Runaway Guide

Chapter 85

After they returned to the capital planet, Klaire personally escorted the deserter Joen to the military. After his trial by military court, Joen was sent to the underground prison with his grandfather as expected. He would spend the rest of his life in prison. Klaire felt that rather than putting him to death with one shot, making him live out the rest of his life in prison would be the fiercest punishment for an arrogant alpha like Joen.

Not long after the crisis passed, the military officially announced the news of Major General Klaire’s return. Since Klaire had performed outstandingly in the Glory Corps support troops and during the course of putting down the armed rebellion, the military voted and decided to promote him to the rank of lieutenant general. Klaire became the youngest lieutenant general in military history.

At the same time, General Byron announced that he would make Klaire the deputy commander of the Morningstar Corps, so that he could assist him in managing corps affairs.

Klaire’s resurrection-like return, however, greatly surprised the people of the Empire, and led to a period of heated debate on the forums.

Earlier the military had called a press conference to announce the news of his death, and now they said Klaire had returned. The citizens were quite dissatisfied. The military’s explanation was that Major General Klaire had escaped the Federal enemy troops’ pursuit with difficulty, and seriously injured, had been in a coma for half a year. In the end, he was fortunate enough to escape danger. We should all feel lucky that he returned.

Opinions differed on the forums, but the news was well-received among omegas. Xi Wei’s fiancé had returned, he must be very happy!

Xi Wei really was very happy recently. The Underground Alliance was growing with each day, and many excellent omegas had found work for themselves. They could make money with their own hands, and no longer needed to depend on an alpha’s favor. This added to omegas’ self-confidence.

Alphas were unhappy now, especially since omega pheromone inhibitors had been approved for legitimate use. Many alphas couldn’t help but run to the forums to wail accusingly—

“My wife’s heat was about to come when she actually injected suppressants, and said she didn’t want to do it with me. Can I still live happily like this?!”

“That’s right, that’s right, what kind of suppressants did the eldest prince come up with? They’re simply an inhuman product!”

“This is clearly stripping us alphas of our human rights!”

“My omega keeps talking about the eldest prince constantly, shit, it’s enough to make me suspect if he’s in love with the prince.”

“Can someone stop that big beast Xi Wei?! He’s constantly brainwashing omegas. My wife has been very discontented lately, leaving the house early and returning late every day, and when I ask him where he went, he won’t answer.”

However, these alphas could only secretly whine on the forums. When they were actually face to face with their wives, each and every one of them became a loving husband, competing to support their wives, for fear that their wives would divorce them if they were at all dissatisfied…

That’s right, at the end of the year, the very first meeting of the Imperial Congress passed down a decree that all imperial citizens, regardless of whether they were alpha, beta or omega, were free to file for a divorce in court.

It was the big beast Xi Wei, again, who put forth this proposal. Alphas hated him so much their teeth itched. They were all silently cursing him: “Can’t you stop making trouble?!”

Xi Wei, on the other hand, was in a pretty good mood. After the motion passed, he asked Klaire out to eat with him to celebrate.

The photograph of the two men dining in a high-end restaurant made the tabloid headlines the next day. In the photograph, Xi Wei smiled happily, while Klaire had on a doting expression as he gently peeled shrimp for him. He took a supportive attitude toward all of Xi Wei’s crazy ideas.

This was the Empire’s most turbulent year since its establishment, but most of the imperial citizens were happy with the congress’s reforms. The city streets had a brand-new atmosphere, and everywhere was brimming with life.

Xi Wei walked down the street and looked at the vibrant smiles on the faces of the people. He couldn’t help but think, pleased: After he’d come to this world, he’d always been hoping for change. Now, change had finally come, and a new Empire had been born. He could pursue his dream without the slightest worry.

—He wanted to become a director, and personally shoot some good movies.

Back when he was an actor, he’d always dreamed of one day making a movie himself that would be critically praised and do well at the box office, a classic film that people would always remember. However, back then, he hadn’t had power and opportunities like this. Now, as an Imperial prince, he didn’t have to worry about money. On top of that, the science and technology in this world were well-developed, and the 3D simulation effects were extremely realistic. He didn’t know how many times better it was than the cheap special effects from before.

He had money and special effects, and Xi Wei didn’t have a big problem writing the script himself. The most important thing right now was to find cameramen, makeup artists, stylists and people to do the post-production editing, as well as some reliable actors.

So Xi Wei issued an announcement on the empire’s biggest public forum—

Recruiting cast and crew.

Xi Wei eloquently wrote a great deal, encouraging people with talent to recommend themselves, and welcoming everyone to join his crew.

The empire’s alphas simply couldn’t recover. Many of them made posts saying: Klaire, can you hurry up and stop him! Can you make him calm down for a while?

Klaire smiled and said, “It’s good as long as Xi Wei’s happy.”

He not only said so in words, but fully supported Xi Wei with his real-life actions as well. He personally accompanied Xi Wei to the empire’s biggest film school and chose two very talented beta assistant screenwriters from the directing and screenwriting department.

Right after that, he found some designers with a lot of potential at the Imperial Fashion Design Competition to help Xi Wei. They also smoothly found people to be in charge of lighting and sound.

Klaire still had military affairs to take care of, so after helping Xi Wei find a few more workers, he left the capital planet for the time being. Xi Wei launched a nation-wide public selection for the movie’s leading role, and took charge of the auditions himself.

There were a lot of people selected for the cast audition stage. Xi Wei straightforwardly contracted all the guest rooms in the Royal Hotel for the people auditioning to stay in, and booked the largest conference hall on the top floor to judge them in.

On the day of the interview, there was a vast crowd in the meeting place. Let’s not mention how happy Xi Wei was—before, it had always been other people judging him, and now it was his turn to be the boss. He had the last word on the entire crew. The happiness of this kind of feeling was really hard to describe.

Many of the new people who had come for the interview were a little afraid of Xi Wei. He was, after all, the respected His Highness the Prince, and also the successor to the Underground Alliance. Anyone who dared to rouse his anger would probably die in a very wretched way.

But to everyone’s surprise, Xi Wei had a very good temper, and didn’t put on airs at all. When one girl was so nervous during her audition that her hands and feet trembled, Xi Wei personally went up to her and corrected her acting, demonstrating it to her carefully.

“Don’t be nervous. Visualize yourself as the heroine, seeing the person you like walking towards you. That sweet, happy feeling will naturally express itself from your expression and your eyes.” Xi Wei smiled and discussed acting with the actress.

The girl looked at the eldest prince guiding her seriously, and almost swooned. She didn’t expect that the eldest prince would be this handsome. If he wasn’t an omega, she really didn’t know how many people would dream of being married to him.

Although a whole day of auditions was exhausting, Xi Wei took pleasure in it.

The Imperial Film Academy had a lot of newcomers with potential. It was just that people in this era didn’t really like watching movies.

Even if they loved watching movies, they’d stay at home and watch them on the screen. There were very few people who would go to the movie theater, so box office revenue was growing lower and lower. In order to save on production costs, many directors would use 3D simulated characters for the lead roles. They lacked the genuineness that old films had, and they weren’t as touching.

Xi Wei stubbornly wanted to use real people for the whole cast, and wouldn’t use any virtual 3D figures. The news of this made all the film academy students boundlessly excited, and they put forth all of their energy on the day of the audition.

Xi Wei seriously and carefully selected suitable cast members from the numerous people auditioning. He first decided on the actors for some important supporting roles, then selected some candidates for the male lead and female lead. He began the second round of auditions the next day.

For the audition the next day, Xi Wei changed the scene for several candidates. He had the male and female leads act out the internal conflict of hearing the news of their lover’s death. It was very difficult to act off-script, and it relied completely on body language and control of the expression. This was the best way of measuring the pull of someone’s performance.

Young and immature students didn’t have much experience acting, after all. Many of them performed below expectations. Xi Wei frowned and watched on for a long time, but helplessly passed most of them in the end.

It was a good thing there were two students who were pretty smart, despite not performing well enough. After Xi Wei guided them a little bit, they immediately followed his train of thought. Xi Wei thought it over again and again, and decided to choose these two. The girl was named Lily, and the boy was named Colin. They were both beta students from ordinary families, without any formal experience in acting.

When Xi Wei announced the results of the selection, many people couldn’t stop sighing. Not only was he bold enough to personally shoot a large-production film on the serious subject of war, he chose two newcomers who nobody had ever heard of for the leading roles, and even more excessively, they were both betas!

Many people couldn’t resist saying on the forums, “Xi Wei’s just playing around, don’t take it seriously, everybody.” “The eldest prince must be too bored. Anyway, he’s rich and headstrong, so just let him play around, and we'll see what kind of film he can make.”

Amid the people’s questioning voices, Xi Wei calmly took the whole cast and crew to the Ursa Star Field, and found a filming location for the first scene.

Some of the empire’s planets had remarkable landscapes, but their natural environments weren’t good, with large sandstorms. Klaire was worried that Xi Wei would suffer hardship, so he simply asked his father to dispatch a large battleship from the Morningstar Corps that was decommissioned and lying idle to act as a temporary dwelling for Xi Wei’s cast and crew.

With this battleship, it would be much more convenient for Xi Wei to bring his cast and crew to other galaxies as well.

Although the process of filming a movie was exhausting, Xi Wei felt very fulfilled at heart—because this was the life he wanted the most.

After he got familiar with the cast and crew, they didn’t call him His Highness the Prince anymore, but affectionately called him “Director” instead, especially those young people, who felt both admiration and gratitude towards him.

If it wasn’t for Xi Wei, they could never have obtained an opportunity like this.

Xi Wei had very strict requirements for the quality of the film. Every scene had to reach his standard, or else no matter how tired they were, they had to retake it. However, he had a good attitude towards his actors and crew members, and never scolded them. If someone made a mistake, he’d patiently guide them. When an actor couldn’t perform adequately, he’d go and demonstrate it personally.

Everyone commented in private, “Xi Wei’s acting is really great, if he was willing to act, he’d definitely perform better than us.”

“That’s right, he was so cool when he demonstrated that scene for us yesterday!”

“But then again, if Xi Wei really became a celebrity, he’d definitely have a lot of admirers, and then Klaire would be under a lot of pressure.”

“That’s true, he’s only a director right now, and there’s lots of people in the cast and crew who’ve become his fans. If he really went onto the big screen, his popularity would absolutely be able to crush the current little emperor’s.”

The cast and crew all admired and respected Xi Wei from the bottom of their hearts, which led to a high work efficiency. This high-difficulty large-production war movie, with real actors and on-site filming, actually didn’t even take a year to complete.

The movie’s title was Gunsmoke Rising. As soon as you heard it, you knew it was a large-production war film. This kind of subject didn’t play to the masses, and the actors were all newcomers no one had ever heard of before. If Xi Wei wasn’t the director, most people probably wouldn’t bother to watch it.

Just when the media and the imperial people were looking down on the movie, Xi Wei made a very bold decision. He screened this movie during the new year, and in the month when it was released, all imperial networks were banned from broadcasting it. It was only shown in theaters, so the people who wanted to see it had to buy tickets and go to the theater to watch it.

The media published editorials one after another. Would this movie set a record for the lowest box office in history?

When it just came out, most people ran to see it so they could make fun of it. They bought tickets to see what terrible way an omega director would film a movie.

As it turned out…

After they finished watching it, eighty percent of people came back crying.

On the day of the movie’s release, many major media publications started publishing gushing favorable reviews. Many internet users said tearfully that they hadn’t seen such a good movie in years! If you wanted cinematography there was cinematography, and if you wanted plot there was plot. It didn’t seem like the work of a new director at all. It was comparable to the representative works of the empire’s most famous, veteran, great directors!

Although those new actors didn’t have much of a reputation, under Xi Wei’s strict control and guidance, the effect of their performance was very stirring. The last scene of farewell at death was especially tearjerking.

The imperial people said, one after another: Xi Wei was great!

Klaire found the time to watch the movie’s premiere as well. When the movie ended and the audience applauded enthusiastically, Klaire felt many things at once. He was both proud and moved.

—Xi Wei had finally had the chance to film the movie he wanted to film. In a different age, he finally achieved his wish of being a director.

—That’s great, Xi Wei.

—You being able to fulfill your dream is what pleases me the most.

Xi Wei’s movie Gunsmoke Rising was well received. In one short week, it broke the records for highest box office since the Empire was established. In the second week, the box office rose as rapidly as before. When it had been out for a month, the box office had tripled.

Xi Wei happily counted his money in the Imperial Palace. This movie was enough to turn him into a nouveau riche and give him explosive popularity, but he wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. Fame and profit came second. What he most wanted to do was just to turn the marvelous ideas in his head into movies and share them with everyone.

So having succeeded with his first movie, Xi Wei started preparing for his second.

This time, he decided to challenge himself with a heartwarming romance movie. This kind of movie was quite simple, and within three months, he had finished filming it and screened it.

As it turned out…

At the end of the year when the movie was released, Xi Wei harvested bucketloads of rotten eggs and bricks. A crowd of people cursed him: “Where is it warm and comforting! Xi Wei’s lying to us, can a pair of sweethearts entering the battlefield to attack the enemy really be called a warm and comforting romance flick? Are you playing with us?” “Sure enough, the big beast has abnormal brain circuits!” “What’s Klaire doing? Why hasn’t he stopped him yet?”

After Klaire finished watching the premiere, he could only smile helplessly and think to himself, “In Xi Wei’s mind, warm and comforting romance and daily life probably just consists of a pair of husbands fighting side by side, huh?”

Xi Wei wasn’t discouraged at all by being scolded and cursed, and immediately afterwards, he leaked that he was going to challenge himself with a science fiction film…

Xi Wei was always enthusiastic. He happily accepted praise, and calmly accepted criticism. He just filmed the stories he wanted to film. Once he started working, he was like a madman, not sleeping all night but still radiating health and vigor like before.

Everyone knew that he truly loved movies.

It’s just that the first movie he made was super great, and the second one was a tragic sight. Afterwards, when everyone went to the theater and saw the words “Director Xi Wei,” their palms would break out into a cold sweat. Would it be good or bad this time? Want to make a bet?

But no matter what, everyone knew that Xi Wei was earnestly shooting his movies. What’s more, his movies were the rare, unadulterated article. He didn’t insert any advertisements, and there wasn’t any hint of commercialism. He was simply filming the stories he wanted to tell.

If his brain circuits were operating normally, the stories he filmed would naturally move people to tears. If the audience’s way of thinking differed from his, his movies were as difficult to swallow as chicken ribs.

But no matter what, these were Xi Wei’s truthful thoughts.

Gradually, Xi Wei gathered a large circle of fans, to the point where there were people confessing to him on the forums.

Xi Wei’s movies became must-sees for the people of the empire. If everyone praised them, that was great, and if everyone cursed them, that was fine too. Those were all honest experiences. This was a different type of entertainment that Xi Wei was giving everyone.

At the end of the year, the empire held a film festival and took stock of the classic films of the year.

Many stars of the entertainment scene appeared at the award ceremony, including some of the directors and actors Xi Wei had always admired. Xi Wei also received an invitation to attend, and one of his movies made the shortlist.

Xi Wei’s shortlisted film turned out to be Gunsmoke Rising, that suspenseful, large-production film on the subject of war. His two leads also each made it onto the shortlist for the Best Newcomer award.

At the familiar scene of the award ceremony, Xi Wei sat beneath the stage, and looked at the lights on the platform that were more dazzling than those of his previous world, and the projected 3D scenes that were more realistic. His feelings were quite complicated.

—Once again, he was sitting at an awards ceremony, as the director he had most wanted to be.

To no one’s surprise, the leads of Gunsmoke Rising, Lily and Colin, won the award for Best Newcomer. After accepting their award, they bowed on the stage to thank the director for training them. Xi Wei smiled happily below the stage, and gave them a thumbs up.

The final highlight was the award for Best Film of the year.

After a few scenes from the shortlisted films flashed across the big screen, a row of familiar words, written large, popped up—Gunsmoke Rising.

Under the enthusiastic applause of the audience, the eldest prince Xi Wei smiled and walked onto the stage, taking the golden trophy cup from the host’s hands.

He’d once won many awards for Best Actor, and today, he’d won the award for Best Film!

Before, he’d just been acting in other people’s shows. But this time, it was a script he’d written himself, and a movie he’d filmed himself. He’d received widespread praise and popularity at the box office. He’d even created something unprecedented since the establishment of the empire, and set down a new historical record!

He had finally proved himself again. Even if he was an omega, so what? He was no worse in ability than any alpha!

After the applause stopped, Xi Wei took the trophy, smiled, faced the camera and said, “This movie is on a subject I’ve always wanted to film, and I’m quite satisfied with the way it turned out. Now, I want to thank everyone in the cast and crew for their support and dedication. The credit does not go to me alone, but to the joint efforts of us all! I’m looking forward to continuing our collaboration, and filming more good movies for everyone!

Below the stage, the cast and crew were so moved their eyes were brimming with tears. Having met a director like Xi Wei, no matter how tired they were, they would still feel happy.

“I also have to thank my family for their support.” Xi Wei turned his gaze to the second floor. There, in the VIP private room, sat his father, mother, his little brother Caesar and his uncle Berg. Xi Wei smiled and waved to them, saying, “When I had just decided to direct movies, I was afraid my father wouldn’t agree. Fortunately, you were able to understand me, and supported me as well. Thank you all! I love you!”

His Majesty Trand smiled slightly and gave Xi Wei a thumbs up.

Xi Wei’s gaze moved to the neighboring room, where he found General Byron and Madam Grace, but didn’t see a trace of Klaire. Nevertheless, he still decided to thank him.

“There’s one more person that I would like to especially thank, last of all. That would be my alpha, Klaire.” Xi Wei looked seriously at the camera and said, “Thank you for always being so understanding of me, and thank you for staying at my side.”

Just as his words had landed, all the lights suddenly turned on. Red lanterns quickly came together to form the shape of a huge heart, and the long aisle in the middle lit up from underneath as well with blue fluorescent light. From afar, it looked just like a light blue ribbon glowing with flickering lights.

The ribbon ended in a circular stage. On the stage stood a tall man, dressed in white formal attire. His golden hair flickered with a faint luster under the lights, and his blue eyes were full of deep love. He looked at Xi Wei standing on the podium at a distance.

—It was Klaire!

“Xi Wei, this way of doing it is very cliché, but…” Klaire smiled slightly and said word by word, “It’s still here, at the awards ceremony you love the most, in front of everyone, that I want to formally propose.”

“...” Xi Wei looked at him blankly.

The spotlight overhead lit on Klaire, setting off his slender, tall and straight physique. Amplified by the microphone, his deep, pleasant voice echoed throughout the entire auditorium. All the lights in the place made out the design of a huge red heart. The fluorescent walkway connecting the two men had beautiful flowers meticulously arranged atop it…

This unprecedentedly grand proposal scene made it so that Xi Wei momentarily couldn’t return to himself.

Even most of the audience at the scene was stunned. This proposal scene was almost enough to be written into the imperial historical records. He controlled all of the lights and the stage at the annual awards ceremony that was large enough to accommodate 100,000 people. This scene was simply too spectacular!

With a smile on his face, Klaire walked slowly towards Xi Wei over the long fluorescent walkway.

“Everyone knows that I’m your fiancé, but I’ve never formally proposed to you. Today, I want to fulfill this cherished desire of mine, and say a few words to you in front of everyone.”

“To me, being able to know you, love you, and especially to grow up together with you in this life, was my hard-won fortune.”

“I want to use up everything I have to take good care of you. I want to stay by your side forever and never leave.”

“Not only in this life and this world, but in every life, every world, I want to stay with you.”

“I love you, Xi Wei.”

By the time he said this, Klaire had already walked up to Xi Wei. He looked tenderly at the man he loved, went down on one knee, took out the ring he had prepared and held it up to him with both hands.

“Let’s get married.” Klaire said softly.

On the stage, with the trophy in his hands, Xi Wei looked down at the man kneeling before him.

They had known each other for two worlds, and this man had never been absent from an award ceremony. There was simply no way to fully calculate the help and support he had given him. Even when they came to a strange world, from the very beginning, Klaire had always been silently near his side…

For so many years, his heart had never changed.

It was easier said than done to meet someone who loved him so deeply.

At this moment, he had formally proposed to him at the awards ceremony in front of so many people. Xi Wei had no reason at all to refuse.

Faced with those tender blue eyes, Xi Wei finally smiled, reached out and gently stroked Klaire’s head. He said, “Alright, let’s...get married.”

Klaire immediately took Xi Wei’s hand, quickly put the ring on his finger, and then stood up and hugged Xi Wei happily.

At the moment when he took him into his arms and held him tight, Xi Wei felt that the lights above his head were a little dizzying. He actually really agreed to be together with a man, but the strange thing was, he no longer disliked and rejected Klaire getting close to him. Instead, he felt very warm and at ease in Klaire’s embrace.

Under the thunderous applause of the entire audience, Klaire gently moved closer and gave Xi Wei a tender kiss.

In this way, he openly announced to all the people of the empire—the next leader of the Underground Alliance, the Imperial eldest prince, the brilliant, famous director Xi Wei, the rare omega beast, was his at last!

Being able to marry Xi Wei was what truly made him a winner in life.

In the days to follow, he would protect Xi Wei well, and cherish his hard-won happiness.

The End


8 hours and 13 minutes for 4,727 words, or 10.4 minutes for every 100 words. An increase in rate by 0.5 minutes. At the end of this chapter, once again, I couldn’t stop translating although it was already four in the morning…

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