So you know how I am always shouting out my love for the Six of Crows duology? I actually read the duology because it was the BOTM for After The Story, a writing project hosted by Ahaana @Windows To Worlds and Becky @Dusts Of Magic. We basically read books and write fanfiction for them. So for my piece, I have written an epilogue kinda-thing (It is actually much longer than epilogues usually are), which continues the story from the end of the Crooked Kingdom. I know it is long, but please do give it a read!
For the first time in his life, Kaz was not sure. He was not sure what to write in the blank pages lying on his desk. He was not sure everything would work out the way he thought it would. He wasn’t even sure that he hadn’t lost his mind. But he was pretty sure about one thing. Whatever he was going to do, he could not do it alone. He needed his crew beside him. With this in mind, he began writing.
Inej had not been surprised when she saw an envelope with the familiar black seal on it, on her desk in her new apartment. Well, one could hardly call it an apartment – it was a two-room unfurnished cabin, just enough for her and her parents. With the kind of money Inej had now, she could easily afford a mansion, maybe even one like Van Eck’s. Wylan’s, Inej corrected herself. But she could not risk flaunting her newly found wealth in all of Kerch. That would mean exposing herself to all her enemies, and Kaz would probably kill her before they did. Inej opened the envelope and smiled to herself.
Wylan had been feeling restless since the last few days. He could not really understand why. He had the entire mansion to himself, there were servants at his service the entire time, there was no one to taunt him and make him feel small, and on top of it all he had Jesper. So what was it that was missing? He felt the urge to…wait, was that an urge to steal? To do something not quite on the side of the law? No, that can’t be. Even if it were, to admit it would mean inviting a certain doom in the form of Jesper’s teasing. You’ve been thoroughly corrupted. What if Jesper was right?
It was because of this state of mind that Wylan tried to hide his excitement when one of the servants delivered the envelope. He had just read its contents when the bell announcing dinner rang. Wylan rushed out of the door of his room, and in his excitement, almost wanted to slide down the banisters of the stairs, but then thought better of it. He walked down the stairs, doing his best to compose himself before meeting Jesper, who was already at the table.
Jesper had never in his life imagined that he would be living in a huge mansion, be attended by servants, and have any luxury one could possibly want. As he sat on the table, waiting for Wylan to arrive, one of the servants offered to massage his head. Jesper whistled. I could get used to this. When Wylan finally came and sat down on the chair opposite to him, Jesper asked him, “Well?”
“Well what?” Wylan asked, and Jesper sighed. “You have something to tell me, don’t you? So why don’t you just spill it?” Wylan raised an eyebrow, but then told Jesper about Kaz’s letter. Jesper tried not to show it, but it felt like he had been punched in the gut. Kaz chose to send a letter to Wylan, when he could have sent it to him? Had he not forgiven him after all? Jesper shook off the hurt he felt and tried to focus on what Wylan was saying. “So the letter contained nothing important other than an address? No mention of why Kaz wants to meet us?” Wylan nodded, then said with a shrug, “Well, you know Kaz.” Jesper smiled ruefully. I thought I did.
Nina was exhausted. She had returned to Ravka after making sure Matthias got the kind of burial he had wanted in Fjerda. It had been a grueling journey, and Nina had been glad she could finally get some rest in Ravka now. Then why had she jumped onto the first boat to Kerch she found after finding Kaz’s letter? For Ketterdam’s waffles? To meet Inej? This wasn’t true, and she could tell that Zoya hadn’t believed it either when she had told her she was leaving for Kerch. But she couldn’t exactly tell Zoya the truth, could she? That she had been tingling with excitement since she read Kaz’s letter, and was eager to know what Kaz had up his sleeve this time. Was that the Ketterdam port over there? Nina smiled. It felt like coming home.
Kaz regarded the four teenagers sitting in front of him. He could almost feel the anxiousness and excitement coming out of them in waves. Good, so they hadn’t become the spoilt rich moneybags most people would become with the kind of money they had now. He cleared his throat and saw Jesper sit straight up in attention, and then slouch back down, hoping no one had noticed. Kaz shook his head and began. “Pekka Rollins has been spotted by a trusted source in Shu Han. He is in contact with several high-profile Shu. He suspects that Kai may still be alive, and is spreading this theory to the Shu. They have formed an alliance. Pekka’s part is to help them find Kai, and learn the formulae necessary for jurda parem.”
“And what will Pekka get in return?”, asked Jesper, his voice tense.
“The Barrel. The Shu have promised to ally with him in an attack on Ketterdam and eliminate all possible rival gangs. He wants to become the King of the Barrel once again.”, Kaz scoffed as he said the last words.
“So what are we going to do?”, Wylan said, wringing his hands nervously.
“We will attack first.”, Kaz said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“How?”, asked Nina. “The Shu army is not going to be defeated by a few Barrel thugs.”
“It is not”, Kaz agreed, and then leaned forward and questioned, “What’s the easiest way to destroy a hive full of bees who are waiting to sting you?”
“Put a bullet through it?”, inquired Jesper.
“Slash it into half?”, asked Inej.
“Bomb it into pieces?”, offered Wylan.
“Call an Exterminator?”, suggested Nina.
Kaz rolled his eyes. “The queen bee. You get rid of the queen bee, and the entire hive will be in such a chaos that they will fall into destruction themselves.”
Kaz could almost see the gears whirring in everyone’s brains. “Does that mean…”, began Inej. “Yes,” said Kaz, eyes gleaming. “We are going to Shu Han. We have an emperor to assassinate.”
I tried to show the internal struggles everyone was facing, through this writing. Also, the epilogue was already long enough (and I was also feeling too lazy to continue it) but for those who are wondering, Kaz did send Jesper a letter too. But it got intercepted by someone. Someone who might have been listening in when Kaz was sharing the plan with the others. 😱
I don’t want to take any more of your time, but do let me know how you felt about my story, in the comments section. I will be writing similar fanfics throughout the year, so any feedback would be very welcome!