Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
He spotted Nina and Matthias trying to make their way onto the pier, but at least ten men were in their way. Kaz seemed to be running in the opposite direction, and Inej was nowhere to be found, though that didn’t mean much when it came to the Wraith. She could be hanging from the sails two feet away from him, and he probably wouldn’t know it.
The shout came from far below, and it took a moment for Jesper to realize it was Wylan calling to him. He tried to ignore him, taking aim again.
I’m going to kill that little idiot. “What do you want?” he shouted down.
“Close your eyes!”
“You can’t kiss me from down there, Wylan.”
“Just do it!”
“This better be good!” He shut his eyes.
“Are they closed?”
“Damn it, Wylan, yes, they’re—”
There was a shrill, shrieking howl, and then bright light bloomed behind Jesper’s lids. When it faded, he opened his eyes.
Below, he saw men blundering around, rendered blind by the flash bomb Wylan had set off. But Jesper could see perfectly. Not bad for a mercher’s kid, he thought to himself, and opened fire.
Before Inej had ever set foot on the high wire or even a practice rope, her father had taught her to fall—to protect her head and minimize the impact by not fighting her own momentum. Even as the blast from the harbor lifted her off her feet, she was tucking into a roll. She hit hard, but she was up in seconds, pressed against the side of a crate, her ears ringing, her nose singed by the sharp scent of gunpowder.
Inej spared Kaz and the others a single glance, then did what she did best—she vanished. She launched herself up the cargo crates, scaling them like a nimble insect, her rubber-soled feet finding grips and footholds.
The view from above was disturbing. The Dregs were outnumbered, and there were men working their way around their left and right flanks. Kaz had been right to keep their real point of departure a secret from the others. Someone had talked. Inej had tried to keep tabs on the team, but someone else in the gang could have been snooping. Kaz had said it himself: Everything in Ketterdam leaked, including the Slat and the Crow Club.
Someone was firing down from the masts of the new Ferolind. Hopefully, that meant Jesper had made it to the schooner, and she just had to buy the others enough time to make it there as well.
Inej ran lightly over the tops of the crates, making her way down the row, seeking her targets below. It was easy enough. None of them expected the threat to come from above. She slid to the ground behind two men firing at Nina, and said a silent prayer as she slit one throat, then the next. When the second man dropped, she crouched beside him and rolled up his right sleeve—a tattoo of a hand, its first and second fingers cut off at the knuckle. Black Tips. Was this retribution for Kaz’s showdown with Geels, or something more? They shouldn’t have been able to raise these kinds of numbers.