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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

Kaz flicked his sleeve, and two slender rods of metal appeared between his fingers. They danced over his knuckles then vanished once more.

“Lockpicks?” Nina asked.

“You let me take care of the cells,” Kaz said.

“Hit where the mark isn’t looking,” mused Inej.

“That’s right,” said Kaz. “And the Ice Court is like any other mark, one big white pigeon ready for the plucking.”

“Will Yul-Bayur come willingly?” Inej asked.

“Van Eck said the Council gave Yul-Bayur a code word when they first tried to get him out of Shu Han so he’d know who to trust: Sesh-uyeh. It will tell him we’ve been sent by Kerch.”

Seshuyeh,” Wylan repeated, trying the syllables clumsily on his tongue. “What does it mean?”

Nina examined a spot on the floor and said, “Heartsick.”

“This can be done,” said Kaz, “and we’re the ones to do it.” Jesper felt the mood shift in the room as possibility took hold. It was a subtle thing, but he’d learned to look for it at the tables—the moment a player came awake to the fact that he might have a winning hand. Anticipation tugged at Jesper, a fizzing mix of fear and excitement that made it hard for him to sit still.

Maybe Matthias sensed it, too, because he folded his huge arms and said, “You have no idea what you’re up against.”

“But you do, Helvar. I want you working on the plan of the Ice Court every minute until we sail. No detail is too small or inconsequential. I’ll be checking on you regularly.”

Inej traced her finger over the rough sketch Wylan had produced, a series of embedded circles. “It really does look like the rings of a tree,” she said.

“No,” said Kaz. “It looks like a target.”

 

 

 

9

 

KAZ

 

“We’re done here,” Kaz told the others. “I’ll send word to each of you after I find us a ship, but be ready to sail by tomorrow night.”

“So soon?” Inej asked.

“We don’t know what kind of weather we’ll hit, and there’s a long journey ahead of us. Hringkälla is our best shot at Bo Yul-Bayur. I’m not going to risk losing it.”

Kaz needed time to think through the plan that was forming in his mind. He could see the basics—where they would enter, how they would leave. But the plan he envisioned would mean that they wouldn’t be able to bring much with them. They’d be operating without their usual resources. That meant more variables and a lot more chances for things to go wrong.

Keeping Wylan Van Eck around meant he could at least make sure they got their reward. But it wasn’t going to be easy. They hadn’t even left Ketterdam, and Wylan already seemed completely out of his depth. He wasn’t much younger than Kaz, but somehow he looked like a child—smooth-skinned, wide-eyed, like a silk-eared puppy in a room full of fighting dogs.

“Keep Wylan out of trouble,” he told Jesper as he dismissed them.