[Cut to grassy field outside of camp. Jili, Monkey, and Pudgy are hiding in the grass and trying to find Mulan's whereabouts]

Monkey: How are we going to find Boss?

Jili: What's the matter? Are you scared?

Pudgy: Of course not. No one is as close and important to me as Boss. I owe him so much. We can't leave him to the wolves.

Monkey: But there are only three of us. Will we be able to rescue him?

Jili: Of course we can. Haven't you heard the saying "One average general is better than Einstein?"

Pudgy: You have it wrong. It's supposed to be "better than Napoleon."

Monkey: And it's "Three average generals," not one.

[Jili suddenly gets a bright idea and starts to head back to camp. Monkey and Pudgy look at him in surprise]

Pudgy: I thought we were trying to find a way to rescue Boss.

Jili: We are. Come with me. [The three of them start to head off]

[Cut to clearing in the forest. Jili and company are doing exercises and calisthenics, though they look very silly and uncoordinated]

Jili: One, two, three, four… One, two, three, four…[He continues to do a weird series of exercises while Pudgy tries to follow his movements. Monkey stops trying and looks puzzled]

Monkey: Hey, Jili, are you nuts? How will doing exercises help rescue Boss?

Jili: Of course not! YOU are nuts if you think it will.

Pudgy: But that's why you said we had to follow you. It's all to save Boss!

Jili: These exercises are just to help us warm up.

Pudgy and Monkey: Warm up?

Jili: To get past those jerks that are guarding Mulan, we will need to swim in the channel. That's why we have to make sure we are warm and adequately stretched.

Pudgy: Swim? Us? [Falls to ground in a faint]

Monkey [pleading]: Jili, I haven't lived on this earth long enough. Please, spare me! [Goes on hands and knees] Please.

[Jili heads over to see Pudgy. He lifts him off the ground and rouses him awake]

Jili: What about you?

Pudgy: Jili, it's impossible.

Jili: Why is it impossible?

Pudgy: We would freeze to death in the channel before we got to see Boss.

Jili [grabbing Pudgy's shoulder]: Then you intend to be a welcher?

Pudgy: No, that's not what I meant. I only wanted to know if we could avoid going by water to infiltrate the camp.

Jili: I'm telling you, our only chance is to go by water. If we go by the main road, we have no chance of making it.

Pudgy: Wait a minute. Aren't you skilled in the art of stealth and deception? Why don't you try and sneak inside the camp to rescue Boss? Boss won't blame you for using such dishonorable tactics.

Jili [shakes his head in exasperation]: I…If I could do that I would have long since rescued Boss. I don't have my treasure anymore (his red umbrella), so that method won't work. [Sees the two of them have given up and starts to yell] Hey you two! Weren't you all afire to go rescue Boss? Where is that energy and enthusiasm you displayed earlier? [Sees they continue to sit dejectedly on the ground] Fine! From now on, Boss will know he can't count on you two as his friends. [He jumps into the water and starts to swim]

[Cut to tribunal with both General Li and Mulan tied up and kneeling before the Second Prince. He begins to read aloud their crimes]

Second Prince: The previous testimony of General Li's soldiers has proven he is guilty of arrogance unbecoming an officer. He has often belittled and insulted his men in camp. Hua Mulan, your obvious concern for General Li's welfare makes me wonder if you have some sort of shameful relationship with him (i.e.-homosexual).

Mulan [glaring at the Second Prince]: Only a dog like you could come up with such bullshit!

Second Prince [snarls]: Why you… [calms himself quickly] Hua Mulan, before your arrival, General Li was calm and unconcerned about these charges against him. But since your arrival, his face has become, shall I say, quite entertaining to watch. [General Li looks beaten, while Mulan starts to look scared, though she tries to maintain a stiff upper lip in front of the Second Prince]

General Li: Your Highness, I'm the one you really want. [Nods toward Mulan] He is no danger to you. You should let him go. I'll admit to the entire list of crimes you have against me.

Second Prince [sneering]: My, my, my. You're such a faithful and honest citizen, even to the bitter end. You are responsible for turning the army upside down and causing grievous losses in battle, yet you still insist on playing the hero now.

General Li: He (referring to Mulan) really cannot hinder any of your plans. Let him go.

Second Prince: You are still the red-blooded hero you always try to be. [Turns to Mulan] Mulan, you have only one possible choice if you wish to live. All you need to do is tell me of a time that Li Liang has harmed or insulted you, and I will pardon you of all your crimes.

Mulan [falsely sweet]: Then what do you want me to say?

Second Prince: True, this is a bit awkward for you, but I can make it easier for you by prompting you. Tell me that Li Liang used you, then tried to use money to buy your silence, just so he could have his entertainment (paid male lover?).

Mulan [spits out her defiance]: Screw yourself! I'll never follow the example of these SOB's and dishonor myself and slander General Li!

Second Prince [barks]: In that case, [turns to his soldiers] punish him accordingly!

[Cut to barracks. Jili is searching for his red umbrella and other treasures under his bed. A sudden tinkling sound reaches his ears, so he turns around. The Outhouse Goddess appears, sitting on a bed and holding his treasures]

Jili: What are you doing here?

Outhouse Goddess: Are you looking for these things?

Jili: Give it back. [Rushes her and misses as she ducks] Give it back! [Rushes her again and misses again. After several futile attempts, he starts to beg her to give him back his treasures. She continues to tease him mercilessly until he tries to grab her]

Outhouse Goddess: Ah, ah, ah. [Uses her magic to block his hands from touching her] Don't forget that I have more magical power than you do. Especially since I ate that Celestial Peach (the one that Jili received from Empress Wangmu for helping Mulan become Lieutenant; he lost it in a fight with the Outhouse Goddess in an earlier episode), my powers have greatly increased. I bet if I decided to blow a puff of wind in your direction, you'd have to hope it didn't snuff out your essence.

Jili [starts to get mad]: That's right! I haven't repaid you yet for taking my Celestial Peach from me. I intend to pay you back… back… [Changes tack when he remembers his current situation] What will it take for you to give me back my powers?

Outhouse Goddess [coyly]: Originally, I was going to cut you some slack and not pick on you. Who knew you'd treat me like this! If you were to treat me nicely…

Jili [takes the hint and begins to turn on the charm]: Actually, you are quite cute when you show your softer side.

Outhouse Goddess [coquettishly]: Really?

Jili: Of course it's true. [She turns away and giggles. He hurriedly stops up his nose so as to block out the awful smell she exudes and grabs his mouth to stop the feelings of nausea] Actually… actually you are as beautiful as a fairy of the sky…no, wait, that doesn't sound right. What I mean is, you are a treasure amongst all the other goddesses. [Luckily, the Outhouse Goddess is not looking in Jili's direction, or she would notice he is constantly fighting the urge to gag] When you smile, it is so captivating… When you smile, it is so alluring… When you smile, it is so enchanting. [The Outhouse Goddess is busily drinking in these compliments and looking like a schoolgirl] It's just such a pity that… you so seldom smile.

Outhouse Goddess: Really? [Giggles and looks away again]

[Jili starts to sneeze and the Outhouse Goddess looks over in some concern]

Outhouse Goddess: Jili, are you catching a cold? Are you okay?

Jili [after several sneezes]: I'm fine now. I was too excited just now. I never really appreciated your preciousness before. It's my loss that it took so long for me to learn the truth. [Starts to slap himself on both cheeks in mock repentance]

Outhouse Goddess: It's not too late now to change. [Giggles some more] I mean, we are a destined pair. You are in charge of the kitchen and I'm in charge of the outhouse. You handle incoming items and I handle outgoing items. Don't we make a great team? [Jili is continuously trying not to gag in her presence even though the smell is no doubt overpowering]

Jili: We… we are truly a wonderful pair.

[The Outhouse Goddess starts to notice an odd smell. She starts to sniff around for the source and notices it is coming from Jili]

Outhouse Goddess: What's that smell? [Sniffs Jili a few seconds] My goodness, cooked fish smells, smoked meat smells, even… [sniffs some more] eww, garlic and onions! [She tries to wave away the strong odors]

Jili: Well, I spend all day in the kitchen, so I'm going to smell quite strongly of these odors.

Outhouse Goddess [starts to sniff herself]: Then, do I smell like an outhouse?

Jili [pinches his nose]: Well, you do smell… just a little bit.

Outhouse Goddess [playfully hits him on the shoulder]: Does that bother you?

Jili [pastes a grin on his face]: Why would I mind? I love the smell! Let me take a deep sniff. [He leans over and inhales deeply of her "perfume," then hurriedly turns around and threatens to retch]

Outhouse Goddess [concerned]: What's the matter?

Jili [controlling himself]: You smell SO wonderful! I have never smelled anything so scrumptious before. [The Outhouse Goddess gets a dreamy look on her face, not noticing Jili is still gagging and looking a bit green around the gills]

Outhouse Goddess: In that case, we should go before the Jade Emperor and ask him to make us a celestial couple. What do you think? [Jili gets a deer-in-the-headlights look and keeps holding his nose. He gulps and holds his breath for a few seconds]

Jili: My thoughts exactly. However, I have a mission to complete first. If I don't finish this mission, the Jade Emperor will scold and punish me and bar me from being with you. Please return my treasures so I can complete my mission. The sooner I finish, the sooner I can come back to be with you. How does that sound?

Outhouse Goddess: Okay. [A flash of light occurs and the three treasures appear in the palm of her hand. They are tiny now, only about 1/20th of their original size]

Jili [eyes wide]: What the heck? Why are they so small? What did you do to them?

Outhouse Goddess: I made it small so it would more easily fit in your sash. All you have to do is think of me and they will go back to their normal size.

Jili: Really? I must thank you, Miss, for your help. Such a wonderful aroma…[Takes a deep sniff of her, then rushes out the door for some fresh air]

Outhouse Goddess: I will await your return.

[Cut to tribunal. General Li is still in chains, while Mulan is now sitting on the ground with her hands in a set of stocks. The Second Prince approaches her]

Second Prince: Hua Mulan, this is your last chance. All you need to do is tell me an instance of when Li Liang took advantage of you and I will pardon you of all wrongdoing.

Mulan [eyes furious]: You damned SOB!

[The Second Prince's eyes bulge in anger. He grabs a stout staff and starts to hit her outstretched legs with a madman's fury. Mulan cries out in pain but refuses to say anything. After several blows, General Li can stand it no longer]

General Li: Mulan, just admit something…anything!

Mulan [in great pain]: I, Hua Mulan, am not a lowly and cowardly subordinate. [The Second Prince continues to hit her legs with the staff while barely pausing for air. She continues to speak to the Second Prince] If you're going to beat me…then go right ahead!

General Li: Mulan, saving yourself here is nothing shameful; better a live dog than a dead lion. Didn't you want to make a name for yourself? Didn't you want to return home to your family? [He has to turn away from the horrible sight of the Second Prince continuing to beat her] Say it!

Mulan [fighting the pain and still stubbornly refusing to slander General Li]: Even if I had to give my life as forfeit…I would…never slander your honor!

[Second Prince finally gets tired of beating her and finishes with a tremendous blow]

[Cut to field outside of camp. Jili is running at warp speed (he has his red umbrella). He arrives in camp shortly and comes upon the tribunal just on the camp's outskirts. The place is empty and barren]

Jili [inspecting the stocks and chains left behind]: Oh my. [Sees the blood left on the stocks]

[Cut to prison. Using his red umbrella to make him invisible, Jili knocks out the prison guard with a smart punch to the face. He then grabs the guard's keys and hurries to Mulan's cell to undo the chains holding the door. He sneaks in the cell and softly calls her]

Jili: Boss! Hey, Boss!

[Mulan is lying on the straw covering the floor and stirs when she hears his voice. She can't see him so she wonders if she is hearing things. He then magically reappears]

Jili: It's me. Don't be afraid. I'm here to rescue you.

Mulan [starting to weep]: Su Jili! It's you! How did you get in here?

Jili: Don't concern yourself with that. Here, let me help you up. [He grabs her arms and tries to help her sit up. She cries out sharply, evidently in great pain. He looks at her legs and sees the blood] Oh my goodness, what happened to your legs?

Mulan [tearfully]: Don't you see? My legs are all crushed and damaged beyond repair. I'll never be able to walk again. I've become a helpless cripple! [Grabs his hand desperately] Jili, please… kill me.

Jili [eyes wide in alarm]: Kill you?

Mulan: Kill me. I don't want my father to see me in this condition. Please, kill me now. Kill me! Kill me! [She begins to beg and plead with him] If my mother were to see me this way, she'd know she was right about me all along. I beg you, please kill me! Kill me! Su Jili, I beg you!

Jili: You're my Boss. I could never kill you. [He turns to run out the door]

Mulan [lays back down in defeat]: Su Jili, since you refuse to help me… I no longer consider you my friend.

[Cut to field outside camp. Jili is running down the road like a possessed man. He begins to shout for Empress Wangmu]

Jili: Hey, Empress Wangmu, please come down here! Hey, are you deaf or something?

[Empress Wangmu materializes next to him with a sudden flash of light]

Empress Wangmu [rebukingly]: What's so important that you have to make the heavens ring with your shouts? It's so noisy up there that I can't hear myself think!

Jili [calming down]: Empress Wangmu, you have to help Mulan. Her legs have already been beaten to a pulp. She's become a helpless cripple.

Empress Wangmu [sharply]: I thought I told you to keep an eye on her and help her achieve her goals. How did she end up that way? You know I have a bet with the Jade Emperor. You've ruined all my plans! How do you expect me to show my face before the Jade Emperor? Tell me, how do you think I should punish you?

Jili: Your Majesty…I deserve any punishment you give me. I will not object to any punishment you mete out to me. But, you have to help Mulan. Her legs are broken and she will never walk again; this is a living death for her. Please, you have the power to do anything. Just make Mulan whole again, and I would be content, even if you turned me into the smallest and ugliest insect in the world as punishment. Really.

Empress Wangmu: It isn't that I don't want to help her, but that I am unable to help her.

Jili [panicking]: Empress Wangmu, your powers are limitless. Why can't you help her?

Empress Wangmu: Even the gods have to follow the rules of the universe. Once something has happened, it cannot be undone. I can't turn back the clock to save her.

Jili [frustrated]: What kind of justice is it that doesn't differentiate between the virtuous and evil? The Second Prince maliciously brought this down upon Mulan. Why do good people have to always suffer, while evil people can continue flouting the rules without any repercussions? Why?

Empress Wangmu: The good and the bad will all get their just desserts. It's just a question of how long it takes. The time has not come yet.

Jili [kneeling]: Your Majesty, I'm sure you can save Hua Mulan. Here, let me beg you [starts to genuflect, over and over]. You MUST have a way to save her!

Empress Wangmu: I cannot undo the past… but I can give you four hours.

Jili [looking up]: Four hours? [Hurriedly stands up] What four hours?

Empress Wangmu: I can send you back in time four hours. That will bring you to the time before all these events happened. It will be up to you to rescue Hua Mulan.

Jili: Four hours. [Thinks it over] Couldn't you send me back 20 hours? Four hours is too little time.

Empress Wangmu: No. This is all I can do for you.

Jili: Okay, okay. Four hours is good enough. Your Majesty, I have another request. Could you tell me where the Crown Prince is?

Empress Wangmu [using her magic]: He is still in his quarters in Youzhou. [She then sends Jili back in time]

[Cut to grassy field outside of camp. Jili, Monkey, and Pudgy are hiding in the grass and trying to find Mulan's whereabouts]

Monkey: How are we going to find Boss?

Jili: What's the matter? Are you scared?

Pudgy: Of course not. No one is as close and important to me as Boss. I owe him so much. We can't leave him to the wolves.

Monkey: But there are only three of us. Will we be able to rescue him?

Jili: Of course we can. Haven't you heard the saying "One average general is better than Einstein?"

Pudgy: You have it wrong. It's supposed to be "better than Napoleon."

Monkey: And it's "Three average generals," not one.

[A bright flash signals Jili's arrival from the future. He "merges" into his older self that was sitting with Monkey and Pudgy. After getting his bearings, Jili bursts into a run down the road, not noticing Pudgy and Monkey calling after him. He keeps running at warp speed with the help of magic, but still arrives panting and out of breath at the door to the Crown Prince's quarters in Youzhou]

Jili [muttering]: Why didn't she send me directly here instead of having me run all this way. It's taken me a long time to run this far. [Turns to guards] Hey Mr. Guard, I know the Crown Prince is inside. Could you please ask him to come out? [Sees they aren't moving] Well, hurry up, will you? [The two guards come over and start to beat Jili black and blue] Hey, what are you doing? Be a little gentler, won't you? [The guards resume their posts. Jili is now sporting a bloody nose and swollen lip] What kind of attitude is that? Why resort to violence over such a small thing?

[Cut to empty field again. Su Jili is sitting next to a tree and hollering again for Empress Wangmu]

Jili: Empress Wangmu, it's me, Su Jili. Hey, can't you hear me?

[Empress Wangmu reappears in another flash of light. She looks tired and out-of-breath]

Empress Wangmu: So, were you successful?

Jili: Your Majesty, I'm useless and incompetent! But… if you will give me another six hours, just six hours, I promise to successfully rescue Hua Mulan.

Empress Wangmu: No. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to send someone back in time. I can only give you four hours.

Jili [pleading]: But four hours isn't enough time, especially since I have to run all that distance and then suffer a beating at the end. How can I save Hua Mulan after all that? Your Majesty, since you agreed to help Mulan, you should help to the bitter end. All I ask is that you send me to the Crown Prince's quarters in Youzhou. I promise to save her this time.

Empress Wangmu [sounding weak]: All right then…I will give you… another chance. If you still don't succeed… then I have no other way to help.

Jili: Your Majesty, four hours is just not enough time. Please, send me back to the Crown Prince's quarters.

[She waves him back through time with a wave of her hand. This drains her energy even further and she almost faints from the effort]

[Cut to Crown Prince's quarters. Jili has reappeared in the courtyard, thus bypassing the guards at the door. He kneels and thanks Empress Wangmu, then starts to look around. He has only taken a step when the courtyard suddenly fills with soldiers]

Sergeant: Halt! What are you doing here?

Jili: Perfect! I have urgent news for the Crown Prince. Please tell him to come out.

Sergeant: You are acting awfully suspicious. [To fellow soldiers] Grab him!

Jili: No, wait! [The soldiers pause. Jili starts to talk to himself] Gee whiz. I have to get another beating. Why couldn't she just send me to the Crown Prince's presence so I wouldn't have to go through this? [Draws his sword, then resheathes it] I couldn't possibly fight against so many. No matter [settles himself down and prepares for a beating] For Mulan! [To soldiers] Bring it on! [They pitch in and start to beat him]

[Cut to Crown Prince's bedroom. He is lying in bed when Eunuch Gui comes in carrying a bowl of medicine]

Crown Prince [coughing]: This cold has laid me up for such a long time! I'm tired of staying in bed. [Sees the bowl Eunuch Gui brought in and starts to grimace] More medicine? I'm tired of medicine.

Eunuch Gui: Your Highness, you must keep up your strength. [Crown Prince starts to drink the medicine, grimacing as it goes down due to the bitterness of the herbs] The doctor said you must rest more so you can heal quickly.

[Cut back to courtyard. The soldiers are all kicking and hitting something, but it isn't Jili, as he is outside of the knot. He taps the shoulder of one of the soldiers]

Jili: Hey, what are you guys hitting? [They turn and spot him, then grab him and start whaling into him again. He loudly cries for help several times]

[Cut to Crown Prince's bedroom. He is finished with his medicine when he hears Jili's cries for help]

Crown Prince: What's going on?

Eunuch Gui: Your Highness, you are still weak. You must not go outside lest you catch cold.

Crown Prince: But someone is calling for help! No, I must investigate. Move aside! [He gets out of bed and pushes his way toward the door, ignoring Eunuch Gui's restraining hands]

[Cut to courtyard, where the soldiers are still beating Jili]

Jili: I don’t care if you beat me till kingdom come. I MUST see the Crown Prince!

Crown Prince: Stop! [Everyone stops what they are doing]

Sergeant [saluting the Crown Prince]: Your Highness, this person arrived with no one to vouch for him, so I suspected he was an assassin.

[Crown Prince steps over to get a closer look at Jili, who is sprawled on the ground with cuts and bruises]

Jili: Assassin? Assassin my foot! [To Crown Prince] Your Highness… don't you recognize me? [He reaches up and grabs the prince's hand; the prince tries to pull away but Jili's grip is strong] Did you know that General Li and Lieutenant Hua have both been framed? They are rotting in jail right now. [He falls back in a faint, then lifts his head back up] You have to rescue them. [Faints again, then lifts his head again] I have nothing more to say [Faints again, this time for good]

[Cut to tribunal. General Li is still in chains, while Mulan is now sitting on the ground with her hands in a set of stocks. The Second Prince approaches her]

Second Prince: Hua Mulan, this is your last chance. All you need to do is tell me an instance of when Li Liang took advantage of you and I will pardon you of all wrongdoing.

Mulan [eyes furious]: You damned SOB!

[The Second Prince's eyes bulge in anger. He grabs a stout staff and starts to hit her outstretched legs with a madman's fury. Mulan cries out in pain but refuses to say anything]

Crown Prince: Stop! [He comes running up, grabs the staff from his brother's hands, and tosses it away] What the heck are you doing? Release them immediately!

Second Prince: Brother, Sire gave an Imperial order to arrest General Li.

Crown Prince: I don't care. Sire is far away, so what I say here counts. [Coughs] Leave here immediately! Without my consent, you are not to set foot in this camp again!

[Looking displeased but also not wishing to make a scene, the Second Prince leaves. The Crown Prince hurries forward to General Li]

Crown Prince: Are you okay, Li Liang?

General Li: I'm fine, your Highness.

Crown Prince: Then why don't you go and find out how Lieutenant Hua is doing? Su Jili kept telling me the entire way here that he was afraid Lieutenant Hua's legs were broken.

[Su Jili goes to loosen Mulan's bonds while she cries in happiness]

Mulan: Jili, you saved me!

Jili: You scared me to death! I didn't know if I'd get here in time.

Mulan [starts to openly bawl]: Jili, I was so frightened!

Jili [starts to soothe her]: Don't worry, everything is all right now. [He gets up and his eyes open wide when he sees another figure walking up. The "older" Su Jili has just arrived. They express surprise at seeing each other. With a flash of light, the two merge into one Su Jili. He falls to the ground in a faint]

Mulan [trying to wake him up]: Jili, wake up. Wake up.

Jili [mumbling]: Empress Wangmu must have had too many things on her mind. She forgot to vaporize the "other" Su Jili.

Mulan [puzzled]: What?

Jili: Empress Wangmu must have had too many things on her mind. She forgot to vaporize the "other" Su Jili.

[Mulan, concerned that he must have hit his head, checks Jili's forehead to see if he has a fever]

[Cut to Crown Prince's quarters. He is sitting with his brother discussing the day's events]

Crown Prince [very displeased]: Is it because Hua Mulan and General Li caught you in that flower seller kidnapping scheme that you have always tried to get them in trouble? Is this all for revenge?

Second Prince: Brother, why would I waste time doing that? If it wasn't for them, I would still be there amongst those girls and would never have the will nor strength to leave their influences.

Crown Prince: If they are your saviors, then why do you still have to pick on them?

Second Prince: I'm not trying to pick on them. But the law is the law. They have been accused of immoral crimes against the Imperial army. Someone sent a complaint to Sire, and he asked me to investigate. How could I not do as he ordered? Truth to tell, I was reluctant to pursue this, but Sire's wishes are law.

Crown Prince: I don't care what anyone says; I refuse to believe that Li Liang and Hua Mulan have an indecent relationship. How could two men be involved with each other? It must be someone who is trying any way possible to drag them down.

Second Prince: You may be right; it could be just wild speculation and slander. However, it is a proven fact that Li Liang showed incompetence as a military leader. Beside, Sire gave me a direct order. How could I disobey him?

Crown Prince: That's enough. If Sire asks what happened, I'll take full responsibility.

Second Prince: All right, Brother. I'll do as you say this time.

[Cut to Second Prince's bedroom. He is drinking wine by himself and is in a foul mood]

Second Prince: I was just off a little bit. I almost got Hua Mulan turned into a paraplegic. I could have then taken Li Liang back to jail and poisoned him, making it look like he committed suicide out of remorse for his sins. If I knew what would happen, I would have hurried up and done the deed and not tried to make a big production out of it.

[The Crown Prince, General Li, Mulan, and two servants enter the room. The Second Prince gets up and greets his brother, General Li, and Mulan. General Li does not return the greeting and keeps staring rather coldly at the Second Prince. Mulan is even ruder; she turns her head aside and tries to ignore the Second Prince]

Crown Prince: Do you know why I have returned a bit later than usual?

Second Prince: Um… I'm guessing it's because General Li and Lieutenant Hua refused to accept my apologies [Mulan gives him a disgusted and dirty look; she looks as if she wants to squash him like a bug]

Crown Prince: You're wrong. If I told them I wanted them to accept your apologies, would they dare refuse me? I have decided to try your method of ferreting out the truth. Instead of bestowing 1000 pieces of gold for reporting a crime, I intend to give one talent of gold. I asked the soldiers in Three Mile camp to name General Li's good attributes. For each one named, I gave 1000 pieces of gold. Funny, but the list of good points about General Li outnumbered his bad points by several dozen. [Mulan smugly smirks at the Second Prince when she hears this] Li Liang, I didn't know you had so many good points. I am surprised so many SOB's slandered you for the sake of some gold.

Second Prince [smiling falsely]: Brother, you are surely much sharper than I. I originally thought offering this reward would encourage the troops to speak freely and without fear of consequences.

Crown Prince: Enough with the hot air. Aren't you going to toast General Li and Lieutenant Hua to apologize for your actions?

Second Prince: Of course, of course. General Li, Lieutenant Hua, this way please. [The four of them sit down at the table and a servant brings wine] General Li, I must apologize for my overzealous actions. Let me toast you. [Raises his cup and drains it dry. Mulan is deliberately looking away and giving every indication of her disrespect for the Second Prince's dishonorable ways]

General Li: Thank you, your Highness. I toast you in return.

Second Prince: Lieutenant Hua, I must apologize for slandering you and thinking you and Li Liang had some sort of carnal relationship. Let me toast you. [Raises his cup and drains it dry. Mulan is still glaring at him and refuses to toast him in return. Seeing she intends to insult the Second Prince by throwing out the wine in her cup, General Li takes the cup from her]

General Li: Lieutenant Hua recently contracted the flu, so he is unable to drink wine. I will toast you in his place. [He gives Mulan a look that implies she had better watch herself in the future. He rises and so does Mulan. He turns to the Crown Prince] Your Highness, we have urgent duties to attend to back in camp. We will take our leave now.

Crown Prince: There is no hurry. I have already asked General Ho to handle your duties for now while we investigate this case.

Mulan: Your Highness, don't you know without a doubt that General Li was framed? Why are you taking his duties away?

General Li [sharply]: Mulan! Behave yourself!

Crown Prince: While I believe you, I still have a duty to my Sire. Although I am relieving you of your duties, I promise to plead your case before my Sire.

General Li: In that case, your Highness, I place all my faith in you.

[Cut to barracks. Jili is sound asleep. The troops in Mulan's platoon are all huddled around him, while Mulan and General Li look on]

Mulan [worried]: He's been asleep for two days and two nights already. Maybe something is seriously wrong with him.

General Li: I've already asked several doctors to examine him. They all say he is exhausted and that nothing else is wrong.

[Jili starts to stir awake, blinking his eyes and looking rather disoriented]

Monkey: Hey, he's awake! He's awake!

Mulan [excited]: Su Jili! You're awake! How do you feel?

[Jili sees Monkey and Pudgy standing nearby and his eyes change. He bounds out of bed and jumps them]

Jili: You two SOB's! [Mulan is surprised at this sudden outburst. She restrains him and talks to him sternly]

Mulan: Hey, Jili! What are you doing this for? They haven't done anything to you.

Jili: They may not have done anything to me, but they betrayed you. Just when you were in a time of sorest need, they let their baser instincts take hold, and they bolted!

Monkey [angry]: When did I shirk my duty to Boss?

Jili: I'm not making this up. When the three of us were on the edge of the channel, preparing to swim to the camp to rescue Boss, I was the only one who jumped in the water.

[Mulan is looking mighty confused trying to follow the conversation]

Monkey: What channel? When did you jump in the channel to swim? The three of us were in the grassy field outside the camp when you suddenly bolted and left us there. We thought YOU were acting cowardly because you ran for your life!

Pudgy: Since when did we ever shirk our duty to Boss? When have we ever shown cowardice?

Jili: Let's not talk about past actions. All I know is that this time, you two showed great cowardice!

[Monkey and Pudgy are about ready to come to blows with Jili. Mulan has to step in and separate them. She shoves Monkey away from Jili]

Mulan [whispering to Monkey]: You know that something has affected his mind, so why are you being petty with him? Humor him a bit, will you? [Turns to Jili with a bright smile]

Jili: Humph! It's true that they are cowards, yet they still keep denying it.

Mulan: My thoughts exactly. [Gives him a false smile, as if he is a willful child that must be humored] By the way, you haven't told me yet how did you think of such a grand plan as bringing the Crown Prince to my rescue?

Jili: If I told you, you wouldn't believe me.

General Li: Don't worry, Jili. You can speak freely before us.

Jili [pulling Mulan aside to whisper in her ear]: I've got a secret to tell you which you must not share with anyone else. [Looks around] Empress Wangmu told me how. [Mulan is beginning to smile] You still have the nerve to smile? I'm telling you, you almost lost the use of your legs. If it hadn't been for Empress Wangmu, I would never have gotten to you in time. [Mulan is starting to have problems keeping from laughing at the absurdity of what she is hearing] She had to send me back in time four hours so I could find the Crown Prince in time to save you. [She is nodding her head slowly, not believing a word he is saying. He notices this] Hey, you don't believe me, do you? You think I'm insane or hit my head too hard, don't you? I'm telling you the truth.

Mulan [laughing in earnest]: Of course I believe you. You once told me you were the Kitchen God, right?

Jili [elated]: So you do believe me?

Mulan: Of course I do. Now, go get some rest, okay? I'll send over the doctor in a little while to check on how you are doing. [He sits down on the bed again while she turns to leave, bringing General Li with her. Jili gets back up and calls after her]

Jili: Boss! [Gets no response] He blew me off, didn't he? He's treating me like a stupid animal. He doesn't really believe I'm the Kitchen God. [All the other soldiers begin to stare in wonder and some fear, as if they expect him to start foaming at the mouth. Seeing this, Jili starts to bark like a dog and chase them. The soldiers all flee the tent when they see this, thinking he has gone completely insane]

[Cut to General Li's quarters. He is sitting at a table reading a book. Mulan knocks on his door and he tells her to come in. She saunters over to his table but remains standing]

Mulan: General Li, you're writing a letter?

General Li: Oh, it's just a letter home to my mother.

Mulan: Oh, I see. Being a filial son, aren't you?

General Li: Not really. When my mother went back to the ancestral home, I promised her I'd write every ten days. Alas, I can't think of anything to write.

Mulan [a bit perplexed]: Why do you look like it's painful to write this letter?

General Li: I am trying to hide all the recent events here from her, lest she get worried. There isn't much else that I can think of to write, though. [Sighs] All I can come up with is "I'm fine" and "Don't worry about me." I can't write anything remotely interesting.

Mulan [gets a mischievous grin]: Let me try. [She grabs the brush and dips it in some ink. She starts to draw a cartoon picture of Li Liang on his letter] There you go.

General Li: What's this?

Mulan [smiling]: Haven't you ever heard of the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words?" I guarantee that your mother won't be able to stop smiling when she sees this picture from you.

General Li [chuckling]: Thanks. It's pretty good. [Pauses] By the way, don't you need to train?

Mulan: I don't know if the Crown Prince or General Ho made a mistake, but for some reason, I'm part of the investigation also and thus, have been temporarily relieved of my duties.

General Li [starts to grin]: Then you are in luck! I've been getting a severe case of cabin fever sitting in camp all day. I wanted to go out and enjoy myself. Do you want to go with me?

Mulan [face lights up]: Sure! When do we go?

General Li: Right now. Let's meet up at the main gate in one hour.

Mulan: Okay! [Turns to leave and pack her stuff and returns to her quarters, where she sees Jili is sleeping on her bed. She impatiently gives him a shove] Hey, Jili! You have your own bed. Why are sleeping on mine? [Tries to wake him, then tries to drag him from her bed. He is solidly anchored and she can't make him budge, despite her best efforts. After several tries she gives up in some disgust, but then thinks better of it. She pulls her blanket on top of him and tucks him in securely before grabbing her clothing and pack and heading out the door. Jili remains asleep through all this]

[Cut to main door to Three Mile camp. Mulan and Li Liang are dressed in civilian attire and both are toting packs]

Mulan [teasingly]: Do you want to walk out of here separately?

Li Liang [bewildered]: Why?

Mulan: Aren't you afraid that people will say we are running away together?

Li Liang: Why should I care what people think? We are upright and honorable people. We don't have anything to hide.

Mulan: Funny, but you used to really mind when other people bad-mouthed you.

Li Liang: I can't help it if other people have wagging tongues. It's best not to let such things bother you or else you'd go nuts. As long as we act bravely and with honor, what is there to fear?

Mulan: My thoughts exactly. [They head down the road away from the camp, arm in arm like best of friends]

[Cut to Mulan's quarters. Jili is still asleep on her bed and it is night. He is having a nightmare]

Jili [in his sleep]: Her legs are broken! She's now a helpless cripple! [He keeps repeating this and finally wakes up with a start] Wait a minute. It's nighttime now. Shouldn't Mulan be in bed by now? Where is she? [Looks around her quarters and does not see any sign of her. He starts to panic] Boss, where are you? Oh my goodness, he's gone! [He runs out the door in a tizzy and soon arrives in the barracks. He grabs Monkey's feet and drags him out of bed] Hey, Boss has disappeared! I can't find him! [The ruckus wakes both Monkey and Pudgy, who look at Jili with bleary eyes] I couldn't find Boss so I went to Li Liang's quarters, and then I discovered that Li Liang has also disappeared.

Pudgy: Boss went on a trip with General Li, just the two of them.

Jili: They went on a trip together? Then where did they go? Where did they go? [He starts to shove Monkey and Pudgy back on their beds in the hopes of jogging their memory. As soon as they try to get back up, he shoves them back down. They try to tell Jili where Mulan has gone, but he isn't listening] Fine, since you two won't tell me, I'll go search for them myself. [Heads out door, shouting] Boss! I'm coming for you!

[Cut to a rocky hilltop. Li Liang and Mulan have climbed to the top. Mulan is wheezing like an old horse and is depending on Li Liang's assistance to continue]

Li Liang: Are you tired?

Mulan [gasping for air]: What's… the… point… of climbing… so high?

Li Liang: The higher you climb, the further you can see. For example, do you see those wisps of smoke in the distance? That's the Tujue camp.

Mulan [still gasping]: What's so interesting about looking at that?

Li Liang: I try to come up here every now and then to see if there is any movement from the Tujue camp.

Mulan: We've already been relieved of our duties; why do we need to keep track of such things? Even if we saw the Tujue moving, we couldn’t do a thing about it.

Li Liang: Mulan, sit down and rest. [Helps her sit down on a rock] We can chat more easily this way. [Mulan plunks down with a groan] To achieve immortality, Quyuan jumped in the river. In my case, I climb mountains. He sank lower and lower into the river's depths, while I climb higher and higher with each step. So, which one do you admire more?

Mulan [gives him a bored look]: What does it matter? We don't have any military duties anymore, so why should we aim to achieve immortality that way?

Li Liang: Now wait a minute, all good citizens have a responsibility to their country. The mark of a true hero is one who does what needs doing even though it is not their job. [Gets up] Come on. [Poses in front of her] Do I look glorious in this pose?

Mulan [playfully shoves him to try and make him lose his balance]: Yes, you look quite "glorious," indeed. [Li Liang sits back down next to Mulan]

Li Liang: Here, have some water.

[Cut to street in city. A beggar is asking passersby for coppers, telling people that he hasn't eaten a meal in days, that good deeds are repaid, etc. On closer look, the beggar is actually Yu Chenen. Jili is walking down the street, carrying two jugs when he hears Chenen's voice. He doesn't recognize the beggar but feels the voice sounds familiar. He tracks down the voice and finds the beggar]

Jili [recognizing the beggar]: Colonel Yu! You aren’t dead! We haven't seen hide nor hair of you since the battle at Hulu Valley. Did you know that General Li has been looking high and low for you all this time?

Chenen [turning away]: Sir, I don't know a General Li nor a Hulu Valley. You must have the wrong person.

Jili [restrains beggar]: Aren't you Yu Chenen, the colonel?

Chenen: I'm only a lowly beggar. How could I even dream of being a colonel? I'm sorry, you have the wrong person. [Turns to leave]

Jili: But you look remarkably like him. Or maybe you've only lost your memory due to the extreme emotional shock you suffered?

Chenen: I haven't lost my memory.

Jili: What's your name?

Chenen: Cowpie.

Jili [giggling]: Cowpie? That's your name? It certainly is colorful, isn't it? Who gave it to you?

Chenen: I've been an orphan since I can remember. I took up begging to provide for myself, so people called me "Cowpie."

Jili [starts to cry]: I'm sorry to remind you of your painful past.

Chenen: Sir, don't worry about that. Could you give me a copper? I haven't eaten in days. Good deeds are always repaid.

Jili: I don't have any money… but I do have two jugs of wine. Here [hands one over], take one.

Chenen: Thank you, kind sir. [He takes the wine and leaves]

Jili: No problem. [Talks to himself] How could he look so much like Chenen but be a different person?

[Cut to a room on the second floor of a building. Li Liang and Mulan are standing before a set of windows]

Mulan: Li Liang, how much longer are we going to stand here? [He doesn't respond, so she raises her voice and repeats herself. He still doesn't respond, so she shouts out the same question. Much to her surprise, he shows no sign of having heard her] He didn't hear me? [Whispers] Li Liang, how much longer are we going to be here?

Li Liang: Hush! I'm watching the meteor shower.

Mulan [scared]: What? You're watching a meteor shower? [Hurriedly covers both her eyes and his eyes] Don't look! Don't look!

Li Liang [impatiently]: What the heck!

Mulan: Meteor showers are harbingers of doom and destruction upon the world. Watching them will bring bad luck!

Li Liang: Boy, you're superstitious. You must have gotten that from your mother. She's always called you cursed because the year you were born, there were natural disasters left and right. Do you remember when we first met and you had just given me two black eyes? Humph! Since having you as a friend, I have had disasters happen to me one after another. I even lost my commission. If we wanted to talk about signs, then you must be my curse. I don't believe in such mumbo-jumbo. [Looks up at sky again] How could such a beautiful thing as meteor showers be evil? I can't believe that they are predictors of doom. [Mulan cautiously looks up after hearing Li Liang say these things. Her eyes start to fill with wonder as she sees the meteor shower light up the night sky] Take you, for example. How could a hale and hearty youth like you be considered a curse?

[Cut to mess hall back at Three Mile camp. Mulan and Li Liang have returned from their trip. She runs in and sits next to Jili, who is eating at a table]

Mulan [smiling]: Su Jili! [Sees no response] Hey, what's the matter with you? Why are you picking up your food but then putting it back down before you can eat it?

Jili: Leave! I don't want to get in a fight with you.

Mulan [scowling]: Why are you yelling at me?

Jili: You know what you've done is against camp rules. I…I look down on you now.

Mulan [takes a swat at him]: What are you talking about?

Pudgy: Boss, Jili has been very jealous since you went out with General Li on your recent trip.

Jili: Who's jealous? I'm perfectly content. [Resumes eating his meal]

Monkey: Hey, Boss. [Whispers in Mulan's ear] Su Jili thinks he ran into Colonel Yu yesterday on one of the city streets.

Mulan [jerks to attention and grabs Jili]: Jili, did you see Colonel Yu? [Li Liang's attention is also caught, but Jili is trying to ignore Mulan and continue his meal] Jili! Stop eating and tell me what happened.

Jili: I'm full. [Tries to get up to leave, but Li Liang steps in and stops him]

Li Liang: Jili, where did you see Colonel Yu?

Jili: Who said I saw him? All I saw was someone who looked just like him, except he was a beggar.

[Mulan and Li Liang look at each other in puzzlement]

Li Liang: A beggar?

[Cut to city street. The beggar is trying to get some coppers to buy some food. He sees a bread roll lying unattended on a table and he bolts for it. He grabs it and begins to stuff it in his mouth, not even bothering to chew properly. Mulan and Li Liang are waiting in the wings and see this (they left the bread out as bait?). They both approach the beggar and Li Liang deliberately knocks the bread from his hands]

Mulan [tenderly]: Brother Yu?

[The beggar pretends not to recognize Mulan and instead goes scrambling for his lost bread. He starts to cram it in his mouth again when Li Liang comes over and stops him]

Li Liang: Chenen! Why are you punishing yourself so?

Mulan: The Crown Prince is safe. The Emperor is not pursuing this case. Don't be afraid to return with us. The Tujue will never stop having designs against the Sui empire. We really need you. Go home with us.

Chenen [jerks away from Mulan's hold]: What are you talking about? I don't understand any of it. Let me eat my bread! [Starts to wolf down the rest of the bread roll]

Li Liang: Chenen…I realize you have gone through severe emotional trauma, but it's something you can overcome. Don't keep punishing yourself for everything.

Mulan [sternly]: A true man is able to pick up and leave when needed. You can never keep a good man down.

Chenen: I'm not a hero. I'm only a lowly beggar. I only care about getting my belly full each night. Please, sirs, stop wasting my foraging time!

Mulan: Brother Yu!

Chenen [angry]: I'm not your Brother Yu! My name is Cowpie!

Li Liang [shocked]: Cowpie? Up in heaven, Uncle Li would be broken-hearted to see you in this state!

Chenen: I'm telling you, you've got the wrong person! Please stop hindering my search for my next meal. Or, could you spare me some coppers so I can buy something to eat. I'd like to have a bowl of noodles.

Mulan: You really aren't Yu Chenen?

Chenen: My name is Cowpie. I'm not your friend.

Mulan: In that case, bow down before us right now and genuflect!

Chenen: Okay. [Genuflects a few times] Like this? [Li Liang and Mulan look on in a mixture of pity and horror at the wreck of a man that they see before them]

[Cut to noodle seller's stall. Mulan and Li Liang are watching Chenen wolf down bowl after bowl of noodles. After the last of the noodles are gone, Li Liang addresses Chenen]

Li Liang: Are you full now?

Chenen: Yes, I'm full now.

Li Liang: Then I want to take you to see something.

Chenen: No, I can't do that. I need to go find my next meal. I may be full now, but I don't know how long it will take to find my next meal, so please let me go on my way. [Gets up to leave] Good bye.

Li Liang [grabbing his shoulder]: If you go with me, I will give you ten pieces of silver. [Mulan looks at Chenen with sadness in her eyes]

Chenen: Ten pieces of silver? [Thinks a minute] Sure! I'll go with you. [Li Liang leads Chenen and Mulan out of the city]