General Li [surprised]: What?
Warlord: Chenen's mother and I used to be lovers. We were betrothed to each other. I spent the night with her once, right before a big battle. I was severely injured in battle and was mistakenly listed as killed-in-action. She was already pregnant with my child, who became Chenen. She didn't want to doom her child to a life of shame, nor did she want him to live as an orphan (she could wipe away the shame by committing suicide?), so she married a good friend of mine.
General Li: Did your good friend know that Chenen was not his son?
Warlord: No, he did not know. I didn't even know myself at the time. When I recovered from my wounds, I returned home and found out they had married. I was hurt, so I never wanted to see her again. Five years later, my friend died in battle. Chenen's mother, out of guilt towards her husband, also died soon thereafter (suicide or broken heart?). Before she died, she told her younger brother the truth. Many years later, her brother found me and told me her story. He gave me Chenen in the hopes that I could raise him to manhood. Chenen has tremendous respect and pride in my good friend, whom he believed was his father. I didn't think he could stand the shock of learning the truth, so I've never told him. Deep in my heart, though, he will always be my son.
General Li: Uncle, don't worry about Chenen. He has excellent martial skills; he will be all right.
[Cut to field. Chenen is staggering around in the dark, with corpses all around him. He collapses on the ground on his knees and begins to scream his rage and pain when he realizes the magnitude of what his poor decisions have caused]
[Cut to barracks where Mulan's soldiers sleep. They are gathered around the campfire, listening to her address them]
Mulan: I realize this is a very risky mission I signed us up for. I did it because I know we are of one heart. We share our joys and difficulties; through thick and thin we stick together. I'm sure we can find the main army and get reinforcements. [Notices Jili wishes to speak] What is it, Jili?
Jili [stepping forward]: Can I not go?
Jili: There are so many Tujue out there. There are only ten to twenty of us. How do you expect us to make it past that many enemy soldiers? You must be dreaming. You are asking us to go on a suicide mission.
Mulan [face hardening]: Do you think staying here is any safer? If all of us were as cowardly as you and stayed behind, our only path would lead to certain death!
Jili [startled by her wrath, speaks softly]: Okay. I'll go.
Mulan [roars]: Everyone, pack up your stuff! [The soldiers disband and ready their belongings]
[Cut to another tent. Jili is sitting down and gargling water. He is loudly bemoaning his fate]
Jili: My life is such a drag. It is just SUCH a drag. I thought serving as a very minor god in the kitchen, where I had to put up with all the cooking odors and smoke, was bad enough. Being a mortal is even worse. [Slaps his hand on the table, then picks up the bug he squashed] Little bug, seems like your life is bad, too. I'm telling you, serving as a soldier is the worst of the worst. [Looks up to the heavens] Empress Wangmu, why are you making me suffer so? Why couldn't you let me continue living my easy life? Empress Wangmu, why are you torturing me? [A blaze of light appears next to Jili. Empress Wangmu starts to materialize. She is wearing a red dress and shimmers with a bright glow. Noticing her, Jili greets her] Your Majesty, do you have any orders for me?
Empress Wangmu: Are you forgetting that you called for me? Why did you call?
Jili: It must be because I was so scared after I saw the horrors of war that I started blathering nonsense. Please forgive me.
Empress Wangmu: I asked you to secretly assist Hua Mulan in her endeavors. Have you done so?
Jili: Yes. Yes, I have. But, war is so frightening. It consists of everyone slaughtering everyone else. So many people have died. It is really very scary. Empress Wangmu, couldn't you use your magic to stop all this fighting?
Empress Wangmu [shaking her head]: No, I do not have such power. Humanity created war. They cause it through their greed and ignorance. I refuse to help them because only through their suffering will they learn the true way.
Jili: But what if they don't learn?
Empress Wangmu: Then they are doomed to suffer the consequences.
Jili: You mean like the aftereffects of this battle? [She nods her head] Then… will I die in this battle?
Empress Wangmu: You are now a mortal and are just like them in every way.
Jili: Then… could you give me the power of invincibility?
Empress Wangmu: No. If I did that, what would be the point of making you mortal? This is a lesson for you, too.
Jili: Then…what about those three treasures (they are the equivalent of get-out-of-jail-free cards) you gave me back in Youzhou? Could you transport them here for me, so that I can help Mulan fight successfully in battle and guarantee victory?
Empress Wangmu: No, those treasures are for you to use in times of dire need. They can only be used for good deeds, not bad ones. They definitely are not for killing people. You must not think having those three treasures makes you invincible.
Jili [wailing]: Then… what am I to do? You won't let me do this and you won't let me do that. I can't even protect myself; how am I going to protect Mulan? Plus, we are about to set out into enemy territory. [Starts to cringe and whimper] We're doomed. I'm as good as dead. Empress Wangmu, I think you'd best give someone else my position. I'm going to die.
Empress Wangmu [softens]: All right. I'll help you this one time only. First thing tomorrow morning, a thick fog will blow in from the east. Just follow the fog and you will be safe.
Jili: Thank you, Empress Wangmu! Thank you! [Starts to bow his thanks]
[Cut to scene in camp early the next morning. Mulan is standing and gazing out, her face full of a mixture of anxiety, worry, and a sense of the importance of her upcoming mission. General Li walks up to her]
General Li: Remember, as soon as the distraction starts, hurry up and get out amidst the chaos. Mulan, this is a very dangerous job. You must be careful. [She turns to him, looking determined]
Mulan: I will.
General Li: When you get to Youzhou, you must find the Second Prince and have him bring his troops her immediately. There is no room for error or delay. [Puts his hand on her shoulder] Mulan, you must make it back alive. [He looks at her with his face full of concern. She looks wistfully at him, as if she wishes he knew her true identity and feelings towards him, but that now is not the time nor place for such fancies. Even though she realizes she may never get the chance to tell him, her sense of honor and duty are higher in her thoughts. Suddenly, Jili comes barging in and runs right between the two of them]
Jili [hollering]: You can't go now! You can't leave yet! The fog hasn't come yet.
[General Li and Mulan stare at Jili as if he is insane]
General Li: Why not?
Jili: Empress Wangmu told me yesterday that if we waited for the fog to come, we could travel safely and not have any danger.
Mulan [puzzled]: Empress Wangmu?
General Li [to Jili]: It was clear and calm last night. How could there be fog today?
Mulan [sternly]: Su Jili, you must be afraid to die, so you came up with this lame excuse for not going. Do you honestly think I care if there is fog or not? We go, whether or not there is a fog! Go! [Turns to leave]
[Jili reacts in frustration at Mulan's stubbornness and utters several inarticulate cries]
[Cut to enemy camp. It is still dark in the early morning hours. The men are still resting. At the Sui army camp, the soldiers have lit flares and attached them to hot air balloons. These balloons, which have gunpowder attached also, float across the fields toward the enemy camp. The fog is rising as General Li looks on, dressed in full armor and preparing for battle. An enemy soldier spots the strange balloons coming across their camp and asks his companion what it is. They stare in puzzlement as the balloons drift closer. When the balloons are completely over the enemy camp, General Li gives a signal and his archers aim for the balloons, filling them with flaming arrows. The balloons fall to the ground and explode when the gunpowder ignites, acting like bombs from the sky. The enemy camp is in great confusion, with men screaming and horses running around in fear]
[Cut to a different field. Mulan and her troops are enveloped in fog]
Mulan: We've already made it past the Tujue blockade at the valley exit. We should be able to make it Youzhou without a hitch now. [She leads her troops onward]
Jili [looking to the sky]: Thank you, Empress Wangmu, thank you!
[Cut to Youzhou. Mulan's troops have arrived. She runs to the Second Prince's quarters with Jili in tow]
Mulan [out of breath]: I have been sent by the Marshal himself with urgent news. [Turns to Jili] Jili, please hand me the letter. [Turns to soldier at the gate] This is a letter from the Crown Prince to the Second Prince, asking for immediate reinforcements. Please take it and give it to the Second Prince as soon as possible.
[The guard bows and hurries into the gate while Mulan and Jili sit on the steps outside and try to catch their breath]
[Cut to Second Prince's quarters. The guard at the gate walks in and salutes the Second Prince, then hands over the letter, explaining that it has just arrived from a soldier from Xingyie, where the Crown Prince is. The Second Prince takes the letter and reads it and quickly folds it up]
Second Prince [looking quite bored]: Tell those soldiers that I am not in right now. [Sees the guard is hesitating] Well, go on already! [A smug smile forms on his face as he settles back into his seat]
[Cut to the gate outside, where Mulan and Jili are impatiently waiting for word. The guard opens the door. Mulan and Jili scramble to their feet]
Mulan: Where is the Second Prince?
Guard: He isn't in right now. You'd best go home.
Jili: What do you mean he's not in? If he wasn't in, why didn't you say so earlier?
Guard: I… I just started my shift so I didn't know he was out.
Mulan: Then where did he go?
Guard [stonewalls them]: I don't know.
Mulan [getting impatient]: Then when do you expect him back?
Guard: I don't know.
Mulan [really antsy now]: Don't you know anything? Don't you realize time is of the essence? [The guard turns around and heads back inside, ignoring Jili's protests]
Jili: Humph! In that case, we'll just sit out here and wait until the Second Prince returns.
[Cut to Second Prince's quarters. It is late at night and he is getting ready for bed. He calls in one of the guards and asks him if Mulan and Jili have left already. The soldier replies that they have been waiting outside all day]
Second Prince: Since they seem to have such patience, I'll let them wait a bit longer. [The guard bows and leaves]
[Cut to the gate outside. It is daylight outside and Mulan and Jili look stiff from sitting all night. Mulan awakens first and prods Jili awake]
Mulan [stretches and yawns]: Jili, it's morning.
Jili [starts]: Huh? It's morning already? Then we've been waiting here a day and a night. We can't keep waiting here like this. [Tugs Mulan's sleeve] Mulan, you have to come up with a plan! You have to think of something!
Mulan: Well, then let's go look for him.
Jili: Good idea. Let's go!
[Cut to Second Prince's quarters. There are two burning braziers (for warmth?) and a litter resting on the floor. Mulan and Jili walk in, looking for any signs of the Second Prince. They walk past the litter, then Mulan pauses and turns back to get a closer look.]
Jili: Why are you stopping here? What's so interesting about an old rundown litter?
Mulan: This is the Second Prince's litter.
Mulan: Well, this means he must be in and not out and about. Don't you find it odd that all the guards and servants we spoke with denied knowing where the Second Prince was? When we questioned them, all of them stammered and looked uncomfortable. I'm sure there is a reason for their odd behavior.
Jili: Come to think of it, that's right. Why do you think he is trying to hide from us?
Mulan: That's not important. What is important is that we have to find him. [She picks up a torch from one of the braziers and starts to light one of the curtains in the room]
Jili [grabs Mulan's arm]: What the heck do you think you're doing?
Mulan: Starting a fire.
Jili: But arson is a crime. [Mulan resumes lighting the curtain. It takes a few seconds for Jili to understand what she is trying to do. A few minutes later, they run out of the room, shouting the alarm for fire]
Mulan and Jili [shouting]: Fire! Fire!
Guard: What's going on?
Mulan: Go notify the Second Prince that the place is on fire! [Guard nods and hurries off. Mulan gives Jili a look of satisfaction, then they both follow the guard. He leads them to the Second Prince's bedroom]
Guard: Your Highness, fire has started outside! [Mulan and Jili follow closely on his heels, much to the Second Prince's chagrin]
Mulan [with a straight face]: Your Highness, I see you've returned.
Second Prince: What's going on? Where's the fire?
Mulan: Oh, it's in the front courtyard, but don't worry, it's just a small one that the servants have no doubt put out already. However, I have a much more important issue that I need to discuss with your Highness.
Second Prince [reluctantly]: Come with me. [Walks into his rooms] I know why you are here; I read the letter you brought.
Mulan: Then you also know the gravity of the situation. Please let me lead your troops back to rescue the Crown Prince and our army.
Second Prince [hesitating]: I need to think it over first.
Mulan: There's no time to think it over. The Crown Prince can't hold out much longer against the enemy. I will lead your troops for you; just give me your seal of authority and I will bring them myself.
Second Prince: The 500,000 troops at my disposal are for the defense of Youzhou. If you take them from here, there will be no one left to defend the city. If the Tujue were to attack us here, I'd have no one left to mount a defense.
Jili: If we rescue the Crown Prince and our stranded armies, the Tujue will not be able to attack Youzhou (too far away?). If they can't attack Youzhou, your Highness, then you won't need those 500,000 troops for defense, will you?
Second Prince: Are you sure of victory? What if you are defeated? The Tujue would have free rein over us then.
Mulan: The Crown Prince is in a difficult situation; we can't just leave him to the wolves.
Second Prince: Of course we must save him. However…I need time to think of a more foolproof plan.
Jili: But there's no time! Hurry and make up your mind!
Second Prince [looking flustered]: You are making me so nervous I can't think straight. Please leave me alone so I can think things through. [Mulan, seeing she is getting nowhere with the Second Prince, bows and leaves, dragging Jili with her]
[Cut to local tavern. Mulan and Jili are sitting at a table with a meal laid out, though Jili is the only one that is eating. Mulan is looking anxious and a bit disgusted at Jili's obvious appetite]
Mulan: The lives of tens of thousands of soldiers are our responsibility. How can you eat at a time like this?
Jili [continues wolfing down food]: But Mulan, I'm really very hungry. Beside, it's not as if not eating would solve anything. You know something, I just realized that the Second Prince was very reluctant to give you his seal of authority. You'd think he'd worry about his elder brother's predicament, but he didn't really seem that concerned. How odd.
Mulan [looking like she suddenly saw the light]: Wait a minute. If the Crown Prince doesn't make it… then the Second Prince becomes the new Crown Prince. [They stare at each other in some horror] No, no, no. I can't let that happen. This is a very serious matter. How can we get that seal of authority so we can command the troops and rescue the Crown Prince?
Jili [thinks a minute or so]: Let me go steal it.
Mulan [looking doubtful]: You?
Jili: I may not be much of a warrior, but when it comes to light-fingered acts, that's my forte. [Giggles, then gets up and leaves the tavern] Don't forget to finish all the food for me.
[Cut to tent at Three Mile camp. Jili walks into the barracks and fishes out his red umbrella. He opens it up and chants several incomprehensible words. He starts to glow with a reddish aura. He hurries back to the Second Prince's quarters and sneaks past the guards. The umbrella has given him the power of invisibility, so he tests it out by walking right up to the guard (they don't see him) and biting one on the rear (yeah, he's really weird). Satisfied that he is invisible, he goes into the Second Prince's bedroom. He is looking for the seal of authority, which is a small gold figurine in the shape of a tiger. He manages to lift it when he hears the Second Prince approach the door. Jili stands stock-still while the Second Prince enters, looking for the source of the noise he heard coming from his bedroom. Not seeing anything, he thinks the coast is clear. Jili, after making sure he has the seal securely tucked away, heads towards the door and runs full on into the Second Prince. He is knocked over on his rear while Jili rushes through the door like a gust of wind]
[Cut to tavern. Mulan is still sitting at the table, looking glum and depressed. Jili walks in]
Mulan: Did you find it?
Jili: I'm sorry. I didn't manage to steal it.
Mulan [sighs]: Oh well. I didn’t think it was possible. [Jili whips out the seal and shows it to Mulan. Her eyes light up when she sees it] How did you do it?
Jili [points to his umbrella]: With this.
[Mulan picks up the umbrella and looks it over, puzzled with how an umbrella could have helped Jili steal the seal, but she refrains from asking any questions. Jili is now focused on eating the rest of his meal]
[Cut to stranded army at Hulu Valley. The Marshal and General Li are sitting in their tent before a campfire. It is night outside]
Marshal: Do you know we have only enough rations for one more day? We can't keep waiting until we starve to death.
General Li: Uncle, please wait another day. I'm sure our reinforcements are on their way.
Marshal: Our reinforcements would have needed four days to arrive. But it's already been six days since they would have set out. I'm afraid Hua Mulan didn't make it to Youzhou. You and I are both well aware that the reinforcements will not arrive. I'd much rather die fighting than die waiting here for death.
General Li: Uncle, are you saying…?
Marshal: I will lead my men in a concentrated attack against the Tujue as a diversion. This will give you the opportunity to safely escort the Crown Prince to safety beyond the Hulu Valley.
General Li: Uncle, we can't do this. You should let me lead the diversion and you should escort the Crown Prince.
Marshal: Now is not the time for heroics, Li Liang. I'm old and not of much use to anyone anymore. I wouldn't be of any help in leading the Crown Prince to safety; I'd just hurt his chances of surviving. I've thought this over extensively. This is our only hope.
General Li: But Uncle…
Marshal [raising his voice]: I am still the Marshal here. I take full responsibility for the outcome of this battle. If I die fighting tomorrow, I have no regrets.
General Li [wistfully]: Uncle…
Marshal [pats General Li on the arm]: Don't feel bad for me. I've been a soldier for decades now. To die on the battlefield serving my country is a great honor. I just regret that I never fulfilled my duties toward Chenen as his father. If I don't make it, you must tell him for me that I am sorry. [Pulls out a piece of jade] Chenen's mother and I shared a matching pair of jade pieces. It was originally a sign of our engagement. Before she died, she gave her jade piece to Chenen. Could you give my piece to him, too?
[General Li takes the jade and handles it like a precious jewel. He is keenly sensitive to the magnitude of what his uncle is asking him to do and nods in appreciation and acceptance]
[Cut to the next morning. The two armies are arrayed against each other on both sides of a large desert field. The Tujue footsoldiers wear yellow uniforms with armor and carry round shields, swords, and spears. The Sui footsoldiers use hexagonal shields and wear black uniforms with yellow armor. The officers on both sides are mounted and wield swords and maces. With a command, the Marshal orders the Sui army to attack. Arrows begin to fly and the two armies meet, with a tremendous clash of arms and noise. In another part of the field, General Li is leading his troops with the Crown Prince through the gap and out of Hulu Valley. Charging with a fresh army of soldiers, Mulan is heading towards the stranded army to rescue the Crown Prince. There is fierce fighting everywhere, with the Marshal fighting with great energy and determination. The Tujue Khan is also fighting, and he finally kills the Marshal in hand-to-hand combat. The Marshal remains kneeling for many minutes before he finally falls to the ground, where General Li finds him several hours later after the battle has ended. He closes the Marshal's eyes, then stands up and shouts in rage and despair]
[Cut to funeral service back at Youzhou. The Crown Prince is standing with General Li and the rest of the Marshal's officers. The Second Prince hurries forward to greet his brother, shedding crocodile tears as he does so]
Second Prince [embracing his brother]: Brother, I didn't expect to see you again in this lifetime.
Crown Prince: Brother!
Mulan [with a look of disdain on her face, mutters]: The SOB.
Jili: Why are you scolding people? [Mutters himself] The SOB.
[The Second Prince suddenly notices the casket on the ground and realizes it contains the Marshal's remains. He kneels before the casket in fake humility and despair]
Second Prince: Marshal Li, what is my father going to do without your strong right arm? What is our empire going to do?
[Cut to altar with the Marshal's funerary marker, sword, and several candles lit. General Li, Mulan, Jili, and a few other officers are bowing before the memorial. After several minutes, Mulan reaches over to help General Li, her face full of sorrow and sympathy]
Mulan: General Li. [Su Jili also helps General Li, who is looking dazed and lost, to his feet] General Li, joy and sorrow visit everyone. You must take care of yourself.
General Li: He was like a father to me. I can never repay his kindness and care.
Mulan: That's all the more reason to take care of yourself. You have to continue the work he started. General…take care.
Jili: General Li, the Marshal's already gone. It's no use grieving for him, because it won't do any good. I'm sure when he's reincarnated he will do reasonably well. [He doesn't notice the shocked and exasperated look Mulan is giving him] He probably won't have to suffer too much in his next life. In fact, I think death is a way to get a better deal in the next life. [She looks like she wants to strangle him but doesn't want to make a scene]
Pudgy: What kind of nonsense are you talking about, Jili?
Jili [sounding hurt]: I'm not talking nonsense. I'm just trying to make General Li feel better. If he keeps grieving like this, food won't taste any good and women will cease looking attractive. The sooner one dies, the sooner one can be reborn into another life. The slate is wiped clean and you can start over. That's a great deal!
Mulan [unable to restrain herself any longer]: Su Jili! If you can't say the right thing, then don’t say anything at all! [Turns to General Li] Sir, we need to avenge the Marshal's death.
General Li: How do you intend to do that?
Mulan: Ask the Crown Prince to question the Second Prince and show his true colors. The Second Prince is false and a weasel. He knew what he was doing when he refused to send out his troops to rescue the Crown Prince. To think that he is getting away scot-free after all the trouble he's caused just drives me crazy! And to top it off, he embraced his brother as if he really did worry about his safety. Such crocodile tears! He is really an accomplished actor.
General Li: Mulan, if you were to do this, it wouldn’t accomplish anything.
Mulan: Why not?
General Li: The Second Prince is too keen and wily. He has probably already convinced the Crown Prince that he didn't send his reinforcements immediately because he was worried about leaving Youzhou undefended and not because of any malicious intent against his brother.
Mulan: But we have to at least remind the Crown Prince to watch his back around his younger brother.
General Li: I've already done that on numerous occasions. However, he really dotes upon his younger brother. Even if he knew the truth about his brother's previous actions, he wouldn't do anything about it. We'd only get ourselves in trouble for our pains. The Crown Prince is too trusting and naïve, but it is not our place to warn him about his own brother's designs. Our job is to protect him.
Mulan: I don't think the Crown Prince is that wishy-washy. No matter what, I intend to at least try.
General Li: I don't believe he's too wishy-washy; he's too trusting of other people. Moreover… [notices Mulan is gone, so he asks Pudgy] Where is Lieutenant Hua?
Pudgy: He just left with Su Jili. [General Li, hearing this, looks worried and anxious about what his impulsive friend will get himself into]
[Cut to Crown Prince's quarters. Mulan and Jili arrive at the gates, where there are two soldiers stationed]
Mulan: We need to see the Crown Prince.
Guard: He is not in. Go away!
Jili: Then, when do you expect him back?
Guard: The Crown Prince left early this morning and didn't say where he was going. He could be gone anywhere from three days to a month. Or even three months. I really don't know.
Jili [sees Mulan is ready to get into a fight]: Mulan, we'd best leave now. We won't get anywhere with these guards. [He tugs her sleeve and persuades her to leave peacefully, albeit reluctantly]
[Cut to Three Mile camp. Pudgy and Monkey are discussing how to find their leader, Lt. Hua]
Pudgy [notices a large group of soldiers running in formation]: Why are they training right now?
Monkey [worried]: I don't think they are training.
[Cut to General Li's quarters. He is sitting at a table reading a book. Hearing a knock, he goes to open the door. He sees several guards, one of who addresses him]
Guard: General Li, I have been given an Imperial order to have you arrested. Please cooperate with us.
General Li: Arrested? For what crime?
Guard: For your incompetent actions as befit a general of the Imperial army. The Emperor wishes to mete out punishment for your offenses. [Says to fellow soldiers to lead General Li away; he goes quietly]
[Cut to street right outside of the Crown Prince's quarters. Mulan and Jili are waiting outside for any sign of the Crown Prince, but to no avail]
Jili: Mulan, the Crown Prince isn't in. It isn't doing us any good to keep waiting here. Let's go.
Mulan [pulls him back]: Don't you find the two guards at the gate acting very suspiciously?
Jili: How so?
Mulan: Just now, I didn't even have the chance to utter the words, "Crown Prince," and they were hurriedly rushing us off. I'm sure they have been given orders to let no one near the Crown Prince. He hates being cooped up; I can't imagine anyone was able to keep him locked in his quarters against his will. Even if he is out and about now, he still has to return here to sleep. We will wait here until he shows up. [Jili nods his approval and starts to settle in for a long wait]
Jili: But Mulan, if that guard spoke the truth about the Crown Prince going off on a long journey somewhere, then we'd be waiting here until kingdom come and it wouldn't do any good.
Mulan [thinks a bit]: We still have to wait.
[Monkey and Pudgy run up to Mulan and Jili; they take a few seconds to catch their breath before they can speak]
Mulan: Pudgy, Monkey, what's going on?
Monkey: Boss, we've come to send you urgent news.
Mulan: What urgent news?
Monkey: General… General Li has been arrested by General Yi (military police?). They are still looking everywhere back at camp for you!
Mulan: What! What the heck is going on? [Mulan and Jili are both shocked at this news. Mulan thinks a minute and her face hardens in anger] It must be the Second Prince who is behind all this!
[Cut to jail somewhere in Youzhou. General Li is tied up in chains. He is cut up and bruised, no doubt from the prison beatings. The Second Prince steps forward and grabs him roughly by the collar]
Second Prince: You know, I used to admire and respect you… until you started to work against me. Because of you, I can no longer enjoy myself as I used to (i.e.-the flower seller incident) and have to be careful of all my movements. [Goes to a brazier burning in the cell. There is a hot iron heating in it. He picks it up and walks over, then nonchalantly burns General Li with it. General Li writhes in pain but largely remains silent] You and Hua Mulan ruined my plans. In fact, you brought my brother into it and put him against me. I intend to make sure you can never interfere with me again. [Draws a dagger of about six inches in length with the intention of stabbing General Li. He looks back at the Second Prince with no fear in his eyes and groans when the knife plunges into him]
[Cut to an abandoned hut somewhere on the outskirts of Youzhou. Mulan, Jili, Monkey, and Pudgy are all sleeping. Mulan suddenly jerks awake with a yell, probably because of a bad dream. The other soldiers all yell in reaction]
Mulan [impatiently]: What's with the yelling?
Pudgy: We yelled because you yelled.
Mulan: Do you have to do everything I do? [Her soldiers step closer, seeing she is still shaken from sleep] I just had a dream that the Second Prince was torturing General Li. He was really having his way with him. [Gets up suddenly] I am going to find him! [The other soldiers all restrain her] What do you think you're doing? Let go!
Jili: Didn't you hear what Monkey told you earlier? The military police is looking for you! I can't let you go to certain death.
Mulan [struggles against their grips]: Let go! I haven't done anything wrong. Heck, I'll fight them on their charges and see who is telling the truth!
Jili: The Second Prince is out to get you. Do you think he will talk reason with you? I can't let you throw your life away!
Mulan [struggling some more]: I MUST go to see him! I'm telling you nicely now, LET GO! [The soldiers manage to hold her a bit longer, but she is strong and they realize they probably can't hold her for very long. Jili finally smacks the back of her head, knocking her out. They lay her down on the ground]
[Cut to empty field outside. General Li is being led, in chains, before an outdoor tribunal that the Second Prince presides over. The Second Prince looks on with coldness in his eyes and no mercy. General Li is forced to kneel]
Second Prince: Li Liang, you are born a Sui citizen and have served as a Sui soldier. Why do you have sympathies towards the Tujue and have dealings with them? It has affected your performance on the field, making you hesitant to quickly react to their actions. You caused the death of Marshal Li and almost caused the death of the Crown Prince. Your list of trespasses is long.
General Li: What is the basis for this list of crimes? If your Highness wishes to kill me, then please get on with it. Why go through this big production and waste your breath?
Second Prince: I have no grudge against you and thus have no reason to wish you ill will. You know what you have done. You wish to smear me and make me look like the oppressor before all these soldiers. My word, you are evil! [General Li smiles condescendingly and does not reply. He continues to kneel quietly before the Second Prince with the air of someone that is humoring a willful child] You have failed in your role as a general of the Imperial army through pure incompetence. There are numerous other sins that you are guilty of, which you know well in your heart you have committed. You are now on trial before the good men of the Imperial army, who know everything you have done.
General Li: Go right ahead, your Highness. I am quite interested in finding out what crimes I have committed.
Second Prince: I once heard of a prince who promised a thousand pieces of gold for each word written to help his country. I intend to follow this noble prince's example, except I promise to give a thousand pieces of gold for each crime against Li Liang that a witness can state. [General Li looks up in some surprise at the Second Prince's tactics. The Second Prince addresses the soldiers around him] Not only do you have a chance to earn a thousand pieces of gold, but you will also earn a promotion.
General Li: Your Highness, these men are not so easily bribed. They are all red-blooded men of honor. You should not take them lightly.
Second Prince [addressing the soldiers]: Do not be afraid of him. I have him solidly tied up, so feel free to report any crimes he is guilty of committing. Remember, for each crime you will earn 1000 pieces of gold, plus a promotion. There is no limit to the number of gold pieces you can earn.
[General Li shakes his head at the Second Prince's words. He expresses some surprise when he sees a sergeant step forward and salute the Second Prince]
Sergeant: He is too proud. Every time I salute him, he pretends he doesn't see me and walks right by.
Second Prince: So he has too much pride? Good. [To his aides] Give this man 1000 pieces of gold!
[Another soldier steps up]
Soldier: He has bad breath and never brushes his teeth. [Hearing this one, General Li chuckles at the absurdity of the charges]
Second Prince: He can't even take care of his own personal hygiene; no wonder he can't successfully lead his troops in battle.
[Soldier after soldier comes forward to earn a reward, while General Li silently marvels at the spectacle]
[Cut to the abandoned hut where Mulan and her soldiers are staying. She is securely tied with rope to prevent her escape. The soldiers are still asleep when she awakes and notices her bonds]
Mulan [whispering loudly]: Hey, Jili! Wake up! [She sees that he is not waking up and repeats herself, louder this time. There is still no response. She gingerly gets up and hops over to their sleeping bodies, trying not to trip over her tied feet. She tries nudging them awake but they are still sound asleep. Giving up, she hops back to her original spot and sits down. Seeing she has no other choice, she begins to groan loudly as if she is having a seizure and makes horrific grimaces to emphasize her condition. This wakes up her soldiers quickly and they rush to her side]
Jili: Boss, what's the matter? [Sees her convulsing] Oh my, he must be having a seizure or suffering from lockjaw. Loosen his bonds so he doesn't hurt himself with the ropes.
[Jili, Monkey, and Pudgy hurry to loosen his bonds, then head off to another room to find a stout beam to tie her to so she won't injure herself. They do not notice that as soon as they loosened the ropes she scampered out the front door. They have some difficulty finding a beam and when they finally do so, they discover that Mulan is gone]
[Cut back to tribunal where General Li is still kneeling before the Second Prince]
Second Prince: You see how few of your men actually respected you? So much for your "red-blooded men." No wonder you couldn't win a battle.
General Li: Well, human nature is often not as perfect as we like to think. They don't know what they are doing, so I forgive them.
Second Prince [ordering his aides]: Soldiers, come take Li Liang away! Bring him to my father so he can mete out punishment as he sees fit!
[Mulan comes running forward, calling out for General Li]
Second Prince: Hua Mulan! I have been looking all over for you. [His smile is not friendly and has a note of ferocity that is frightening]
General Li [says sharply to Mulan]: You idiot! Why did you come here?
Mulan [to Second Prince]: What crimes has he committed?
Second Prince: Crimes? He is guilty of countless crimes. I have a list of over a hundred items.
Mulan: Your family already rules all of China. How can you stand to stoop to such petty actions over your subjects?
Second Prince: You call me petty? I did not come up with this list. His own soldiers did that. If you don't believe me, ask them!
Mulan [turns to fellow soldiers and yells at them]: You are all bastards! General Li has always treated you well, and this is how you thank him? How could you? You SOB's!
Second Prince [to soldier]: Arrest Lieutenant Hua, also! [He leaves the premises while Mulan is tied up]
Mulan [temper still flaring]: You damned SOB's! [She is still visibly angry and looks as if she could continue to yell choice phrases for quite a while, but General Li stops her]
General Li: Mulan, it's no use yelling at them. You may as well save your breath.