Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
“I didn’t ask,” said Kaz. “Besides, Wylan isn’t just good with the flint and fuss. He’s our insurance.”
“Against what?” asked Nina.
“Meet Wylan Van Eck,” said Kaz Brekker as the boy’s cheeks flooded crimson. “Jan Van Eck’s son and our guarantee on thirty million kruge.”
Jesper stared at Wylan. “Of course you’re a Councilman’s kid.” He burst out laughing. “That explains everything.”
He knew he should be angry at Kaz for holding back yet another vital piece of information, but right now, he was just enjoying watching the little revelation of Wylan Van Eck’s identity go careening around the room like an ornery colt kicking up dust.
Wylan was red-faced and mortified. Nina looked stunned and irritated. The Fjerdan just seemed confused. Kaz appeared utterly pleased with himself. And, of course, Inej didn’t look remotely surprised. She gathered Kaz’s secrets and kept them as well. Jesper tried to ignore the pang of jealousy he felt at that.
Wylan’s mouth opened and closed, his throat working. “You knew?” he asked Kaz miserably.
Kaz leaned back in his chair, one knee bent, his bad leg stretched out before him. “Why do you think I’ve been keeping you around?”
“I’m good at demo.”
“You’re passable at demo. You’re excellent at hostage.”
That was cruel, but that was Kaz. And the Barrel was a far rougher teacher than Kaz could ever be. At least this explained why Kaz had been coddling Wylan and sending jobs his way.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Jesper. “We should still take Raske and leave this baby merch on lockdown in Ketterdam.”
“I don’t trust Raske.”
“And you trust Wylan Van Eck?” Jesper said incredulously.
“Wylan doesn’t know enough people to cause us real trouble.”
“Don’t I have some say in this?” complained Wylan. “I’m sitting right here.”
Kaz raised a brow. “Ever had your pocket picked, Wylan?”
“I … not that I know of.”
“Been mugged in an alley?”
“Hung over the side of a bridge with your head in the canal?”
Wylan blinked. “No, but—”
“Ever been beaten until you can’t walk?”
“Why do you think that is?”
“It’s been three months since you left your daddy’s mansion on the Geldstraat. Why do you suppose your sojourn in the Barrel has been so blessed?”
“Lucky, I guess?” Wylan suggested weakly.
Jesper snorted. “Kaz is your luck, merchling. He’s had you under Dregs protection—though you’re so useless, up until this minute none of us could figure out why.”
“It was perplexing,” Nina admitted.
“Kaz always has his reasons,” murmured Inej.
“Why did you move out of your father’s house?” Jesper asked.
“It was time,” Wylan said tightly.
“Idealist? Romantic? Revolutionary?”
“Idiot?” suggested Nina. “No one chooses to live in the Barrel if he has another option.”
“I’m not useless,” Wylan said.
“Raske is the better demo man—” Inej began.
“I’ve been to the Ice Court. With my father. We went to an embassy dinner. I can help with the plans.”