, and the addictive properties of the drug, placing particular emphasis on the recent theft of Ravkan military documents.
“If this is all true, then Bo Yul-Bayur needs to be eliminated.”
“That is not the job, Nina.”
“This isn’t about money, Kaz.”
It was always about money. But Kaz knew a different kind of pressure was required. Nina loved her country and loved her people. She still believed in the future of Ravka and in the Second Army, the Grisha military elite that had nearly disintegrated during the civil war. Nina’s friends back in Ravka believed she was dead, a victim of Fjerdan witchhunters, and for now, she wanted it to stay that way. But Kaz knew she hoped to return one day.
“Nina, we’re going to retrieve Bo Yul-Bayur, and I need a Corporalnik to do it. I want you on my crew.”
“Wherever he’s hiding out, once you find him, letting him live would be the most outrageous kind of irresponsibility. My answer is no.”
“He isn’t hiding out. The Fjerdans have him at the Ice Court.”
Nina paused. “Then he’s as good as dead.”
“The Merchant Council doesn’t think so. They wouldn’t be going to this trouble or offering up this kind of reward if they thought he’d been neutralized. Van Eck was worried. I could see it.”