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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

Kaz heard Wylan retching. He tossed the eyeball overboard and jammed his spit-soaked handkerchief into the socket where Oomen’s eye had been. Then he grabbed Oomen’s jaw, his gloves leaving red smears on the enforcer’s chin. His actions were smooth, precise, as if he were dealing cards at the Crow Club or picking an easy lock, but his rage felt hot and mad and unfamiliar. Something within him had torn loose.

“Listen to me,” he hissed, his face inches from Oomen’s. “You have two choices. You tell me what I want to know, and we drop you at our next port with your pockets full of enough coin to get you sewn up and buy you passage back to Kerch. Or I take the other eye, and I repeat this conversation with a blind man.”

“It was just a job,” babbled Oomen. “Geels got five thousand kruge to bring the Black Tips out in force. We pulled in some Razorgulls, too.”

“Then why not more men? Why not double your odds?”

“You were supposed to be on the boat when it blew! We were just supposed to take care of the stragglers.”

“Who hired you?”

Oomen wavered, sucking on his lip, snot running from his nose.

“Don’t make me ask again, Oomen,” Kaz said quietly. “Whoever it was can’t protect you now.”

“He’ll kill me.”

“And I’ll make you wish for death, so you have to weigh those options.”

“Pekka Rollins,” Oomen sobbed. “It was Pekka Rollins!”

Even through his own shock, Kaz registered the effect of the name on Jesper and Wylan. Helvar didn’t know enough to be intimidated.

“Saints,” groaned Jesper. “We are so screwed.”

“Is Rollins leading the crew himself?” Kaz asked Oomen.

“What crew?”

“To Fjerda.”

“I don’t know about no crew. We were just supposed to stop you from getting out of the harbor.”

“I see.”

“I need a medik. Can you take me to a medik now?”

“Of course,” said Kaz. “Right this way.” He took Oomen by the lapels and hoisted him off his feet, bracing his body against the railing.

“I told you what you wanted!” Oomen screamed, struggling. “I did what you asked!”

Despite Oomen’s knobby build, he was deceptively strong—farm strong like Jesper. He’d probably grown up in the fields.

Kaz leaned in so that no one else could hear it when he said, “My Wraith would counsel mercy. But thanks to you, she’s not here to plead your case.”

Without another word, he tipped Oomen into the sea.

“No!” Wylan shouted, leaning over the railing, his face pale, stunned eyes tracking Oomen in the waves. The enforcer’s pleas were still audible as his maimed face faded from view.

“You … you said if he helped you—”

“Do you want to go over, too?” asked Kaz.

Wylan took a deep breath as if sucking in courage and sputtered, “You won’t throw me overboard. You need me.”

Why do people keep saying that? “Maybe,” said Kaz. “But I’m not in a very rational mood.”