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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“An ordinary Tidemaker can control currents, summon water or moisture from the air or a nearby source. They manage the tides in our harbor. But under the influence of jurda parem, a Tidemaker can alter his own state from solid to liquid to gas and back again, and do the same with other objects. Even a wall.”

Kaz was tempted to deny it, but he couldn’t explain what he’d just seen any other way. “How?”

“It’s hard to say. You’re aware of the amplifiers some Grisha wear?”

“I’ve seen them,” Kaz said. Animal bones, teeth, scales. “I hear they’re hard to come by.”

“Very. But they only increase a Grisha’s power. Jurda parem alters a Grisha’s perception.”

“So?”

“Grisha manipulate matter at its most fundamental levels. They call it the Small Science. Under the influence of parem, those manipulations become faster and far more precise. In theory, jurda parem is just a stimulant like its ordinary cousin. But it seems to sharpen and hone a Grisha’s senses. They can make connections with extraordinary speed. Things become possible that simply shouldn’t be.”

“What does it do to sorry sobs like you and me?”

Van Eck seemed to bristle slightly at being lumped in with Kaz, but he said, “It’s lethal. An ordinary mind cannot tolerate parem in even the lowest doses.”

“You said you gave it to three Grisha. What can the others do?”

“Here,” Van Eck said, reaching for a drawer in his desk.

Kaz lifted his pistol. “Easy.”

With exaggerated slowness, Van Eck slid his hand into the desk drawer and pulled out a lump of gold. “This started as lead.”

“Like hell it did.”

Van Eck shrugged. “I can only tell you what I saw. The Fabrikator took a piece of lead in his hands, and moments later we had this.”

“How do you even know it’s real?” asked Kaz.

“It has the same melting point as gold, the same weight and malleability. If it’s not identical to gold in every way, the difference has eluded us. Have it tested if you like.”

Kaz tucked his cane under his arm and took the heavy lump from Van Eck’s hand. He slipped it into his pocket. Whether it was real or just a convincing imitation, a chunk of yellow that big could buy plenty on the streets of the Barrel.

“You could have gotten that anywhere,” Kaz pointed out.

“I would bring Hoede’s Fabrikator here to show you himself, but he isn’t well.”

Kaz’s gaze flicked to Mikka’s sickly face and damp brow. The drug clearly came with a price.

“Let’s say this is all true and not cheap, coin-trick magic. What does it have to do with me?”

“Perhaps you heard of the Shu paying off the entirety of their debt to Kerch with a sudden influx of gold? The assassination of the trade ambassador from Novyi Zem? The theft of documents from a military base in Ravka?”

So that was the secret behind the murder of the ambassador in the washroom. And the gold in those three Shu ships must have been Fabrikator made. Kaz hadn’t heard anything about Ravkan documents, but he nodded anyway.