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They finally arrived at the docks of Yunping City after being afloat for another three or four hours.

ー chapter 91.


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He’s finally contented after seeing how Lan WangJi had finally eaten some of the seed pods they plucked from the lake. Before this, he’d eaten three biscuits from the stalls outside Lotus Pier but Lan WangJi had only eaten one and it’s the only food he’d been eating for the past two days. Wei WuXian wasn’t hungry for real when he told Lan WangJi that he’s hungry. But he's also aware of how little Lan WangJi had eaten and it was stinging him in the heart. Yet, he also knew that if he was to tell Lan WangJi to eat, Lan WangJi would most likely tell him that ‘it’s fine’, brushing the matter off just like that. 

So he could only use himself as an excuse ー just so Lan WangJi can eat.

Apart from wanting to let Lan WangJi taste for himself how delicious the seed pods in the lake was, he also wanted to feed Lan WangJi while enjoying a nostalgic taste himself.

Despite so, in the end, he was the one who had been eating the most between them. They were sitting amid mountains of green lotus seed pods, with barely any room to put their feet, all full and gratified, by the end of the feast. The lake was pungent with the scent of lotuses, the flow of water below the boat steady and elegant, the night breeze pacifying and relaxing.

It’s been a while since both his body and mind experienced such a comforting peace. Best to savour it while he could.

“Young Master Wei, a-are the seed pods really that delicious?” Wen Ning asked while Wei WuXian leaned against the boat, rubbing his bloated tummy blissfully. 

“Aih, Wen Ning, if only you can try, you’ll definitely agree this is the most delicious seed pods you’ve ever tasted in your life too,” Wei WuXian said with a grin. “They’re so good we used to steal whenever we can. But of course, like HanGuang-Jun had mindfully reminded me, this place is owned by someone, so at the end of every month, the owner ー an old man ー would send the bills to Lotus Pier to ask for compensation for everything we had stolen, hahaha!”

“Don’t do it again,” Lan WangJi spoke all of a sudden.

Wei WuXian waved a hand, “Of course I won’t. With HanGuang-Jun around, a weak man like myself will never stand a chance! This body is so fragile, HanGuang-Jun simply needs to use one arm to tug me back and I’ll fall obediently into his embrace. It doesn’t even have a core yet!”

Lan WangJi speaking out, alongside Wei WuXian’s carefree response seemed to have sparked something out of Wen Ning because in the next second, he’d slipped himself further away from them, returning to the edge of the boat where he picked up the paddle, looking like he’s about to row the boat again.

“Huh? Wen Ning, I told you there’s no need to row the boat! The flow of the lake will bring us to Yunping City in no time!” Wei WuXian called out to him.

Wen Ning responded in a way that’s way too anxious than he usually already was, “I-It’s okay. I-I’m fine being here, Young Master Wei. You… You take your time with HanGuang-Jun.”

“Huh?” Wei WuXian tilted his head, curious. He turned to look at Lan WangJi, about to ask him what’s up with Wen Ning, when he caught sight of Lan WangJi’s expression, one that looked very unlike the usual expression he’s used to seeing on his face. Lan WangJi was unexpressive at most time; even Wei WuXian can’t confidently tell what he’s thinking. But Wei WuXian was observant, and being as such, he’s used to recognizing the shade of light in Lan WangJi’s eyes, how it always adorned of benignity and strength despite his apathetic mien. But now, despite the faint lighting, he could make out how that very tint in his eyes was a shade darker, or rather, drabber. 

It’s like he’s worried about something, yet not presenting it as clearly as he could have; not in front of Wei WuXian.

It’s a rare sight of its own. Coupled with Wen Ning’s awkward behaviours ー Wen Ning, one who never knew how to conceal his own emotions ー it did nothing but piqued Wei WuXian’s curiosity even more.

“Lan Zhan?” he called out to him prudently.

Lan WangJi seemed to be dwelling with something in his own thoughts before Wei WuXian interrupted him. His eyes widened just ever so slightly, brought back to himself, as he looked at Wei WuXian. The light in his eyes had returned to its usual state.

“What is it?” he asked Wei WuXian, voice gentle.

But there’s no way Wei WuXian can disregard what he’d seen. He cannot stand unspoken words between them, because he knew that those would only lead to misunderstandings.

They still had some time until they reached Yunping City and there’s no way Wei WuXian can let this frustration bundled from within him without any sort of release.

He tried to pull a smile at Lan WangJi but it came out in such a forceful way he could only swallow down his throat and inch closer towards Lan WangJi. Surprisingly, Lan WangJi moved back just a little; not much, but enough for Wei WuXian to hear a loud thud in his ears.

“Lan Zhan, do you… want to tell something?” Wei WuXian broke his question. 

He had absolutely no idea what’s in Lan WangJi’s mind; it could be that he’s distressed about his brother but if it concerned his brother, then Lan WangJi won’t need to react in such way when Wei WuXian approached him. No matter how Wei WuXian thought about it, it can only be him.

The paddle dropped on the deck with a blaring noise the moment the question slipped through Wei WuXian’s tongue. Wei WuXian looked over his shoulder, just in time to see Wen Ning struggling to hold the paddle steadfastly in his hands before he returned his attention to Lan WangJi.

“Are you worried about my body? Look,” Wei WuXian stretched his hands to both sides, showing his body. “I’m fine! You don’t have to worry so much! I passed out because… right, I’m exhausted. Tsk, Mo XuanYu’s body is still not very well-built, totally incomparable to my old body! I can really fight a few rounds with Jiang Cheng if it’s my oldー”

“Don’t speak anymore,” Lan WangJi interrupted abruptly. That gesture of his had Wei WuXian’s mouth hanging open, words he didn’t manage to say aggressively thrust down his throat.

Lan WangJi must be still bothered by what Jiang Cheng said about them to have him interrupting him like this ー a rare reaction of his own ー and it’s not helping in comforting Wei WuXian’s existing tension either. The air between them became even more suffocating, stacked upon the qualms Wei WuXian held towards Lan WangJi’s evident abnormality.

Lan WangJi, like Wen Ning, wasn’t one who knew how to hide his emotions after all. Wei WuXian might not be able to tell if it’s in the past but after having spent two months in close proximity with Lan WangJi, coupled with how he’s been observing every tiny gesture of Lan WangJi since he recognized his own feelings, it’s not at all difficult for Wei WuXian to notice that Lan WangJi wasn’t in a good mood that might concern him.

He eyed Lan WangJi thoughtfully, pressed his lips together, and tilted his head. But Lan WangJi was avoiding his eyes, as if he’s resenting over his unintended spill of words from earlier.

Or, it’s as if he’s trying to hide something from Wei WuXian.

This won’t do. It hurt.

“Lan Zhan, you really have something you want to tell me, don’t you?” Wei WuXian went straight to the core of the matter. Lan WangJi had closed his eyes, his fingers curled up on his lap.

Wei WuXian shifted his position to sit in front of Lan WangJi. He raised his hands, wanting to hold Lan WangJi on his shoulders, but decided against it in the last minute as his hands slumped and ended up on his own lap instead.

“Spill it. I can take it. Who do you think I am? I’m the evil Yiling Patriarch, you know? I’ve heard enough of nasty words about me to be worried about being unable to handle what HanGuang-Jun can say.” He paused to take in a deep breath before he continued. “Besides, I have something I need to tell you too. Let us make things clear here, shall we? One for one?”

Lan WangJi had raised his head to look at Wei WuXian from the moment he heard that Wei WuXian had something to tell him too. He seemed to be reading the words in Wei WuXian’s eyes before Wei WuXian broke into a grin,

“Come at me, HanGuang-Jun!”

Like he could no longer handle the pent-up frustration from within him, Lan WangJi stretched a hand and held Wei WuXian’s hand. His touch was so tender it did things to Wei WuXian. He could feel Lan WangJi’s smooth skin texture on his own hand. He could feel itch scattering from where he was being held all the way into his body and gathering right at his heart. His throat glided up and down as he looked at Lan WangJi, right in the eyes, refusing to look away.

Yet, even when Lan WangJi looked perfectly like he’s ready to reveal what’s in his thoughts, he can’t bring himself to say anything. He opened his mouth a few times, then closed it. Despite so, his eyes never left Wei WuXian. Wei WuXian found that adorable. Attempting to help him, he suggested,

“Or, do you want me to start first?”

Lan WangJi’s eyes brightened a little. A fleeting moment later, he nodded.

This time, it’s Wei WuXian who was struggling with his words. He’d wanted to talk to Lan WangJi, to tell Lan WangJi about his feelings when he found the right time. For him, it didn’t matter how long it’d take; even if he could only make his feelings known to Lan WangJi after they’re done with everything they needed to do, that’s fine too. He definitely didn’t expect himself to be stuck in this situation so soon, on a boat, with no one but Lan WangJi and Wen Ning, in the middle of a widespread lake.

Perhaps fate was giving him the chance to spill his thoughts now after all.

It created the right time for him.

And it’d be dumb if he didn’t take it. Even if Lan WangJi didn’t feel the same as him, he’d be able to confront it properly, and perhaps gave both of them an ideal step to land just so they won’t feel awkward seeing each other in the future.

This opportunity didn’t give him a chance to escape, nor would it give Lan WangJi the chance to escape. They’ll face each other, upfront, just like how it should be.

His heartbeats were so deafening in his ears, his chest ached from the tremendous pounding. With a shivering hand, he returned Lan WangJi’s grasp and stroke him lightly on his palm. That meek gesture drew a very muted hitch of breath out of Lan WangJi.

“Lan Zhan, I have something I need to tell you,” he braced himself, spilled his words.

Lan WangJi responded with a quiet ‘en’. 

“Thank you.”

The next thing Wei WuXian said, however, turned Lan WangJi stiff. Sensing the change of air, Wei WuXian speedily held Lan WangJi tightly on his hand and edged closer towards him.

“Listen to me first,” he urged, the urgency obvious in his tone. “I’ve lived through two lives and you’ve supported me a lot throughout the both lives. I know you’re… very nice to me. You’re exceptionally good! I feel, thank you is the least I can say to you. Anyways, Iー”

Lan WangJi took his hand out of Wei WuXian’s grip in the midst of his words, an action that surprised Wei WuXian. He looked very much distraught, his lips were even shivering a little. Wei WuXian thought he’d said something wrong.

“Lan… Zhan?” Wei WuXian said cautiously.

Lan WangJi shook his head, “You don’t have to thank me.”

“Why? I truly meant it. If it’s not because of you, Iー”

“I don’t do everything for you to thank me,” Lan WangJi said.

Wei WuXian shut up. He pondered. Then, he figured out what Lan WangJi was trying to say. He felt like slapping his own face now. Not giving up, he pushed himself towards Lan WangJi and, finally, caught him on his shoulders.

“I know, and I’m not saying what I’m about to say just to thank you either. T-That’s just part of what I want to say!”

Lan WangJi snapped his gaze back at Wei WuXian, the hint of confusion vivid in his orbs.

Knowing that he’d gained his attention again, Wei WuXian licked his dry lips and clutched Lan WangJi tighter on his shoulders, refusing to let him escape, refusing to let him look away.

“Lan WangJi, Lan Zhan, HanGuang-Jun, you listen properly,” Wei WuXian said with a very thin frown in between his eyebrows. Despite his clutch, he can feel his fingers quivering. He reprimanded a quiet get a hang of yourself, Wei WuXian in his head. He could hear the sound of something tumbling into the water at the edge of the boat but he can’t be bothered by anything else but Lan WangJi now. Lan WangJi had misunderstood him and he can’t have this.

“I’m very clear-headed now. I’m full of food, I’ve gotten enough rest from passing out earlier. My mind is very clear, I know exactly what I’m talking about so listen. Li... Listen to the end. Then, you… you can decide what you want to do.”

Even Lan WangJi was staggered by this strict tone of his. He could only bring himself to nod before Wei WuXian let loose a sigh of relief.

“I know you might be disgusted or I don’t know, surprised, or anything about the things I want to tell you, I know you might be disgusted by what Jiang Cheng said about us in Lotus Pier, y-you… you might see me differently too after hearing what I’m about to tell you but Lan Zhan, at the very least, I want to let you know because I cannot bring myself to lie to you. I want you to know the truth rather than me s-staying at your side with all these thoughts while… taking advantage of you. Do you have any idea how torturing it was for me these past two days?”

Lan WangJi could only stare at him, like he’d turned into a statue.

“Lan Zhan, you're exceptionally good, I like you. Or in other words, I yearn for you, I love you, I want you, I can’t leave you. I don’t know how you feel towards me, maybe you don’t feel the same way but that’s fine! Even if you only want us to remain as… friends, that’s fine too. I just want to let you know that if, if, it’s possible, even as friends, I’d like to… night-hunt with you for the rest of my life. Or, no need for the rest of my life! Just, maybe once in a while! Once every week, or once every two weeks, or once every month is fine too! I’m not joking around like I’ve done in the past, I’m serious. I’m not doing it out of gratitude either. It has nothing to do with returning your kindness or anything fortuitous like that! I simply love you so much that I want to, I want to…” He swallowed down his throat, regulating his breathing. And throughout the entire time, Lan WangJi could only listen, eyes never leaving Wei WuXian. 

“...It has to be you,” Wei WuXian continued in a deep tone. “It has to be you. I’m fine with anything as long as you’re willing to…”

Before he can even finish, he felt an impact hitting him hard on his body. Lan WangJi had launched towards him and hugged him rigidly in his arms. He’d had Lan WangJi hugging him for many, many times. But none of those times did he ever feel Lan WangJi shivering so much when he hugged him. While he’s on the peak of his own enthusiasm, he never noticed the rampage of emotions in Lan WangJi’s eyes that only grew fiercer with every new word Wei WuXian said. And now, when his own body was pressed so snugly with Lan WangJi’s body like this ー when there’s literally no distance between them ー he could clearly feel how ferocious Lan WangJi’s heart was beating against his own chest, and how heavy his breathing was by his ear, heated and even quivering a bit.

“Not as friends.”

He heard a quiet murmur and he knew that it can only be Lan WangJi who’d said it. The blood in his veins froze. Out of an instinct for a need for support, Wei WuXian returned Lan WangJi’s embrace, arms clinging around Lan WangJi’s body as he stroked him on his broad back.

“En,” he said, one simple response that only had Lan WangJi hugging him stronger, as if he’s about to melt Wei WuXian’s entire existence into his blood and flesh.


He’d never heard Lan WangJi stutter in his words like this either. But he waited. He knew that Lan WangJi was giving him an answer, and no matter what it was, he’ll take it. 

And so, he waited.

“I am the same,” Lan WangJi said.

Wei WuXian felt his heart clench. He buried his face in Lan WangJi’s shoulder, wanting to hide his emotions yet eager to listen to the rest of what Lan WangJi was about to say.

“I yearn for you.”


“Love you, want you…”


Lan WangJi’s words came out scattered but Wei WuXian responded to every one of them devotedly. 

“It has to be you.”

With the last of his words, Lan WangJi had separated their bodies apart and kissed Wei WuXian deeply, much to Wei WuXian’s own astonishment. The kiss was so intense, so feverish, so needy that he could barely feel the air in his lungs as he’s caught by the steep yet breathtaking rush of emotions. Lan WangJi didn’t need to say anything else to tell Wei WuXian enough that every other consideration about Lan WangJi not feeling the same as him was unnecessary after all. He was totally prepared for Lan WangJi to reject him. It won’t come as a surprise. Sure, he’d noticed hints about how there’s a possibility that Lan WangJi might like him the same way he did Lan WangJi but at the same time, he also had to unceasingly remind himself that this was HanGuang-Jun he’s talking about. There’s no way Lan WangJi could be a cut-sleeve. He’s probably thinking too much.

Yet, he took the step, telling himself that no matter what answer Lan WangJi was to tell him, he’d be able to handle it. It’s much better than hiding everything, assuming everything, then misunderstanding everything, when he could handle it maturely. It’s even better than when Lan WangJi found out himself and it’d only lead to more awkwardness between them. 

Wei WuXian wasn’t oblivious; he knew he wouldn’t be able to suppress his urge of wanting to get close to Lan WangJi now that he’s clear of his own feelings. And he didn’t want Lan WangJi to be the one to confront him when they could speak properly now.

Lan WangJi’s kiss was so steamy it was almost taking all the air out of him before he pushed against his chest, telling him that he’s about to faint for real.

“T-This pushy feeling...” he said in between panting.

“L-Lan Zhan, did youー were you the oneー” Wei WuXian asked, eyes still dazed.

Lan WangJi seemed to have realized what he was talking about as he avoided Wei WuXian’s eyes, just for Wei WuXian to squeeze him on his chin and turn his head back to him. 

“Phoenix Mountain, the open-hunt. The person who kissed me, was… was it you?”

Lan WangJi said nothing, but the flush spreading up his ears had betrayed him. Wei WuXian laughed out loud.

What? It was really you? And here I thought it was a beautiful lady who was crushing on me but didn’t have enough courage to confess to me. Can’t believe you are the ladyー ngh!”

Lan WangJi had brought him over by the waist so that he’s sitting on his lap, then grasping him on the chin to bite him on his lower lip.

“I… I know that it was wrong for me to do that,” Lan WangJi said in a whisper, sounding utterly like an innocent child reflecting on his mistake.

That’s why you were slashing trees back then! You were angry at yourself! Poor trees!” Wei WuXian said, the enlightenment delighting him to no end.


Lan WangJi said nothing, head lowered. That very sight melted Wei WuXian’s heart into a puddle. He quickly lifted Lan WangJi’s head up and stroke him on his cheekbones. Smiling sweetly, he inched forward to kiss him lovingly on his soft pair of lips. Lan WangJi shivered ever so slightly.

“But luckily it’s you. Congratulations, HanGuang-Jun! You took my first kiss! Can’t believe you wanted to do things to me since that time!”

Lan WangJi’s ears were so red now Wei WuXian knew that they’d definitely burn if he was to touch them. 

“First kiss?” Lan WangJi spoke in immense difficulty, as if he’s gritting words out of his mouth.

“Yeah , first kiss, of course!”

“T-Then, why did you…”



Wei WuXian tried to recall. Then, he remembered. He laughed out loud.

“Hahahaha! You really believe what I told you back then? Hahaha, oh, of course… of course you would believe it, of course someone as pure as you would believe it! Aih, Lan Zhan, I was only spouting nonsense at that time. Haha, hahaha…”

Lan WangJi seemed to be suppressing some sort of intense emotions from within him as he looked away. But Wei WuXian quickly turned him around again and planted a soft kiss in between his eyebrows.

“Don’t sulk, come, let me make it up for you. Knowing that you’re the person who kissed me back then makes me so happy! You’re my first and only one! Hm? How’s that, HanGuang-Jun? Does that make you happy?”

Now that they had made their feelings clear to each other, Wei WuXian felt the weight lifting from his chest. He leaned towards Lan WangJi, humming contentedly.

“Luckily it’s you,” he repeated.

They stayed like that for long moments, just embracing each other in their arms, simply letting the calming night wind brushed through their hair, swaying the strands in a splendid flow.

“Oh, right,” Wei WuXian said up after a while, reminded of something. “You wanted to tell me something too, right? What is it?”


“Hey, you can’t do this to me,” Wei WuXian pouted. “I already told you what I wanted to tell you, do you have any idea how much guts I have to gather for that? I can still feel my heart pounding hard in my chest.” He rubbed his chest, sighing out loud. “So, HanGuang-Jun, you have to fulfil your promise too!”

Lan WangJi looked at him, the light in his eyes so untainted, so genuine that it shot a wave of heat right at Wei WuXian, causing his insides to burn. Lan WangJi seemed like he’s searching for the right words before Wei WuXian spoke again, no longer can handle the pitiful sight of him struggling so hard.

“Can it be that…” He narrowed his eyes, smiling rascally. Lan WangJi simply looked at him, breathing held.

“What you wanted to tell me… is the same as what I wanted to tell you too?” Wei WuXian speculated with a bright grin.

Lan WangJi’s reaction was minimal, barely noticeable. But Wei WuXian swore he saw the ripples of emotions in his eyes; it tickled him to no end. 

“That’s it, isn’t it?! I can’t believe us!” Wei WuXian praised openly. He sneaked a hand to the back, fondling with the tail of Lan WangJi’s ribbon. “Seems like we’re made for each other, aren’t we? We’re thinking about the same thing! Hey, don’t look away. Why are you embarrassed? Look at me. Come, Er-gege, look at me.”

Lan WangJi obeyed. And when he did, he was immediately enraptured by the way Wei WuXian was beaming so radiantly at him, as if he’s admiring something that’s of utter ethereal. 

“Look at you, getting all embarrassed from a confession. That’s exactly why we’re made for each other, don’t you think? Because all my shame has gone to you! Hahahahaー mph…”

He can never fight Wei WuXian with words so he can only shut him up with a kiss. This kiss wasn’t as fervent as before though. It was so slow, so sweet, so loving, it’s as if Lan WangJi was patiently yet thoroughly tasting every inch of Wei WuXian he can reach with his tongue, wanting to make sure that the very person in his arms was indeed Wei WuXian, that the very person he’d held close to his heart had returned his feelings. 

He never wanted to force Wei WuXian but, like Wei WuXian had said ー just like how he’d told him about his feelings back in the cave after the Nightless City massacre ー it’s okay if Wei WuXian wanted to remain as friends if he didn’t feel the same with him. He’s fine with anything as long as Wei WuXian was comfortable with it. But at the very least, Lan WangJi wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone, that he liked him, and he’d like to look over him for as long as Wei WuXian allowed him to. Not out of pity, not out of obligation, not out of the need to keep an eye on him because of what others said about him.

But purely out of genuine adoration.

And Wei WuXian let him when he’s reborn. After Lan WangJi told Wei WuXian that he knew who he was after reuniting with him in Qinghe, Wei WuXian no longer attempted to escape. That was enough to tell Lan WangJi loud and clear that Wei WuXian allowed him to look after him, knowing that he liked him. That’s enough for Lan WangJi.

Yet, he never expected that Wei WuXian would return the same sentiments to him. Wei WuXian simply needed to tell him his feelings just like he did before ー even if it’s not mutual, even if he only wanted to remain as friends ー just so he could let Lan WangJi know that every other adoration and affection he gave him was done out of genuine heart. 

Just like how he did.

They were the same, they were meant for each other, and they, too, never thought that the other would return each other’s feelings.

“Lan Zhan, I’d love to continue doing more naughty things with you but we’re still missing one more kneeling, don’t we?” Wei WuXian teased in the midst of their kissing.

“The last one?” Lan WangJi asked.

“I…” Surprisingly, Wei WuXian looked a bit flustered. “Back in Lotus Pier, we’ve already done both of our kneeling to Uncle Jiang and Madame Yu, didn’t we?”


“So… we’re still missing one. But don’t worry! We’ll definitely do it, right?” Wei WuXian smirked and scratch under Lan WangJi’s chin. “The third kneeling. I’ll make sure it’s done properly this time.”

The corners of Lan WangJi’s eyes twitched. He looked away with a cough. Wei WuXian chuckled and followed his gaze; and it’s only then that he realized that something was missing.

Or rather, someone was missing.

“Wait, where’s Wen Ning?”

Lan WangJi seemed to have noticed it at the same time as Wei WuXian as he joined Wei WuXian when he stood, coming to the edge of the boat.

“He’s right here, wasn’t he?” Wei WuXian asked, glancing around.

“En,” Lan WangJi said. Then, his eyes brightened. “There.”

Wei WuXian followed the direction where Lan WangJi was looking at ー just right under the deck ー and caught sight of what looked like floating weeds.

Just that, those weren’t weeds for real.

“Wen Ning!” Wei WuXian called out loud. He squatted, coming closer to the surface of the lake. “What are you doing in the water?!”

Wen Ning only resurfaced his head from the lake upon hearing Wei WuXian’s voice.

“Y-Young Master Wei, I-I…”

Wei WuXian looked at Lan WangJi, who was looking a bit rattled. Immediately figuring out what’s this whole thing was about, Wei WuXian laughed out loud as he stretched a hand towards Wen Ning, wanting to help him back onto the boat.

“Hahahahahahaha! I… Wen Ning, what should I say about you? Thank you for being considerate but… pfft, hahahahaha!”

Wen Ning looked very much awkward himself when he got back on the boat. He swiftly took the paddle up and rowed the boat, acting as if he hadn’t been hiding under the boat upon noticing that the moment had turned intimate between Lan WangJi and Wei WuXian.

“I told you, there’s no need to row the boat,” Wei WuXian reminded, trying to stifle his laughter at the same time.

“Y-Young Master Wei, p-please spare me and l-let me row the boat here by myself.”

Wei WuXian burst out laughing again. Lan WangJi enveloped an arm around his waist, helping him to keep his balance so that he won’t fall off the boat.

They still had some things to settle when they reached Yunping City later but at the very least, none of them needed to second-guess how the other felt towards themselves now.

Wei WuXian said before that a lot of things can happen in two hours, what’s more four?

Now that things had happened — they can now go all out with their case-solving mission.