Marshal: Well, what did you find out?
General Li: Dr. Liao, why don't you tell everyone. Is Hua Mulan male or female?
Camp Doctor: Sir, Marshal, sir, I did a thorough examination all over of Hua Mulan. He is genuinely and completely male. [The Marshal shoots Colonel Yu a look. Colonel Yu looks shocked at the news]
Colonel Yu: Impossible! Hua Mulan is definitely a woman! Why are you lying to the Marshal by saying she's a man? Did he [gesturing to General Li] put you up to it? Is that why you're lying to the Marshal?
General Li [getting angry]: Yu Chenen! What nonsense is this?
Colonel Yu [coming nose to nose with General Li]: I'm not talking nonsense. You don't want others to know about your hidden sides. You and Hua Mulan must have shared some type of shameful secret, that's why you want to hide the truth from the Marshal, isn't that right?
General Li [furious]: You're mad! [Angrily shoves Colonel Yu aside. He tries to get back at General Li but the Marshal steps in and separates them]
Marshal [sternly]: No more bickering!
Camp Doctor: Marshal, sir, since Colonel Yu has doubts about my findings, you can send another camp doctor to do a re-examination. If he finds that Hua Mulan is a woman, I am willing to forfeit my head!
General Li: Dr. Liao and Hua Mulan have no ties or relationships. He has no reason to shield anyone. Yet you, Colonel Yu, insist on making a big fuss and creating a huge mess without without any logical reason. You keep saying that Hua Mulan is a woman disguised as a man. You've insulted him and you've insulted me. Marshal, sir, I request that you make a ruling on this.
Colonel Yu: Sir…
Marshal [barks]: That's enough! [Turns to Colonel Yu] Chenen, on what basis do you say that Hua Mulan is a woman?
Colonel Yu: I…[looks down] Well, maybe I was a bit too suspicious…[The Marshal shakes his head]
[Cut to Mulan's quarters. She is in bed asleep when Jili places a bowl of hot medicinal soup on the table. He walks over to help Mulan sit up in her bed, then goes back to fetch the bowl of medicine]
Jili: Come on, sit up. I made a bowl of healing broth for you. Try this. It's my special recipe for reducing swelling and healing wounds. I spent a lot of time brewing it up for you. Drink it then tell me how you like it. [Mulan takes the bowl and starts to drink it, but after only taking one sip she grimaces and refuses to drink anymore]
Mulan: It's bitter! What types of herbs did you use?
Jili: Um…this is an ancient recipe that's been passed down in the family. You wouldn't recognize the ingredients even if I told you. Here, have some more. I guarantee it will rejuvenate you completely. It will heal everything. Just drink a little more. [Mulan tries to shy away but Jili pulls her forward] Just drink some more of it. [He forces her to drink the rest of it. She finishes and starts coughing at the strong taste. He pats her on the shoulder] You'll be fine tomorrow. [She nods weakly]
[Colonel Yu comes in her room without knocking. Jili and Mulan turn to see who has come in. When Jili recognizes Colonel Yu, he comes forward, puts his hands on his hips, and starts to berate Colonel Yu]
Jili: Oh, it's you. So, you bastard, what are you here for this time?
Colonel Yu [smiling slightly]: What did you say?
Jili: Jiao Enjun! (This is the actor that plays Chenen's real name. I think it's supposed to be a pun of some sort)
[Colonel Yu throws a punch and sends Jili flying, knocked out cold. Mulan checks out Jili, then turns and glares at Colonel Yu]
Colonel Yu: In the army, you must always act respectfully towards your superior officers.
Mulan [annoyed]: Yu Chenen. I already told you, that if you have the balls, go and report me to the Marshal and tell him that I'm a woman disguised as a man. Stop coming over here to look for evidence of wrongdoing.
Colonel Yu [calmly]: Since you want to be a soldier so badly, then I'll grant your wish. But you'd better not back out later, or you will have wasted all the effort I've put into you.
Mulan: Colonel Yu, if you will grant me my wish, then I will never back down and quit what I have started. [Colonel Yu nods grimly, then leaves the room without another word. Mulan turns to Jili, who is coming to. He sits up and rubs his jaw where Colonel Yu hit him] Jili, are you alright?
Jili: Boss, I promise I will protect you. [Looks towards the door] Who just came here? [Mulan shakes her head in dismay and lets out a sigh of futility]
[Cut to a place outside camp. Mulan is sitting underneath a tree with her elbow on her knee and her head on her hand, deep in thought. She doesn't notice General Li walk up with a fishing pole in his hand]
General Li: Mulan.
Mulan [hurriedly gets to her feet]: General Li, sir.
General Li: What's the matter?
Mulan [looking down and not smiling]: Nothing.
General Li: It's about Yu Chenen, isn't it? [Sees Mulan remains silent.
He puts his hand on her shoulder and sighs] What he did was really too
much. He had the gall to suspect you were a woman. That day when I took
the camp doctor to examine you, you were laughing and smiling, so I thought
you didn't mind in the least. [Sighs] I didn't realize that underneath
that strong and tough
exterior there is a delicate and fragile spirit. [General Li's back is turned to Mulan, so he doesn't notice she is trying to stop herself from laughing. She steels herself and adopts a nonchalant attitude]
Mulan: Stop being so nauseating. What tough exterior hiding a fragile spirit? Your choice of words really makes me having nothing to say in response.
General Li [in mock dismay]: You dare blow me off?
Mulan [retorting]: Why wouldn't I?
General Li [grinning]: Good. The woebegone and sad Hua Mulan has left.
The Hua Mulan I like has returned. [Puts his arm around her shoulders and
they both grin at each other. General Li then starts walking down the road
with his fishing gear. He travels a few feet, then turns around and sticks
his tongue out at Mulan. She responds in kind. He turns around and resumes
[Cut to hut in camp. Mulan's soldiers are working on fixing things. Jili is out of breath when Mulan enters the hut]
Jili: Boss, in the remaining three days we need to fix the roof and change the flooring. Do you think we have enough time to do it all?
Mulan [concerned]: It will have to be enough time. If we don't finish, we'll be punished according to martial law.
Monkey: Boss, what the heck happened between you and Colonel Yu? Why did he kick you out of his command? He won't let you manage the library and instead gave you this difficult physical labor to manage instead.
Jili [comes over and smacks Monkey]: Would you just shut up?
Pudgy: Boss, aren't we all comrades in arms? There's nothing you can't talk to us about. [Mulan turns away from her troops, but Jili pulls Pudgy aside]
Jili: You know, Yu Chenen actually likes men. He wanted our Boss to be his "special friend." [Pudgy and Monkey both are agog at the news. Mulan continues to look away in either embarrassment or sadness] Our Boss is a red-blooded man. Of course he has to protect himself from such advances to the death. But, he got himself reprimanded and yelled at within an inch of his life. And then do you know what happened? Well…
[Jili stops talking when Colonel Yu walks in. He looks sternly at the soldiers]
Colonel Yu: What are you doing? [Barks] You're shirking! [The troops are all standing around, but not at attention, except for Mulan. Colonel Yu eyes them all, then picks up a roof tile off the floor. He looks it over, then smashes it against the floor] These tiles are of a completely different color from the old ones! Go back to the supply shed for more tiles!
Mulan: There are no more tiles to be had from the supply shed. The supply sergeant says that we can still use these tiles in spite of their being a different color.
Colonel Yu: If the supply shed is out, can't you go into the city to buy more?
Jili: Why didn't you say so earlier? Do you know how much time it will take to go back and forth to the city?
Monkey: Exactly! You gave us so little time and these tiles are perfectly usable. We'll waste a huge amount of time to run back and forth.
Colonel Yu [yelling]: What did you say? Stand up straight! [The other troops all jump to attention] What kind of attitude is this?!
Mulan: Colonel Yu, sir! We didn't want to waste materials or labor…[Colonel Yu slaps Mulan's face. She glares at him as he stares coldly back. Jili comes over to get between Mulan and Colonel Yu]
Jili: Boss! [Turns to Colonel Yu] What's the matter with you, hitting people for no reason?
Colonel Yu: What do you mean hitting people for no reason? I was only testing Lieutenant Hua's endurance and patience. Seems to me that he is lacking in both departments.
Jili: You…you're making something out of nothing!
Mulan [puts a restraining arm against Jili]: Jili, we are soldiers. Practice consists of reasonable things. Discipline consists of unreasonable things. Colonel Yu is doing this for our own good. He's giving us the best discipline possible to mold us. We should thank him heartily.
Jili [incredulous]: What? You want to thank him? The country has its laws and the army has its, too. You can't let him throw his weight around like that. You can go seek out General Li to speak up for you.
Colonel Yu: What did you say? Say it again! [Jili cowers behind Mulan, who is showing no fear in her eyes] Lieutenant Hua, it looks like you haven't managed your men very well. [Turns and leaves]
Jili [muttering]: He's too much! [To Mulan] Does it hurt? [She shakes her head] That's right. Buck up.
[Cut to a tent in camp. Mulan, Jili, Monkey, and Pudgy are all supporting a heavy log. They are straining under the weight]
Jili: It's going to fall! It's going to fall! We can't take this much longer.
Monkey: Boss, how much longer do we have to hold this up?
[General Li walks in and is surprised to see them]
Jili: Oh, General Li! [Colonel Yu is standing in the tent also, but General Li doesn't notice him initially]
General Li: What are you doing?
Colonel Yu: They were insolent to a superior officer, so they are being punished.
Jili: Who has time to sass back to you? You're the one that is so bored that you have to come to us looking for trouble.
Colonel Yu: You shut up!
General Li [quietly]: Chenen, enough is as good as a feast. Don't overdo it.
Colonel Yu [defensive]: And what is that supposed to mean? Based on that damned fool's mutterings, you think I'm publicly avenging a private wrong?
Mulan: General Li, sir, since Colonel Yu feels we need to be punished, then we will do what he says. [To fellow soldiers] Comrades! We are the bravest and best warriors in the regular ranks, right?
Mulan: We can handle this, right?
Mulan [to General Li]: General Li, sir, you needn't worry about us. We aren't to be pitied. We are good warriors in the regulars. [General Li nods with respect in his eyes for her spirit, then leaves the tent. Colonel Yu stares at her coldly and she glares at him briefly, then looks away]
[Cut to a wall somewhere. Many soldiers are working on building and fixing the wooden wall]
Jili: It seems the past several days if we're not in camp we are out fixing walls or mending cottages. We're here, there, everywhere. When are we going to be done with fixing things? [Looks at his hands and starts to whimper] They've started to get blisters…
Monkey [spotting General Li, runs to talk to him]: General Li, sir. How much longer are we going to be working on this project?
General Li: What's the matter?
Monkey: These days are getting too difficult to suffer through. We'd like a little break.
General Li [seeing Jili walk off the job]: Su Jili! [Walks over to Jili] Where are you going now?
Jili: I need to go tinkle.
General Li: Oh…you need to go tinkle. Well, is two hours enough time for you? Don't do like what you did yesterday; you disappeared for the better part of the day.
Jili [pouting]: Well, I have a large capacity. It takes me longer to take care of things.
General Li: Well, do it quickly and get back here. [Sees Jili run off, then walks over to where Mulan is pulling a rope taught to tie it a post] Here, let me help you. [He smiles at Mulan and she smiles back]
[Meanwhile, Jili has walked a short distance into the woods to find a spot to tinkle. He looks around to make sure no one is watching, then scratches the earth a couple times with his feet like what dogs do after they're done marking a spot. He then makes a big show of opening up his fly and begins to urinate]
Jili [muttering]: Such a fuss over letting me go tinkle…[He sprays a while and finally finishes. Sighing in relief, he looks up into the trees nearby and spots a woman hanging from a noose in a tree. He lets out a loud holler that gets everyone's attention. General Li, Mulan, and the rest of the troops come running up to assist Jili. He is still yelling and staring at the figure in the tree]
Mulan: What's the matter?
[He points and everyone is shocked at the sight. General Li takes a flying leap and frees the body from the tree. She is placed on the ground and checked for signs of life]
Mulan: Are there any signs of life?
General Li: Yes, she is still breathing.
[Later, Mulan and General Li are talking over what happened]
Mulan [sighing]: That is so terrible what happened to that woman. Her husband is dead. Through dint of hard work and perseverance she managed to raise her daughter, hoping to have her to support her in her old age. Now her daughter has disappeared. She has begged the local officials to take up her cause and find her daughter, but it looks like there are many obstacles and little light to throw on the matter. General Li, I think we should think of a way to help her.
General Li [sighs]: How can I help her? I'm only a soldier. Investigating crimes is not my forte, nor is it our duty.
Mulan: Her life is so miserable. So you are going to stand by and watch her die?
General Li: Didn't we already save her life? I can offer her hope and even monetary assistance, but you want me to go find her lost daughter? I'm sorry, but I don't have the ability to do that.
[Cut to General Li's quarters at night. He is sitting up reading a book when someone knocks at the door]
General Li: Come in. [Mulan walks in and stands in front of General Li]
Mulan: I want to talk to you about that issue.
General Li: No can do.
Mulan [protesting]: Don't you have a sympathetic bone in your body?
General Li: Sympathy isn't used in this manner. Our duties as soldiers is to protect our country and maintain order. For everyday crimes like this, they go to the courts to handle. We must not meddle in things that don't concern us.
Mulan: But if the state court system is unable from a resource or ability standpoint to do their job, then what happens? Are you going to sit idly by while these crimes continue to happen, causing untold numbers of young women to suffer harm? Are you even human? Don't you feel anything? [General Li turns his head away] I did some checking. In the past three months, about a dozen or so young women have disappeared in Youzhou. Don't you feel this is a serious issue?
General Li [surprised]: Over a dozen? That many?
Mulan: We should try to save as many as we can. Doing something is better than standing idly by and not caring a whit about what happens. [Sees General Li is thinking] Well? Can we do this?
General Li: All right! You win!
[Cut to the local magistrate's office, where General Li and Mulan are meeting with the local judge]
Judge: General Li, here are the papers on the cases regarding the kidnapped young ladies, for your perusal.
General Li: Oh yes, do you know if any of these girls were the targets of grudges or may have been involved with any cults or religious groups?
Judge: No, none of them are.
[They discuss the various facts about the cases and the common threads that go between them]
Mulan: General Li, it seems that all of the kidnapped girls had something to do with flowers.
Judge: Yes, I realized that already. The person I have working on these cases hasn't turned up any new information, though. We really don't have any leads.
General Li: It should be one person involved in all these kidnappings, or the same gang of people.
Mulan: These people are thumbing their noses at authority. If we don't hurry up and catch this criminal, then the elderly of Youzhou won't have a comfortable retirement to enjoy (because their supports, i.e. their daughters, have disappeared?).
General Li: Why does this criminal deliberately pick only young women who have something to do with flowers?
Mulan: If we want to catch this criminal, how would we go about it?
General Li [deep in thought]: We can try this. Send a decoy in to flush him out.
General Li: We need to set a flower seller (these are usually teenage girls) out as bait to catch this kidnapper.
Judge: General Li, Youzhou is full of streets and alleyways. If the criminal were to pop out, how would we find him? It would be harder than finding a needle in a haystack.
General Li: Your Honor, do the commoners know that this criminal is choosing young women who deal with flowers?
Judge: Um…yes, they do know, that's why there is widespread fear.
General Li: So then is it safe to say that all the young women who normally sell flowers are now in hiding and dare not openly sell flowers?
Judge: Yes, I believe that is true.
General Li [nods]: That's good. The target isn't big and our chances are good.
Mulan: General Li, it's not that I think this plan is a poor one, but where can we find a flower seller we can safely expose to such peril? It would take someone of great bravery and courage.
[Cut to barracks back at Three Mile camp. Mulan's platoon is all huddled inside, listening to General Li's instructions]
Platoon [all at once]: What?! You want us to dress up as women?
General Li: No, not all of you, just one of you. I have a cup of straws here. One straw is painted red on the end. So, do I have any volunteers to go first? [He looks around the room. Jili raises his hand] Jili, you'd like to draw first?
Jili: Actually, General Li, sir, my face is already a disgrace to the country. I'm afraid that if I dress up as a woman I'll look so bad that the criminal will be scared into pregnancy.
Pudgy: See, I'm so fat that I'm not in the least elegant. The criminal won't want me. You'd best not pick me.
Monkey: Well, at least you are nice and plump. If I were to dress as a woman, I'd look like a thousand year-old mummy. I'd frighten the dead, let alone the living. It's not that I don't want to help, it's just that I don't want to mess up your grand trap.
General Li: True. Well, Mulan, shall you go first or shall I?
General Li: If you go first, then you have to make everything clear to them and drown them in words of persuasion. If I go first, then…[he snickers and flexes his finger as if to prepare to tickle them] heh heh heh…
Mulan: General Li, actually they have a point. None of my soldiers will be able to do this job. All of them are too homely to entice this kidnapper. They'd end up scaring him away. [She looks to General Li and continues] However, you would work out well. Your facial structure looks more feminine than that of any of these soldiers.
[The platoon greets this with loud applause and cheers]
General Li [not to be outdone]: Well, your short stature and slight build make you a better candidate.
Mulan [demonstrating the motion]: But your lilting walk is much more accurate.
[The troops echo this sentiment and all shimmy together, imitating Mulan. Mulan and General Li keep trading reasons why the other would make a better flower seller]
Monkey: Oh, stop arguing. Just draw straws. [Grabs the cup and sets it down before General Li]
General Li: Let us draw straws, then. It's fairer this way. [Pointing to the cup of straws] Lieutenant Hua, draw a straw.
[Gingerly, Mulan snatches one. She is relieved to see it is not the red straw. General Li goes next and also misses the red straw. They continue back and forth until only three straws are left. The tension in the tent is so great that Jili offers to pick a straw for Mulan. It's the red straw]
[He quickly replaces the straw back in the cup. General Li offers Mulan a second chance. She closes her eyes and grabs a straw. Again, it is the red straw. She wails in chagrin]
General Li: Miss Hua, how are you?
Mulan [brightening]: I don't like this game. Let's play another one.
General Li [sternly]: You must abide by the luck of the draw. And that's an order!
[The troops all file off to help Mulan prepare for her role]
[Cut to Mulan's quarters, where several of her soldiers are applying makeup and working on her hair. Jili, in particular, is having a grand time applying her lipstick. General Li walks in]
General Li: Are you guys done yet? Let me take a look at his disguise.
[Mulan turns to face him. After seeing the makeup job the soldiers did, General Li staggers and struggles to keep a straight face]
General Li [laughing out loud]: Who put on the makeup? Mulan, you'd better take a look in the mirror.
[She grabs a mirror to see the results of her platoon's handiwork. She gasps in shock when she sees bright red spots of color on her cheeks, lipstick that covers not just her lips but also a large portion of her lower face, and enough eye shadow to make her look like a raccoon. She has a large ornament in her hair that makes her look off-balance. In short, she looks awful]
Mulan: Su Jili!
General Li [still laughing]: No flower seller would wear ornaments like that in her hair, nor would she have that much makeup. You look like a prostitute.
Mulan [flashes at General Li]: And how would you know? You go to brothels often?
General Li: Um…flower sellers ought to be dressed more plainly. Here, get those ornaments and things off him. [Mulan's soldiers help strip off some of the gaudier trinkets. Monkey takes Mulan's hand in his and starts to caress it]
Monkey [making eyes at Mulan]: Wow…such a nice small and plump and white hand. My stomach is fluttering…
[Pudgy threatens to box Monkey's ears and Mulan is about to throw a punch in his direction, but General Li steps in and restrains her]
General Li: Hey now, you're supposed to be a woman now. You can't be so rough and uncouth. Act with more warmth and gentleness. Come on, come out here.
Mulan [irritably]: What?
General Li: Take a few steps.
[Pouting, Mulan walks up and down the room, clumping heavily like an elephant. The troops all exclaim in admiration but General Li remains silent]
Mulan [ungraciously]: I'm done walking.
General Li [looks dissatisfied]: Your style of walking is a little too stiff, don't you think? A woman's walk should be more swaying, don't you think?
[Mulan doesn't say anything but continues pouting]
Jili: It's not every woman that reels around like she's walking in a typhoon. You'd think she had corns on her feet.
General Li: All women walk like that. You need that natural sway to attract people's attention.
Mulan [acidly]: You seem to know a lot about women. You frequent brothels often, don't you? Otherwise, how would you know these things?
General Li: Er…your speech isn't right, either. When women talk they are much quieter and gentler. They're not so rough and coarse of speech.
Mulan [irate]: You fellows don't have any understanding about women. The women you've met must have all looked cheap. Are ordinary women like that?
General Li: Oh ho! Such big words. If you're so capable, why don't you try your hand at it?
Mulan: Fine. Everyone leave. Out. Out. Out.
[She herds out all the soldiers, including General Li, locking herself into her quarters to start her transformation]
[Cut to the front door outside her room. The troops and General Li have been waiting a long time for her to finish. They can't help yawning every now and then, complaining about the long wait]
General Li [pacing impatiently]: He's been in there a long time. Hope
he's almost done.
I wonder what kind of picture he'll make when he's done.
Jili: I'm sure he will be very pretty.
Mulan [from her quarters]: I'm done.
[The soldiers and General Li enter, glad the wait is over. They troop in to see Mulan's results. She turns around, knocking all of them speechless. In particular, General Li is surprised at how pretty she looks. After a few seconds of open staring, he rouses himself]
[Cut to early morning in the marketplace. Merchants and customers are milling around. Mulan is in her flower seller's disguise, trying to sell flowers from her stall. She has to constantly remind herself to speak softly like a lady and not roar like an officer]
Mulan [smiling sweetly to a passing peasant]: Flowers for sale. Would you like to buy some flowers, sir?
[General Li is surveying the surrounding area, looking for suspicious characters. He spots Jili, sitting on a stool near the stall, asleep]
General Li [prodding him]: Hey! You're supposed to be hawking flowers, not sleeping. How do you expect to sell anything if you don't help pull in customers?
Jili [sleepily]: I can't help it. It's way too early in the morning, I didn't have any breakfast, and my stomach keeps growling at me. Of course I don't have the energy to hawk flowers. Please, General Li, could you get us some food to eat?
General Li [looks exasperated]: Fine. I’ll go buy some food. [He leaves for a nearby food stall]
Jili [muttering]: I'm so hungry I couldn't yell to save my life.
[A rather unsavory person sidles up to Mulan]
Mulan [trying her best to smile]: Buy some flowers, sir?
Unsavory [eyes her up and down]: I haven't seen you around here before. Are you new to the area?
Mulan [averting her eyes so he can't see her rage]: I just started.
Unsavory [still eyes her]: What's your name?
Unsavory: Oh, so you're called Flower AND you sell flowers. How delightful.
[He begins to openly leer and ogle her. When he tries to grab her, Mulan reacts in a most unladylike manner, landing a couple of blows. This attracts the attention of her cohorts, who all grab the man. They are about to start beating him up when General Li stops them.
General Li: What are you doing?
Mulan [still angry]: He tried to fondle me. He must be the kidnapper.
General Li [takes a good look at her attacker and shakes his head]: The kidnapper is a very cunning criminal. He's much too careful to try something like this. This fellow is just another scumbag. He can't be our kidnap suspect.
Mulan [looking like she still wants to beat him up]: But I still want to thrash him for trying to fondle me.
[The troops land a few more smart blows to teach the cad a lesson]
[Cut to the military camp. Mulan, General Li, and the rest of the platoon enter Mulan's quarters. She begins to yawn, giving every sign she is quite tired from the day's labors. Her troops watch as she plunks herself down on her bed. They seem unwilling to leave. She begins to notice they are looking at her oddly. When she proposes changing into her regular outfit (i.e.-her military uniform), they beg her to keep her flower seller's disguise on]
Monkey: Oh, don't take off your disguise so quickly. You should keep it on so you'll enter the character better.
General Li: Mulan, Monkey has a point. You should leave everything on. This way, you'll become more in tune with the character you are playing.
[Her troops readily agree to this, as does Mulan, but for different reasons]
Mulan [stretching out on her bed]: Great, this means I can save time tomorrow morning in dressing for this role. I never imagined that dressing up would be more fun than being a soldier. [She yawns and stretches] Oh, I'm tired.
[She begins to feel uncomfortable with all the sheep's eyes the troops
are giving her. It begins to dawn on her that they miss a woman's company,
even though she is a "fake" woman. Her disguise gives them an opportunity
to daydream, and they start to swarm around her, acting like a bunch of
lovesick puppies. One offers to massage her feet, another to get her something
etc., etc. Seeing her discomfort, General Li starts to shoo all the soldiers out the door. He finally has to order them to return to the barracks and leave Mulan in peace]
[Only General Li and Mulan are left in her quarters]
General Li [shyly]: You should go get some rest, too. [He eyes her, then rouses himself] Go to sleep now.
[He leaves, then Mulan stretches out on her bed and goes to sleep]
[Cut to the barracks. Jili is talking in his sleep]
Jili: One Celestial Peach…two Celestial Peaches…three Celestial Peaches…[Turns over] One orchid (in Chinese, it's "lan hua," which is a pun on Mulan's name)…two orchids…three orchids…four orchids…[He stirs awake and sits up with a smile on his face. He grabs his armor and starts to put it on and tells the soldiers around him to be careful not to make any noise. He then realizes that all the other soldiers are already dressed in full armor. He hurriedly pulls out a flare and makes a light] What are you doing up in the middle of the night dressed up?
Monkey: Um…it's been very windy and dry lately. I'm dressed up so if a fire breaks out I can go help quickly.
Jili: You're lying! You're dressed up because you want to go talk heart-to-heart with Boss, aren't you?
Monkey [shoves him]: Well, so what if I am? I'm going to see Boss because there are some things in the military code that I don't understand. Can't I even do that?
Pudgy: Yeah! There's a type of move I want Boss to teach me.
Soldiers: Yeah! That's right!
Jili: Those are all excuses. From now on, I forbid any of you to get close to Boss.
Monkey: Well, how come you get to visit still?
Pudgy: Yeah! How come?
Jili: Um…I won't go, either. Hey, what's the matter with us? I mean,
what the heck are we doing? Is life in camp too boring and lonesome and
dry? Boss is a fake woman and we still fall for him? Isn't that being too
desperate? [The other soldiers hang their
heads in shame] This is an insult to Boss. We are really too shameless. Well, that's all. Everyone go back to sleep. [Turns, then remembers a last admonition] Oh, by the way, I think we need to keep an eye on each other and make sure no one is making up excuses to get close to Boss. If anyone does, then we need to chop off his hands and feet, then gouge his eyes out. [The soldiers
all cringe at Jili's words] Actually, I realize that we're not the only ones to have perverted feelings for Boss. But Boss really cares about our welfare, so we mustn't forget his kindness to us. We need to turn these perverted feelings into a fresh determination to protect and support Boss in his undercover disguise. Then we need to help flush out this perverted criminal and keep him from hurting or abusing Boss. Are you with me?
Jili: What do you say?
Jili: Everyone go to sleep.
[Cut to a few hours later in Mulan's quarters. She's still awake, tossing and turning on her bed]
Mulan [sitting up]: Why can't I fall asleep? I'm exhausted so I ought to fall asleep easily. Maybe I better get some water. [She gets up to pour some water, thinking this might help. She sits down to drink it and ends up choking on it. Someone knocks on her door]
General Li: Mulan? [Mulan starts a bit, then tiptoes over to the door to open it for General Li. He walks in and looks a bit nervous yet concerned] Um…are you all right?
Mulan: I'm fine. Are you all right?
General Li: Oh, I'm fine, too. Well, you must be tired, so we can talk about this later. [Turns to go but Mulan grabs his arm]
Mulan: Hey, wait a minute. If you have something to say spit it out. I really dislike wishy-washiness in people.
General Li: Um…I couldn't sleep, so I wondered if you'd like to play a game of weiqi? [Sees Mulan's blank expression so he starts to look even more flustered] Wait, you're right. It IS late. I’ll come back another time. [He turns to leave but Mulan grabs his arm again]
Mulan: Wait. I couldn't sleep either. I would love to play a round of weiqi. Come in. [Pulls him toward the table]
[Several minutes later, they are in the midst of their chess game. General Li appears engrossed in Mulan, while Mulan appears intent on the chess game]
Mulan [mutters]: Pervert.
General Li [puzzled]: Did you say something?
Mulan [turns to him]: Pervert!
General Li [looks around him]: Who's a pervert?
Mulan [plays with her hair and flirts with him]: Saying you had insomnia was only an excuse. You really wanted to come see me.
General Li [shortly]: What are you talking about?
Mulan: General Li, when did you start liking men?
General Li: Baloney. Who said I like men?
Mulan [turning on the charm]: You're still trying to deny it…Oh… I know
the reason. You're starting to fall for me, even though I'm not really
a woman. My external charms have you "charmed." I've aroused perverted
feelings in you…[Gets right in face and
flicks her hair at him] And you're still trying to lie about it?
General Li [starts to really get flustered]: What nonsense are you talking about?
Mulan [starts to flirt with him in earnest]: Stop denying it. I know you like me. You once said that you've never met a woman who made your heart skip a beat. Well, today you finally broke through that logjam!
General Li [getting more nervous]: Baloney.
Mulan: You also said that men and women are fated to be together. That when you've met your match, your emotions would run amok and food wouldn't taste good anymore. You never had such feelings towards your cousin. Are you saying that you have such feelings toward this fake woman? Actually, this is good. It's a rare treat that I have both external beauty and internal beauty, kind and strict with regards to right and wrong. It's small wonder that I've caused your heart to become confused.
[General Li stands up suddenly, trying to look dignified]
General Li: You…you…Are you quite finished teasing me?
Mulan [suddenly sobering, realizing she has pushed him to his limit]: Sir, General, Sir, yes, I'm finished.
General Li [still trying to salvage some dignity]: Then go to sleep now.
[He turns to leave, still trying to look calm and collected but failing utterly. Mulan smirks at his discomfort, then goes to bed, still chuckling over the image of the unflappable General Li in obvious disarray]
[Cut to General Li back in his own quarters. He is having problems settling down after his encounter with Mulan, so he dunks his head in a basin of cold water to help clear his thoughts]
General Li [speaking to himself]: What the heck was that all about? Why are you such an idiot? [He is obviously greatly puzzled over his attraction to Mulan, especially since he thinks Mulan is male. (Though a really pretty cross-dressing male! General Li once said to Mulan he'd instinctively "know" who the right woman for him was, no matter what the circumstances, because such an arrangement is due to the hands of Fate, and nothing else. We shall see)]
[Cut to the marketplace. Several members of Mulan's platoon are swarming around her again, offering their amorous attentions. Mulan tries unsuccessfully to disengage them]
Jili: Boss, sit down.
Mulan [whispering]: But I'm not tired.
Jili: Sit down anyway, or your feet will become thick as posts. [Forces her to sit down]
Monkey: Oh, Boss, it's really hot out here. Let me fan you to help you cool off.
Pudgy: Boss, let me massage your shoulders… [Things begin to get out of hand when Jili resorts to grabbing their flower vendor sign (it's about four feet by two feet) to swat the lovesick troops away. General Li steps in and orders everyone back to their posts]
General Li: Hey hey hey. What's this all about? Is everyone in heat? If you're feeling amorous go find someone else. Just stay on your guard. [The soldiers all reluctantly troop off. General Li offers his canteen to Mulan]
Mulan: No, thank you, I'm not thirsty.
General Li: This isn't water. It's sweetened pear juice mixed with water.
[Smiling, Mulan gratefully accepts a sip]
[Cut to the local tavern at lunch time. General Li and the troops are sitting at a table, eating a meal and resting. General Li is keeping an eye out for any signs of the kidnapping suspect. When Mulan comes by their table to sell flowers (and receive new instructions from General Li), he reminds her to be careful]
[The soldiers, who are obviously enjoying their free lunch, compliments of General Li, are sailing into the food with obvious gusto]
General Li [rebukingly]: Hey, don't drink too much, lest you get drunk.
Jili [with his mouth full]: It's a rare treat that we get to feast like this. We'd be fools if we didn't eat up. Even if we are gorged we will continue to eat.
Mulan [coming over to their table]: Flowers for sale! Flowers for sale! [To General Li] Sir, would you like to buy some flowers? [Whispers in General Li's ear] General Li, sir, I've been hawking flowers for the past several days and we've come up empty. Do you think we're wasting our time?
General Li [whispering back]: Be patient. Our fish may soon be hooked.
Mulan [surprised]: Really? Where?
General Li [continues to whisper]: Over there. [Gestures to a neighboring table] That man came in at the same time you did. He's already made several circuits around the market today. He may be our man.
Mulan [nodding]: Wait. That man doesn't look likely, though. Maybe you're overly suspicious?
General Li: We'll find out soon if I'm barking up the wrong tree. [Loudly talks to the soldiers] Okay, everyone, eat up!
[Mulan leaves her flowers at the table and then walks out of the tavern. She is walking down a dark hallway in a nonchalant manner. She doesn't see a stranger is eyeing her from the shadows. General Li is also peering into the shadows. He spots the stranger and his face sets grimly]
General Li [muttering]: I've got you. [Hurries back to the tavern's main room to get the troops] Everyone, muster up! The big fish is on the line!
Jili [drunkenly talking to Pudgy]: You've lost three rounds, so you have to drink three shots as punishment.
[General Li sees they are all drunk and gets exasperated]
General Li: You're all good for nothing!
Jili [tries to grab General Li]: Come here and drink one with us!
General Li [shoves him off]: I don't have time for this! We're going to be too late! [Runs out the door to follow Mulan and the kidnapper following her]
[Meanwhile, Mulan is still walking down a dark place with the kidnapper
close behind. She doesn't see him but she senses someone near. Not wanting
to frighten off the kidnapper, she continues walking. The kidnapper sneaks
up and blows a bit of knockout powder from a straw in her direction. Mulan
falls to the ground in a faint. He smiles grimly, comes over, and picks
up. He hurries off in another direction. General Li is running behind, trying to find what happened to Mulan. He can hear receding footsteps but soon loses track of where the kidnapper has fled]
[Cut to tavern. Monkey, Jili, and Pudgy are all asleep at their table, passed out from all the food and wine. General Li comes over and dumps a basin of water on them. They all jump to their feet in bewilderment]
Monkey: It's raining!
Jili: How come it's raining indoors?
General Li [furious]: Raining?! If it was only that then all would be well!
Jili: We had a little too much to drink. Let's head back to camp and get some sleep. [General Li grabs both Jili and Pudgy by their collars and stops them from leaving]
Monkey: Where's Boss? Where did Boss go?
General Li [irate]: Boss? He's long since been kidnapped!
Jili [eyes wide]: Boss has been kidnapped? He's really been kidnapped?
[Cut to kidnapper walking along dark alleyways, still toting Mulan on
his shoulder. He looks around to make sure no one has
spotted him, then enters a house]
[Cut to county magistrate's home. General Li bursts in with the other soldiers right behind him]
General Li: Your Honor, please send an order to shut all the city gates immediately. No one is allowed to enter or exit.
Judge: Has something happened?
General Li: Our Lieutenant Hua has been kidnapped by the same person who's been kidnapping those flower sellers.
[Cut to strange room. Mulan is asleep on the bed in the middle of the room. She suddenly starts awake and sits up. She checks her clothing and is relieved that she is still fully dressed. She is about to get out of bed when she pauses]
Mulan: To catch a crook, I need to figure out where I am first. [She starts to crawl off the bed but jumps back under the covers when she hears a voice outside]
Voice [to someone else]: Come with me. Bring those things with you. [The kidnapper enters the room. A maid follows him. He turns to Mulan and addresses her] Miss, I see you've awakened.
Mulan [starts to bawl]: I'm so afraid! Where am I? Who are you and why have you brought me here?
Kidnapper [smiles]: Miss, it's your good fortune to come here.
Mulan: I don't want this fortune. I don't want any of it. I want to leave! I want to go home! Let me go!
Kidnapper: A lot of young ladies were just like you when they first came here, bawling and howling up a storm. However, in only a few days they were happy and content again. [Leans toward Mulan] Miss, I trust you will be just like them. [Chuckles while Mulan cringes in mock terror] In a while, change those clothes you are wearing with these. [Points to a pile of clothes the maid has brought in and set on the table. They both leave the room. Mulan continues to whimper loudly as she climbs off the bed and tries to figure a way out of her predicament]
Mulan: What am I going to do now?
[Cut to barracks at camp. General Li is sitting on a bench, with all of Mulan's troops milling around him distractedly. They are obviously worried that their lieutenant is missing]
Monkey: It's all my fault! I screwed up our grand plan.
Pudgy: Well, at least there is a silver lining in all this.
Jili [shoves Pudgy angrily]: What do you mean there's a silver lining? Boss is missing and we don't know if he's dead or alive. What's good about that?
Pudgy: It's a good thing Boss isn't a real woman. Since he's caught at least he doesn't need to worry about being raped or anything like that.
Jili: Who said Boss isn't a woman? [Everyone turns to Jili in some surprise at his words] I mean, Boss looks so much like a real woman in his disguise. If the kidnappers found out he wasn't really a woman, they'll be very angry. I suspect that his fate would be worse than that of a real woman.
Monkey: Don't say that…
Jili: General Li, do something! Think of a plan for us to rescue Boss!
General Li: Hua Mulan should still be inside the city. I've already sent ten platoons to search the city.
Jili [impatiently]: I know that, but how come we haven't heard any news yet?
General Li: Hm…this fellow is not a common person.
Jili [impatiently]: He disappeared without a trace. Of course he isn't a common person. [Monkey and Pudgy loudly concur]
General Li: What are you making such a fuss about? That's not what I meant. This person is affluent and probably well-known within Youzhou. He was dressed as a commoner, but he wore high-quality shoes that common people usually cannot afford. I'm sure there's something unusual about this case.
Jili: Then what are we going to do now?
[Cut to county magistrate's place. General Li is sitting with the judge and discussing the case]
General Li: Still no word? [The judge shakes his head] Did they do a thorough search? Could there have been places they overlooked?
Judge: General, we've already searched every building in Youzhou. I don't think we've missed anything.
General Li [sighs]: Lieutenant Hua was kidnapped at around ten o'clock (I'm putting in a time to make this clearer; the actual dialog doesn't list a time). From the time he was kidnapped to the time you gave the order to shut the city gates, no one passed through. Logically, Lieutenant Hua must still be inside the city.
Judge: General Li, there's one thing I'm not sure if I ought to tell you.
General Li: What is it?
Judge: General Li, it's true that my men have searched every building and home within the city limits. However, there are two residences that were excepted.
General Li: Two?
Judge: In my opinion, it would have been a waste of time to search them. Lieutenant Hua couldn't possibly be in either place.
General Li: What are these two places?
Judge: The first one is the temporary quarters for the Crown Prince and Second Prince. You know we don't dare disturb them.
General Li: Well, what is the second one?
Judge: The second one is the residence of a high official in Youzhou, Nobleman Lingshi's Grand Residence.
General Li [impatiently]: I don't care if it's his grand residence or his puny residence. What are you afraid of?
Judge: General, it's not that we're scared of anything, per say, but that we do not want to displease the Second Prince. [Sees a puzzled expression on General Li's face] The Second Prince and Nobleman Lingshi are close friends. Moreover, the Second Prince is currently staying with him. General, how can we dare disturb them?
[Cut back to room where Mulan is staying. She is hungrily eyeing a platter of biscuits and is about to bite into one when she thinks better of it. With a sigh, she drops it, but she looks quite hungry. Hearing the kidnapper calling for her from the hallway, she hurriedly jumps back under the bedcovers. The kidnapper walks in the room with a maid]
Kidnapper: Miss, my master would like to see you.
Mulan [feigns panic]: I don't want to go! I don't want to meet your master! I beg you…
Kidnapper [bowing]: Miss, my master is not your everyday leering pervert.
He won't use force on you. You can rest assured on this point.