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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Why me?”

“You’re unlucky enough to be in my line of sight, and I don’t want any sudden reconciliations between father and son before we set sail.”

“You don’t need to worry about that,” said Wylan.

“I worry about everything, merchling. That’s why I’m still alive. And you can keep an eye on Jesper, too.”

“On me?” Jesper said indignantly.

Kaz slid a black wood panel aside and unlocked the safe hidden behind it. “Yes, you.” He counted out four slender stacks of kruge and handed one over to Jesper. “This is for bullets, not bets. Wylan, make sure his feet don’t mysteriously find their way into a gambling den on his way to buy ammunition, understood?”

“I don’t need a nursemaid,” Jesper snapped.

“More like a chaperone, but if you want him to wash your nappies and tuck you in at night, that’s your business.” He ignored Jesper’s stung expression and doled kruge out to Wylan for explosives and to Nina for whatever she’d need in her tailoring kit. “Stock up for the journey only,” he said. “If this works the way I think it will, we’re going to have to enter the Ice Court empty-handed.”

He saw a shadow pass over Inej’s face. She wouldn’t like being without her knives any more than he liked being without his cane.

“I’ll need you to get cold weather gear,” he told her. “There’s a shop on the Wijnstraat that supplies trappers—start there.”

“You think to approach from the north?” asked Helvar.

Kaz nodded. “The Djerholm harbor is crawling with customs agents, and I’m going to bet they’ll be tightening security during your big party.”

“It isn’t a party.”

“It sounds like a party,” said Jesper.

“It isn’t supposed to be a party,” Helvar amended sullenly.

“What are we going to do with him?” Nina asked, nodding at Matthias. Her voice was disinterested, but the performance was wasted on everyone except Helvar. They’d all seen her tears at Hellgate.

“For the moment, he stays here at the Crow Club. I want you dredging your memory for details, Helvar. Wylan and Jesper will join you later. We’ll keep this parlor closed. If anyone playing in the main hall asks, tell them there’s a private game going on.”

“We have to sleep here?” asked Jesper. “I have things I need to see to at the Slat.”

“You’ll manage,” Kaz said, though he knew asking Jesper to spend the night in a gambling den without placing a bet was a particular kind of cruelty. He turned to the rest of them. “Not a word to anyone. No one is to know you’re leaving Kerch. You’re working with me on a job at a country house outside the city. That’s all.”

“Are you going to tell us anything else about your miraculous plan?” Nina asked.

“On the boat. The less you know, the less you can talk.”

“And you’re leaving Helvar unshackled?”

“Can you behave?” Kaz asked the Fjerdan.

His eyes looked murder, but he nodded.