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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“We were ambushed,” Wylan said from his perch on the forecastle deck. He had his sleeve pushed up and was running his fingers over the red spot where Nina had seen to his wound.

Jesper shot Wylan a withering glare. “Private tutors from the university, and that’s what this kid comes up with? ‘We were ambushed’?”

Wylan reddened. “Stop calling me kid. We’re practically the same age.”

“You’re not going to like the other names I come up with for you. I know we were ambushed. That doesn’t explain how they knew we would be there. Maybe Big Bolliger wasn’t the only Black Tip spy in the Dregs.”

“Geels doesn’t have the brains or the resources to bite back this fast or this hard alone,” Kaz said.

“You sure? Because it felt like a pretty big bite.”

“Let’s ask.” Kaz limped over to where Rotty had stashed Oomen.

I stuck your Wraith, Oomen had giggled when Kaz had spotted him curled up on the ground. I stuck her good. Kaz had glanced at the blood on Oomen’s thigh and said, Looks like she got you, too. But her aim had been off or Oomen wouldn’t have been talking to anyone. He’d knocked the enforcer out and had Rotty retrieve him while he went to find Inej.

Now Helvar and Jesper dragged Oomen over to the rail, his hands bound.

“Stand him up.”

With one huge hand, Helvar hauled Oomen to his feet.

Oomen grinned, his thatch of coarse white hair flat against his wide forehead.

“Why don’t you tell me what brought so many Black Tips out in force tonight?” Kaz said.

“We owed you.”

“A public brawl with guns out and thirty men packing? I don’t think so.”

Oomen snickered. “Geels doesn’t like being bested.”

“I could fit Geels’ brains in the toe of my boot, and Big Bolliger was his only source inside the Dregs.”

“Maybe he—”

Kaz interrupted him. “I want you to think real careful now, Oomen. Geels probably thinks you’re dead, so there are no rules of barter here. I can do what I want with you.”

Oomen spat in his face.

Kaz took a handkerchief from his coat pocket and carefully wiped his face clean. He thought of Inej lying still on the table, her slight weight in his arms.

“Hold him,” he told Jesper and the Fjerdan. Kaz flicked his coat sleeve, and an oyster shucking knife appeared in his hand. At any given time he had at least two knives stashed somewhere in his clothes. He didn’t even count this one, really—a tidy, wicked little blade.

He made a neat slash across Oomen’s eye—from brow to cheekbone—and before Oomen could draw breath to cry out, he made a second cut in the opposite direction, a nearly perfect X. Now Oomen was screaming.

Kaz wiped the knife clean, returned it to his sleeve, and drove his gloved fingers into Oomen’s eye socket. He shrieked and twitched as Kaz yanked out his eyeball, its base trailing a bloody root. Blood gushed over his face.