Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
Matthias looked at the plan. “The buildings of the outer circle surround the ice moat, and at the moat’s center is the White Island, where the treasury and the Royal Palace are. It’s the most secure place in the Ice Court.”
“Then that’s where Bo Yul-Bayur will be,” said Kaz.
Matthias smiled. Actually, it was less a smile than a baring of teeth. He learned that grin at Hellgate, thought Jesper.
“Then your quest is pointless,” Matthias said. “There is no way a group of foreigners is going to make it to the White Island.”
“Don’t look so pleased, Helvar. We don’t get inside, you don’t get your pardon.”
Matthias shrugged. “I can’t change what is true. The ice moat is watched from multiple guard towers on the White Island and a lookout atop the Elderclock. It’s completely uncrossable except by way of the glass bridge, and there’s no way onto the glass bridge without clearance.”
“Hringkälla is coming,” Nina said.
“Be silent,” Matthias snapped at her.
“Pray, don’t,” said Kaz.
“Hringkälla. It’s the Day of Listening, when the new drüskelle are initiated on the White Island.”
Matthias’ knuckles flexed white. “You have no right to speak of those things. They’re holy.”
“They’re facts. The Fjerdan royals throw a huge party with guests from all over the world, and plenty of the entertainment comes straight from Ketterdam.”
“Entertainment?” Kaz asked.
“Actors, dancers, a Komedie Brute troupe, and the best talent from the pleasure houses of West Stave.”
“I thought Fjerdans didn’t go in for that sort of thing,” said Jesper.
Inej’s lips quirked. “You’ve never seen Fjerdan soldiers on the Staves?”
“I meant when they’re at home,” Jesper said.
“It’s the one day a year they all stop acting so miserable and actually let themselves have a good time,” Nina replied. “Besides, only the drüskelle live like monks.”
“A good time needn’t involve wine and … and flesh,” Matthias sputtered.
Nina batted her glossy lashes at him. “You wouldn’t know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth.” She looked back at the plans. “The embassy gate will have to be open. Maybe we shouldn’t worry about breaking into the Ice Court. Maybe we should just walk in with the performers.”
“This isn’t the Hellshow,” said Kaz. “It won’t be that easy.”
“Visitors are vetted weeks before they arrive at the Ice Court,” Matthias said. “Anyone entering the embassy will have their papers checked and checked again. Fjerdans aren’t fools.”
Nina raised a brow. “Not all of them, at least.”
“Don’t poke the bear, Nina,” Kaz said. “We need him friendly. When does this party take place?”
“It’s seasonal,” Nina said, “on the spring equinox.”
“Two weeks from today,” noted Inej.
Kaz cocked his head to one side, his eyes focused on something in the distance.
“Scheming face,” Jesper whispered to Inej.
She nodded. “Definitely.”
“Is the White Rose sending a delegation?” Kaz asked.
Nina shook her head. “I didn’t hear anything about it.”