[Cut to a study with no one inside. Li Liang shuts the door after he
Li Liang's mother: What kind of foster brother does your precious wife
He doesn't have any sense of decorum. Out of the goodness of my heart I
cooked him some food and he had the nerve to fuss and pick over it. [Sits
down] Didn't you have something to tell me?
Li Liang [sits down next to her]: Well, it's like this... [hesitates]
actually... [hesitates again] well.
Li Liang's mother [impatiently]: What's the matter with you? You take
and you can't talk anymore? You're a man; speak more directly than that! How
did I teach you?
Li Liang [speaking very quickly]: We'd like to have Su Jili stay with us.
Li Liang's mother: What? What did you say?
Li Liang [speaking more slowly]: We'd like to have Su Jili stay with
see, Jili is Mulan's benefactor. He saved her life.
Li Liang's mother [in a huff]: So what? Send him to live at her parents'
Li Liang: Mother...
Li Liang's mother: No more words. You can forget about having him come
in our home!
Li Liang [gets a wheedling tone]: Mother...
Li Liang's mother: You're the only man in this household; the rest of
women. If you let him live with us, isn't that like putting a fox in the
hen house? Don't say any more! [Sees Li Liang is trying to plead his case]
No, no, no! A hundred times, no!
Li Liang: Mother.. .let me explain something to you first.
Li Liang's mother [shortly]: Explain? What is there to explain?
Li Liang: He's not only Mulan's savior... but also my savior.
Li Liang's mother: No! I won't have an idle man walking around the house.
Li Liang: Actually... I mean, actually... how shall I put this... Jili
be considered a man.
Li Liang's mother [surprised]: If he's not a man, then what kind of
Li Liang: Um... remember last time I was in that battle with the Tujue?
Liang's mother nods her head] Well, I got buried and trapped (reference the
massacre scene in the Tujue village?) and he jumped in and saved me. He was
severely wounded. The wound's location was... um... it was.
Li Liang's mother: Where was it?
Li Liang: It was... um... [gingerly points toward the ground] It was
fundamental part of a man's body.
Li Liang's mother [shocked and saddened]: Ah mi tuo fo! Ah mi tuo fo!
tragedy to befall him! How is he supposed to live the rest of his life? No
wonder he always acts so strangely. So that's why you want him to stay.
Li Liang [nods]: Ever since he was injured to save me, I have felt pretty
uncomfortable about the whole thing. I've wanted to bring him back home to
take proper care of him.
Li Liang's mother: Well, why didn't you say so sooner? I'm not an
Li Liang [surprised]: Then that means you consent?
Li Liang's mother: Of course I consent! You tell him to spend his days
ease here. If anyone disrespects him, have him tell me and I will take care
of them, okay?
Li Liang: Oh, there's one more thing.
Li Liang's mother: What? As long as I can do it, I'll do it for you.
Li Liang: Aside from Mulan and I, no one else knows about this. He doesn't
want other people knowing about his deficiencies.
Li Liang's mother: Of course. Who would want to tell others something
this? Relax. I won't tell a soul. And I won't mention this in front of him,
Li Liang: Well, that's a load off my mind then.
Li Liang's mother [sadly]: It's such a pity, really, to suffer such
calamity at such a young age. Li Liang, you have to tell your children and
grandchildren that as long as he lives to always look after him. Will you?
Li Liang: Yes, mother. [He looks triumphant at finally finding a solution
this difficult situation]
[Cut to dining room. Mulan, Li Liang, Li Liang's mother, and Yiren are
seated at the table but Jili is nowhere to be seen]
Yiren: Aunt, let us start the meal.
Li Liang's mother: Wait a minute. Jili isn't here yet. [Mulan looks
surprise that Li Liang's mother remembered him]
Yiren [scoffing]: Aunt, the ancients have a saying, "leave rice but
entrees for those who deserve credit, leave neither rice nor entrees for
those who don't deserve credit." He's here mooching off us and still needs
to be invited repeatedly to come to meals.[Mulan is biting her tongue but
getting angry while Li Liang is trying not to laugh at the situation]
Li Liang's mother [rebukingly]: Yiren, stop it. [Turns to Laifu] Go
Master Su isn't feeling well. [Just as Laifu is about to leave the room,
Jili comes in yawning widely as if he just got up]
Mulan [scolding]: Get up earlier next time. You've made everyone wait
Jili [sheepish]: I'm sorry. I slept too well so I didn't want to get
Li Liang's mother: Haven't slept enough? That's alright. Go back and
more. I'll have the servants cook up something else for you later.
Jili [shakes his head]: No, that's okay. I've slept enough.
Li Liang: Since you've slept enough, then come sit down and have breakfast
with us. [Li Liang's mother indicates Jili should sit next to her. She hints
to Yiren to scoot over one seat. She looks very displeased and is about to
say something but holds her tongue. Jili sits in Yiren's former seat and
looks smugly at her. Mulan is both puzzled and uncomfortable about
something, but Li Liang is smiling as if all is well in the world]
Li Liang's mother: Come on, let's eat. [Everyone starts to eat the food.
Liang's mother swats away Yiren's chopsticks to grab a large piece of
chicken she was eyeing, then gives it to Jili] Jili, you've been wounded.
You ought to eat more, okay?
Jili [eyes lighting up]: Thank you, madam! Thank you! [Yiren looks
positively livid at what just happened]
Yiren: Aunt, his wounds are just about healed. I think it's time he
Mulan: Popo, Jili doesn't have any family or relatives in the capital.
Li Liang's mother [kindly]: I know. [To Jili] Jili, from now on I want
to settle down with us and treat this like your home, okay? [Mulan is
surprised at this gesture from Li Liang's mother. She's no doubt wondering
if she's dreaming this is happening]
Jili: Madam, you're letting me live here with you?
Li Liang's mother: Yes. Please don't begrudge us anything we may have
to you in the past.
Jili: Don't worry, madam, I won't. [Yiren starts to protest but Li Liang's
mother hushes her]
Li Liang's mother: Yiren! [Turns to Jili] Now, Jili, what would do you
to eat? I can tell the servants to cook you anything you like.
Jili: Madam, I'm actually very easy to raise. I can eat anything that's
for human consumption.
Li Liang's mother: Oh, you're not fussy? That's wonderful. [Mulan looks
bewildered and looks a question to Li Liang, who studiously avoids her eyes.
Yiren is glaring at Jili the whole time]
Jili: Well, you needn't wait for me. Eat. Go ahead and eat.
Li Liang: Hey, Mulan, what are you gawking at? It's time to eat.
[Cut to Mulan and Li Liang's quarters. They walk in and he shuts the
Mulan is about to ask a question but he interrupts her]
Li Liang: Hold it. I know what you're going to ask. You want to know
mother is suddenly being so nice to Jili, right?
Li Liang: Divine intervention cannot be revealed.
Mulan [pouting]: Tell me!
Li Liang: No, I can't.
Mulan [starts to tickle him]: Tell!
Li Liang [jumping]: Tickling me won't do any good. There are some things
that lose their effectiveness once their secrets are divulged. [Starts
walking away from her briskly, but Mulan follows him]
Mulan: But I really want to know.
Li Liang: There are some things you don't need to know. All that matters
you're satisfied. Are you happy with how my mother is treating Jili now?
Mulan: Not only am I happy, I'm also extremely envious. I really want
know why your mother is being so nice to Jili.
Li Liang: I can't tell.
Mulan [starts chasing him]: Are you going to tell?
Li Liang: I already told you, if I tell you it will lose its effectiveness.
[Cut to Yiren's rooms. She is sitting before a mirror combing her hair
pouting. A tap at the door is heard]
Li Liang's mother: Yiren? [Yiren walks over and opens the door for her
then sits down on a chair and continues to pout. There is a maid carrying a
tray with a bowl of soup on it. Li Liang's mother tells the maid to place
the soup on the table] And also, take some of this dessert to Master Su's
room. [The maid curtsies and walks out the door. Li Liang's mother walks
over and sits down next to Yiren] Yiren, are you still angry?
Yiren [in a huff]: Aunt, it's not that I'm petty. It's just that Su
isn't worth you treating him so well.
Li Liang's mother [gently]: Actually, he's pretty pitiful.
Yiren: He's pitiful? I think he's hateful.
Li Liang's mother [chiding]: Sometimes you can't go just by a person's
exterior appearances. He may have a burden to bear that isn't immediately
Yiren [scoffing]: He has a burden to bear?
Li Liang's mother: That isn't important. Just remember to be a little
forgiving towards him. Think of it as building up good karma for yourself,
Yiren [interested]: It's that serious? What exactly is wrong with him?
Li Liang's mother: I would have told you earlier if I could have. Just
listen to my advice and don't get angry with him. Here, drink up your
dessert. [Yiren wants to ask more questions but doesn't. You can see she is
[Cut to courtyard in the Generals' Residence. Jili walks up on Mulan]
Mulan [starts]: What?
Jili: Could we spar a few rounds?
Mulan: Sure. But you have to be careful. [Grins at him]
Jili: You need to be careful, too. [He walks over to the rack of spears
picks out one, testing it's edge. He gets into a fighting stance and waits
for Mulan's signal]
Mulan: En garde! [She attacks with her sword while Jili uses the spear
block. After only a few moves, Mulan lands a roundhouse kick in Jili's chest
and sends him sprawling. She hurries over to see how he is] Jili, are you
Jili: I'm all right. I never thought that I'd become so useless. [Li
mother is standing at the edge of the courtyard overhearing this
Mulan: Don't say that. If you say that I'll feel even worse about
Jili: This isn't anyone else's concern. This is my fate. [Li Liang's
keeps stepping closer and closer to better hear their conversation]
Sometimes, late at night, I really want to end it all.
Mulan [alarmed]: You must not do anything stupid! If you did, I'd feel
guilt stricken for the rest of my life.
[Li Liang's mother comes running over in concern]
Li Liang's mother: Jili, everyone from ants to monks clings to life
tenaciously. Dying well isn't as good as living poorly. You mustn't think of
going to the other side. [Grabs Jili's arm] Don't you like to eat? [Jili's
eyes light up] I'll take you out to eat.
Li Liang's mother: Yes. I'll take you to eat from all the places in
capital. [She leads Jili away, leaving Mulan looking completely bewildered]
[Cut to city streets, where Li Liang's mother is walking with Jili]
Li Liang's mother: How do you feel now?
Jili: After eating so much, how could I tell you otherwise? I really
know how to thank you. [He is carrying several boxes of gifts that are tied
together and draped across his shoulder] However, I really feel bad that you
bought so many gifts for me today. It will beggar you.
Li Liang's mother: Don't worry about that. All that matters is you learn
joys of living.
Jili [pouts]: Joys of living? I feel that there isn't a bit of pleasure
living. How am I going to live in the future? [Starts to weep]
Li Liang's mother: Oh, don't feel like that. [Changes the subject] Hey,
stall is selling jade trinkets. Let's go buy a jade trinket (Pooky, it isn't
exactly a trinket,
but more a large stone; would that be a drop, an amulet, or what?).
Jili [shocked]: We're going to buy even more things?
Li Liang's mother: Don't worry about that. All that matters is you're
[They walk to the stall and start picking out a jade trinket]
Jili [picks out a brown one about the size of a silver dollar]: You
this one is a bit too big. It'd probably cost a lot. [To proprietor] Hey,
Proprietor, do you have anything a little smaller and cheaper?
Proprietor: Oh, yes, yes I do! [Yiren spies the two of them shopping
hurries in their direction. Jili and Li Liang's mother are looking over a
humongous jade piece, set in a frame about the size of a 45 record]
Li Liang's mother [doubtful]: Do you think this jade might be a little
Jili: Oh, no, it won't be. You see, I have a long face so it will match
big jade quite well.
Li Liang's mother: Well, okay. Proprietor, how much?
Yiren [interrupting]: Hold it!
Li Liang's mother [surprised]: Yiren, what are you doing here?
Yiren [walks over and pulls up Jili by the collar]: Su Jili! I want
tell me the truth. What did you use to bewitch my aunt? If you don't say, I
swear I'll kill you!
[She pulls back her fist in a threatening manner]
Jili: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Yiren [lets him go]: So, you won't talk, eh? Well.[Starts to flex her
fingers as if warming up to thrash Jili] It looks like if I don't teach you
a lesson, you won't tell me.
Li Liang's mother [pulls Yiren aside]: Yiren! Have you gone insane?
Yiren [protesting]: Aunt! He's tricked you and you're not aware of it?
Li Liang's mother: I'm fine! If you continue making a scene like this
send you back to our home village!
Yiren [looks hurt]: What? Aunt!
Li Liang's mother [relenting]: Oh, go home, okay? Just go home now.
her away. She turns to Jili] Don't mind her, okay?
Jili: Okay. Let's continue shopping.
Li Liang's mother: Er... alright. Let's go. [They walk off to continue
while Jili is proudly rubbing his new jade]
[Cut to Yiren's room back in the Generals' Residence. She is seated
folding up her clothing when Li Liang's mother walks in]
Li Liang's mother: Yiren, what are you doing?
Yiren: Since Su Jili is here to keep you company, I may as well return
Li Liang's mother: Su Jili is an outsider. You're my niece. How can
exchange the two?
Yiren [shortly]: But you have been treating this outsider better than
Li Liang's mother: How can that be? I'm doing so because I feel sorry
him. Besides, I'm repaying a debt for your cousin.
Yiren [interested]: Hey, so what really happened?
Li Liang's mother: Um... well, you see, he saved your cousin and cousin-in-law
on the battlefield.
Yiren [scoffing]: Everyone helps each other on the battlefield. What's
special about what he did?
Li Liang's mother: He... when he rescued your cousin, he suffered a
Yiren: But he looks hale and hearty now! What debt is there left to repay?
Li Liang's mother: Well, it looks like if I don't tell you, you won't
worrying me over it. On the outside, he looks like he's complete and
healthy. But in reality, he's... missing a small piece.
Yiren: Missing a small piece? What piece?
Li Liang's mother [getting uncomfortable]: Um.. it's something that
and we don't have.
Yiren [finally understanding]: What?
Li Liang's mother: Now, I've told you what I wasn't supposed to tell
You must not tell anyone else, okay?
Yiren [dazedly]: I understand.
Li Liang's mother: So now you know why I am very tolerant of him?
Yiren: I understand.
Li Liang's mother: You must be extra polite to him, okay?
[Cut to guest room. Jili is munching on a chicken leg when Mulan walks
Jili: Hoo boy, this is tasty! [Keeps munching away. Mulan walks over
sits down next to him]
Mulan: Wow! You seem to be eating all the time. Be careful lest you
big fat pig.
Jili [chewing]: Want some? [Mulan pulls away a small piece and eats
you know, you can't blame me. Your popo keeps sending me food to eat. If I d
don't eat it all I feel like I'm wasting it.
Mulan [nudging him]: Do you know why she has started treating you so
all of a sudden?
Jili: Humans have human fate and immortals have immortal fate. I suspect
and I share a special fate. You know, I think she's really a pretty cool
person. Wait a minute, maybe you're the one with the problem.
Mulan [frowns and jumps up]: Yes! I am crabby and vicious! I'm a
disrespectful and improper daughter-in-law! Didn't you know that? [Jili
doesn't say anything but continues to eat the drumstick. A maid walks in
carrying a tray with a bowl of soup. She greets Mulan]
Maid: Master Su, Elder Mistress asked me to bring some swallow's nest
for you to try.
Jili [happily takes the tray]: Swallow's nest soup? Oh boy, oh boy!
thank Elder Mistress for me, okay? [The maid leaves the room and Jili starts
to eat the soup] Do you want any?
[Mulan doesn't say anything but turns around in a huff and leaves]
[Cut to Mulan and Li Liang's quarters at night. She carries a tray inside
and shuts the door behind her with her foot. Li Liang is inside the inner
chamber making up the bed. He comes out to the table when he sees Mulan
enter. She places a wine flask, two cups, and a small plate of food on the
Li Liang: Didn't get enough to eat at dinner, Mulan?
Mulan: This is just for fun. Remember back in camp, how we'd celebrate
wine after a victorious battle? Do you remember the festive atmosphere at
Li Liang: Of course I remember. Each time I'd be the first to get drunk
you'd have to look after me.
Mulan [muttering]: And I'd hear a lot of your innermost thoughts.
Li Liang: What did you say?
Mulan: Oh, nothing. I was saying that it's good you remember that. You'd
better not repay kindness with meanness.
Li Liang: Would I?
Mulan: Come on, let's have a good drinking session. [They both sit down]
I'll pour. [She pours one cup and hands it to Li Liang, then pours another
They toast and down the wine]
Li Liang: Mm.
Mulan: Another round! [She pours some more wine]
Li Liang: This is good wine. It must be at least 15 year-old Huadiao wine.
[They keep knocking back cup after cup of wine]
Mulan: Hmm pretty good ability to hold your alcohol.
Li Liang: Has my ability to hold alcohol improved?
[Mulan continues to pour and they continue to toast and drain their
After several more shots, Li Liang is lying face down on the table. His
cheeks are flushed and his eyes are shut]
Mulan [nudging him]: Hey, let's drink some more. [Mulan is showing no
ill effects from the alcohol. Either she didn't drink as much or she has a
much higher tolerance]
Li Liang [slurring his words]: I. can't I had too much already.
Mulan [talking to herself]: Secrets. A drunk Li Liang can keep no secrets.
[Shakes Li Liang] Hey, no sleeping! Get up!
Li Liang [mumbling]: I'm so... tired. I just want to sleep.
Mulan [propping up his head]: Hey, answer my question and I'll let you
Li Liang [mumbles some more]: What question?
Mulan: Why is your mother suddenly treating Jili so well?
Li Liang [giggles]: It's because I told a little white lie.
Mulan: What lie?
Li Liang [giggles some more]: It's a very funny lie.
Mulan [impatiently]: What was so funny about it?
Li Liang [chuckles]: It was just very funny. .very, very funny.[giggles
more, then his head hits the table] Very funny. .very funny.
Mulan [shakes him]: Hey! [Shakes him some more but he doesn't respond]
[Shakes him very roughly, but it is obvious Li Liang is out cold] Oh drat!
[Cut to sitting room the next day. Yiren is cutting and arranging flowers
with a maid. She cuts a flower and puts it up over her ear]
Yiren [to maid]: What do you think? Does it look very cute?
Jili [putting in his two cents]: It's very.. .pathetic. Little flower,
do something bad in your previous life, so you're doomed to be stuck on a
pile of cow dung?
Yiren [livid]: You... [She threatens him with the scissors in her hand]
Jili: What are you going to do?
Yiren [remembering her aunt's words]: Brother Su, how are you today?
sleep well last night? Did you have your breakfast yet?
Jili [puzzled touches her forehead]: Are you ill or just silly? The
don't match the personality. I just insulted you.
Yiren: That's okay. As long as you're happy, I won't mind what you call
no matter how bad it sounds. [She removes the flower from her ear and starts
it from her other ear] See, doesn't that look like a sow wearing earrings?
Jili [claps his hands]: Wow, it really does look like that!
Yiren: I'm sorry, but I need to finish arranging the flowers. Er...
done, feel free to come back and insult me some more. [Calls for maid] Let's
go now. [They leave Jili behind]
Jili: That's strange. It's no fun this way, no fun at all. How could
peppery and fiery lady suddenly change personalities?
[Cut to another room where Yiren is busily arranging flowers. The maid
standing next to her and is puzzled at the recent scene with Jili]
Maid: Miss, Master Su went too far just now. How can you let him get
with such rudeness?
Yiren: Things aren't always what they seem on the surface. It's small
wonder, given the burden he has to bear.
Maid: What? What's wrong with him?
Yiren: There's a huge secret regarding this. I'll tell you, but you
tell anyone else. [She whispers in the maid's ear and you hear a gasp come
from the maid]
Remember, you must not tell anyone else, okay?
Maid: I understand.
Yiren: Get back to work.
[Cut to courtyard in Generals' Residence. A few male servants are at
when Jili walks in. He heads to the outhouse and enters. The servants all
they are doing to peek. Jili turns around once and they all hurriedly duck
out of view. He looks around a few more times, then starts to tinkle. He
smiles contentedly and looks towards the ground, where he spots four heads
peeking up from underneath the door. He starts to holler and hurriedly tuck
his clothes back in. He opens the door and sees all four servants are eyeing
Jili: Why do you want to peek at me while I'm going to the outhouse?
start to slink away but he grabs one servant] Why? Why do you want to watch
me while I'm going to the outhouse? Even I don't want to watch me, so why do
you want to watch me? [Shakes the servant roughly] Tell me! I want you to
[Threatens to punch the servant] Tell me, why did you want to watch?
[Cut to Yiren arranging flowers]
Yiren: Let's see, a pink one with a white one... [She puts both in a
a white with a yellow one.[Places them in the same vase]
[Jili comes storming in the room and is absolutely furious]
Jili: Xu Yiren!
Yiren [defensively]: What do you want?
Jili: I'm going to kill you with my own two hands! [He starts to chase
around the room. Yiren starts running for dear life, causing the flowers to
get scattered hither and thither]
Yiren [screaming]: Ahh you lunatic! Ahh you lunatic! You lunatic! Help!
noise brings Li Liang's mother and Li Liang running. Yiren jumps behind Li
Liang's mother and Li Liang tries to keep Jili away. Mulan goes to Jili and
grabs on to his arm to keep him from attacking Yiren]
Li Liang: What's the matter?
Jili [livid]: Don't hold me back! I have to teach her a lesson!
Li Liang: What's happened?
Yiren: I don't know. He.. [She shivers in terror behind Li Liang's
Jili starts acting like an angry cat]
Li Liang [pushes him]: Are you crazy?
Jili: I'm not crazy! Do you know what she did?
Li Liang: What did she do?
Jili: She went around telling everyone that.. .that... I don't have
jewels anymore! [He starts bawling]
[Li Liang's mother shoots Yiren an accusing look while Li Liang suddenly
looks very guilty. Jili is now crying on Mulan's shoulder as she tries to
Yiren [defensively]: Aunt, I didn't tell anyone, except for Chunhong
of maid). [Her aunt gives her an exasperated look]
Li Liang's mother [contrite]: Jili, Yiren didn't mean it. She was just
careless and told someone. You mustn't blame her, okay?
Jili [whirls on her]: She is making all this up out of thin air! She
to sully my reputation, so I'm going to have it out with her!
Yiren [jumping in front of him]: Su Jili! You can say I have the biggest
mouth in the world, but you can't say I'm making this up out of thin air!
True, you're burden is something to be pitied, but that doesn't give you
leave to bite others like a rabid dog! [Li Liang is trying to figure a way
out of this mess. Li Liang's mother is looking very confused over the whole
Jili: I'm pitiful? How am I pitiful? [He acts as if he wants to try
Li Liang's mother and Yiren. They both cringe in fear. Li Liang takes the
opportunity to try and sneak out the door, but Mulan spots him]
Mulan: Brother Liang! [He turns around guiltily] Oh, where are you going?
Li Liang's mother [puzzled]: Didn't he lose his family jewels to save
Li Liang [acts innocent]: Did I?
Jili [outraged]: What? You don't think my life as a human being is pathetic
enough? You have to make me someone who is neither male nor female? [He
starts to whimper again]
Li Liang: Actually, this is really no big deal. I just wanted to play
little joke, that's all. I just wanted to calm down the situation.
[Li Liang's mother and Yiren shoot Li Liang a dirty look. He walks briskly
out the door before they can say anything more. Yiren and Li Liang's mother
are in shock and speechless at this news. Mulan is still holding back Jili
but she is trying to hold back a laugh]
[Cut to a sitting room elsewhere in the Generals' Residence. Li Liang's
mother and Yiren are sitting on a bench and the latter is giving the former
a massage. Li Liang is at the door asking to be let in]
Li Liang: Mother, I can explain. Mother, open up the door.
Li Liang's mother: You used to always brag that you were a decisive
stern iron man. Now look at you! You're full of slick ways and wiles! Your
actions have shamed both me and all the Li family ancestors!
Li Liang [muttering]: It's not that serious.
Li Liang's mother [sharply]: What are you mumbling about?
Li Liang: Um... nothing. I was saying I know I did wrong. Could you
let me in,
Li Liang's mother [storms to door and opens it and scolds Li Liang]:
me, is it that once you've taken a wife you've forgotten the respect and
honesty the Li family demands of you?
Li Liang: Mother, this time it's my fault. I am the only culprit; this
doesn't concern Mulan. Don't blame her for this.
Li Liang's mother [livid]: You... you're still trying to shield her?
Li Liang: It's true. We wanted to have Jili stay with us longer, but
afraid you wouldn't agree, so... I told a lie.
Li Liang's mother [defensive]: So! You're saying that this whole mess
fault! I've been unreasonable and unyielding, so it forced you to become a
Li Liang [alarmed]: Hey, that's not what I meant!
Yiren: Cousin, but that's what you said.
Li Liang [to Yiren]: Hey, stop adding fuel to the fire!
Li Liang's mother: Don't you go taking this out on Yiren. I'm telling
right now, I want your wife to go before the ancestors in the family temple
and make a formal apology. Also, from now on I forbid Su Jili to set foot
here. [To Yiren] Come on, let's leave. [They both waddle out the door,
leaving Li Liang in a bind, racking his brains for a solution]
[Cut to Li Liang and Mulan's quarters. They are sitting at a table
discussing the recent events]
Mulan: She only asked me to make a formal apology before the ancestors
to evict Jili? There's nothing else?
Li Liang: Nothing else. [Looks like a little boy who's just been caught
red-handed] Mulan, I know this is asking a lot of you, but...
Mulan: Don't worry about it. No matter what, your mother is your mother.
It's become a moot point whether she's right or wrong.
Li Liang: I know. I only wanted to resolve this problem.
Mulan: I know. Tell popo that I'll meet her tomorrow morning at the temple.
Li Liang [eagerly]: You're really going to agree to this unreasonable
Mulan: As long as you realize your mother's request is unreasonable
enough for me.
Li Liang: Of course I know. [Sits next to her] Mulan, I know that ever
you married me you've had to suffer quite a few indignities.
Mulan: I'm relieved to hear you say that.
[Cut to Li family temple the next morning. Li Liang lights some incense
places it before the altar. Li Liang's mother and Yiren join him but Mulan
is nowhere to be seen]
Li Liang's mother: Li Liang, where's that bride of yours?
Li Liang: Oh. She went out first thing in the morning, but she'll be
Li Liang's mother: You'd better not be playing any games with me. If
doesn't apologize before the ancestors for making you lie I will never
[An elderly man in a robe walks in the door to the temple]
Elderly man: Third Sister-In-Law (actually, once removed), I seem to
hearing that phrase used about twenty years ago. Do you still remember that?
Li Liang's mother [nervously]: Eldest Uncle, how is it that you're here?
think he's Li Liang's eldest granduncle)
Elderly man: Li Liang's wife brought me here. [Mulan is peeking in by
doorway but she doesn't enter] You haven't answered my question. I heard
from the doorway you state that if your daughter-in-law doesn't apologize
before the ancestors you would never forgive her. Twenty-odd years ago, who
said that? [Li Liang's mother remains silent but looks guilty. She obviously
remembers but is reluctant to say] You don't remember, eh? Well, let me
answer that question for you. Your popo said that so many years ago, during one of her
streaks of unreasonableness. Third Sister-In-Law, good and bad things happen
to people and it's no one's fault. When your husband died in battle, your
popo pinned the entire blame on you and insisted that you kneel for a long
time in penance before the ancestors. That was such a difficult thing for
you to stomach. If it wasn't for the other uncles pleading your case, you
might have decided it wasn't worth it and committed suicide.
Li Liang's mother [quietly]: I have always been very grateful for what
did, Eldest Uncle.
Elderly man: I didn't come here today to ask for your gratitude, but
remind you not to blame past events on your daughter-in-law.
Li Liang's mother: Yes. I know. [She looks contrite but then glances
Mulan with a great deal of venom. Mulan looks nonchalantly away. You can see
there will be many battles between these two strong wills in the future]
[Cut to main door to Generals' Residence. Li Liang's mother, Li Liang,
Yiren, and Mulan are all escorting Li Liang's uncle out the door. Li Liang
helps him down the steps and down the street. Li Liang's mother turns around
and sneers at Mulan]
Li Liang's mother: Humph! Don't get too pleased with yourself.
Mulan: Popo, Eldest Granduncle (remember, there is a generation between
Liang's mother and Mulan) said that if you ever became upset about
something, you could seek him out to talk it over. Do you want me to call
[Li Liang's mother holds her tongue and stalks away. Yiren follows,
sure to glare at Mulan before leaving]
Li Liang [at gate]: Good bye! [Returns to front door and starts to say
something to her but stops]
Mulan: You are going to say that you realize your mother was being
unreasonable, but you couldn't say anything because of the family pecking
order. What's wrong with my inviting the head of the Li family to chastise
her? [Li Liang decides not to say anything and walks inside the house. Mulan
follows with a satisfied smile on her face]
[Cut to sitting room inside. Li Liang's mother is sitting down while
is massaging her shoulders. Li Liang's mother is still quite upset and is
making a scene]
Li Liang's mother: She'll be the death of me! She'll be the death of
can't believe that she brought the head of the Li family to scold me!
Yiren: I always averred that she is high maintenance. Aunt, I think
best tread softly from now on.
Li Liang's mother: Tread softly? I spent so much time and effort raising
son to manhood. That's letting her off too easily! It's not fair! [They both
fall silent when Mulan enters the room]
Li Liang's mother [shortly]: Didn't you already find your prop and support?
Why do you need to even call me "popo" anymore?
Mulan: I invited Eldest Granduncle to help you understand the difficulties
of being a new daughter-in-law. I'm Brother Liang's wife. Have I not tried
to be respectful to you at all times? However, I want everyone to act
reasonably towards one another. [Li Liang is at the doorway listening in]
Li Liang's mother [erupting]: So! You're saying that I've been unreasonable?
Li Liang: Mother! [Lowers his voice] That's not what Mulan meant.
Li Liang's mother [wailing]: Oh, it's true, then! Once a son takes a
forgets his mother! Oh! [She gets up and starts hitting herself] You may as
well let me die!
Li Liang: Mother!
[Jili stomps in the door, dressed in full armor and a bright red bandanna.
He wields a spear in one hand and thumps it on the floor]
Jili: Who dares to raise a ruckus in the Generals' Residence?
Li Liang's mother: Who let you in?
Jili: I am now General Hua's second-in-command and closest advisor.
Headquarters sent me to protect and look after General Hua's interests. [Li
Liang's mother and Yiren look at each other blankly then look at Jili again]
You want to commit suicide by running into the wall? The Emperor bestowed
this property, so it may not be quite so convenient for that purpose. But, I
will offer a suggestion to go to the East Gate of the capitol, where there
is a wall made of green bricks. I've heard its hardness is second to none.
[Li Liang's mother watches Jili with her mouth agape. She is so shocked she
is speechless] If you go hit your head against that I guarantee you will
crack your skull open and die quickly. Hurry!
Li Liang [sternly]: Jili!
Yiren [jumping in]: Hey! What kind of attitude is that?
Jili: General Hua and General Li are servants of the Empire. This residence
granted to them for them to rest and live. If someone disturbs their peace,
I must report it to the official in charge of the military (higher than the
Marshal) and let him mete out justice accordingly.
Li Liang's mother [tugging Li Liang's sleeve]: Son, what is this all about?
Li Liang [sternly]: Mulan, what is this all about?
Mulan: I'm sure our superiors are concerned about our household's peace
quiet. He wants Popo to live to a ripe old age, that's why he's made such
arrangements. Are you saying you want her to threaten to kill herself every
day? [To Jili] Sergeant Su? I want to return to headquarters. Please prepare
Jili: Yes, ma'am! [They both leave, with Jili following Mulan and having
some problems with the spear clearing the doorway]
Li Liang's mother: I didn't think I had such a spineless son! The two
you promised yesterday you'd do for me and this is the result? You've made
me lose all the face I have!
Li Liang [protesting]: Mother.
Li Liang's mother: Taking this woman to wife will bring bad luck to
family! Don't say I didn't warn you; from now on, everyone in the Li family
will be wound around her finger! [She keeps poking Li Liang in the head
angrily to emphasize her words] What kind of a man are you? What kind of a
man are you?
Yiren: Aunt, perhaps Cousin is happy to have someone else wear the pants
the family. [Hearing this, Li Liang's mother storms out the door in a huff,
with Yiren following. Li Liang is so frustrated with everything he sits down
at the table and slams his hand down. He reaches for the teapot and drinks
directly from it]
[Cut to Mulan and Li Liang's quarters at night. Li Liang is sitting
when Mulan comes in. She is smiling as she enters but then starts pouting
when she sees Li Liang is sulking]
Mulan: Are you still mad at me?
Li Liang: You know how much my mother needs to save face.
Mulan: Even if she needs to save face, she can't go stepping on people
however she chooses. Ever since olden days, people have looked down on
women. But nothing is sadder than when a woman looks down on another woman.
Li Liang [gets up and starts pacing]: Regardless, you should have talked
this over with me first.
Mulan: I didn't tell you because I didn't want to put you in a bind.
to ingratiate herself] I'm sorry. Don't be mad at me anymore. [Li Liang
starts to show a hint of a smile] You smiled! That means all is well
Li Liang [tries to remain stern but starts chuckling]: I don't know
do with you. [Mulan grins back and starts to massage his shoulders]
[Cut to courtyard the next morning. Li Liang is walking in to the courtyard
from a room]
Yiren: Cousin! Oh no! Oh no! [Li Liang and Mulan come running outside
Li Liang: What's happened?
Yiren: Aunt left a note saying she has gone to the Peaceful Cloud Temple
become a nun!
Li Liang [grabs note]: Why would she do that?
Yiren [sneering]: As if you don't already know. You know full well why.
Mulan: What does Popo say?
Li Liang: No. I must go to the Quiet Cloud Nunnery to bring her back.
[Starts to leave]
Mulan [grabs his arm]: I'll go with you.
Li Liang: No. I think I better go first.
Yiren [sweetly]: Exactly. I beg that you won't go and stir her up any more.
Mulan: Cousin-In-Law, this business only concerns the Li family. You
give your two cents.
Yiren [bites back a retort]: Cousin! Why aren't you gone yet? Are you
to wait until Aunt has already shaved her head before you'll show up?
Li Liang's mother [looks to Mulan]: You wait here. I'll be back soon.
for me. [Leaves hurriedly. Yiren follows, then turns around and gives Mulan
a look before continuing on her way]
[Cut to room inside nunnery. Li Liang's mother is pacing back and forth.
There is an incense burner on the table and a large wooden block used to
help in reciting prayers]
Li Liang's mother: Where is Yiren? Why is it taking her so long to bring
Liang? [She hears a noise coming from outside, so she hurries and sits
before the low table with the wood block and starts hitting it with a small
club. She closes her eyes and begins a Buddhist chant] Nan wu ah mi tuo
fo... Nan wu ah mi tuo fo.
Voice [from outside]: Lady Li, may we enter?
Li Liang's mother: Come in. [Resumes her chanting. A nun in a gray habit
Nun: Lady Li, will you be taking the noon meal with us? Let me know
so I can
tell the kitchen to prepare something for you.
Li Liang's mother [stands up and looks high and low for Yiren]: Um...
won't be necessary. I still don't know if I'll be staying here. I may change
my mind and leave shortly.
Nun: Er... then let me know later. Ah mi tuo fo.
Li Liang's mother: Ah mi tuo fo. [The nun walks out the door and Li
mother mumbles to herself] If this wasn't the only way, I wouldn't dream of
eating vegetarian dishes here. They're bland and tasteless. [She looks
around the spartan room and cringes] If Li Liang doesn't come, then that
means I'll have to stay here long-term. Wouldn't that be cutting off my nose
to spite my face? [Shakes herself] That won't happen. Li Liang will come
here. He's always been a filial son. I refuse to believe that twenty-odd
years of raising him won't outweigh the relationship he has with his wife of
but half a month. Hua Mulan. Humph! You're not my match if you're trying to
compete with me for my son! [She smiles when she hears Yiren's voice
Yiren: Aunt, Cousin is here! Aunt, you mustn't shave your head and become
nun! [Li Liang's mother turns around and resumes her chanting. Yiren and Li
Liang burst into the room] Aunt, you mustn't become a nun! [She wails and
goes over to hug her aunt. Li Liang is standing there looking dazed at the
scene before him] Aunt, if you take your vows, then what will become of me?
Li Liang [goes to his mother]: Mother, don't be so unyielding. Come
[Li Liang's mother ignores the two of them and keeps her eyes tightly
She continues to chant and hit the block of wood in time]
Yiren: Aunt, don't leave me and Cousin to fend for ourselves.
Li Liang [grabs the small club Li Liang's mother is using]: Mother,
you, stop hitting that thing!
Li Liang's mother [sadly]: Yiren, I have nothing to tie me down anymore
you. I think you should go back to our home village and rely on our distant
relatives. Or, you can join me here and I'll find you a suitable match.
Yiren: I'm not going back to our village and I'm not going to stay here.
Li Liang's mother: What can I do? My life is tough. I can't even vouch
myself, let alone take care of you.
Yiren [wailing]: Aunt! [They hug each other and wail back and forth]
Li Liang: Mother, come home with me, please?
Li Liang's mother [in anger]: Is the Generals' Residence still my home?
go back there I have to kowtow to someone else's whims! No one respects me
Li Liang [soothingly]: Mother, I know that Mulan's temperament is a
the unyielding side, but she has a good heart.
Li Liang's mother: What? Are you saying that my heart isn't good, that's
we can't get along? [Starts to weep] It's my fault! I made the mistake of
remaining a widow in the Li family so I could raise you to adulthood. I
should have long since remarried. At least that way I'd have someone to lean
upon in my old age.
Li Liang [puts a hand on Li Liang's mother's shoulder]: Mother.
Li Liang's mother [flinches]: Don't you go spouting false words of filial
piety. I refuse to go home with you! I'm going to become a nun. We'll see
how you explain this to your father after I die! [Shakes a finger warningly
at Li Liang, who is looking like a guilty dog that is waiting to be whipped]
Yiren: Aunt, actually Cousin has already realized his mistake. Just
Li Liang [mumbling]: I'm wrong? I don't even know what I did wrong?
Li Liang's mother [sharply]: What are you mumbling about?
Li Liang: Nothing! Mother, just tell me what you want done.
Li Liang's mother [gets sly look]: You'll really do whatever I tell
[Li Liang nods his head]
[Cut to gardens inside palace. The Crown Prince, Second Prince, and
along with an entourage, are entering the garden grounds]
Empress: Oh, look at that! [She points to a bird singing in the trees]
bird in the tree is so exquisite. Let's catch it so we can take a closer
look at it.
Second Prince: Mother, allow me.
Empress: Be careful.
Second Prince: I know. [He jumps up, grabs the bird from the tree branch
roughly, then walks over and presents the bird to the Empress. The bird is
bloody and has a broken neck. The Empress, seeing this, shrieks and drops it
Empress: Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! How can you expect to accomplish
if you're so careless and thoughtless?
Second Prince [drops to his knees]: Mother, I realize my mistake. Please
be angry. [The Empress turns away, upset at the sight of the dead bird]
Crown Prince: Mother, my brother only had a slip of judgment. Don't
him, since he meant well.
Empress: I only wanted to take a closer look at this bird. I did not
to kill it.
Crown Prince: Mother, life is a cycle of birth and death. Perhaps my
helped this bird reincarnate into its next life sooner. Maybe it was a good
Empress [sternly to Second Prince]: Take this bird and give it a proper
burial, then go to the temple to recite a prayer for the newly departed.
Until I give you leave, you are not to see me.
Second Prince [salutes]: Yes, mother. I'll take my leave now. [He leaves.
The Empress sighs in sadness at the bird's death]
[Cut to hallway inside palace. The Empress and Crown Prince enter and
servant kneels before and greets the Empress. She dismisses them and they
hurry out the door. She then walks to a sitting room inside and sits down.
The Crown Prince sits next to her]
Crown Prince: Mother, are you still upset about what just happened?
Empress: It may be just a bird, but it's still a life. Your brother...
Crown Prince: My brother just forgot himself briefly. You've already
punished him by ordering him to go recite a prayer. Don't blame him any
Empress [sighs]: But I just feel so unsettled.
Crown Prince: How about this, then? I'll go with you to the temple so
say some prayers for the bird. We can get some fresh air and walk
around a bit in the meantime.
Empress [nods]: Hmm... you have a point. [Smiles] However, if I want
the palace walls we'd be lucky if we can do so in three days.
Crown Prince: Oh, that's not a problem. We'll just go as we are.
Empress: Oh, I forgot that running outside and cavorting about town
specialty. [The Crown Prince looks guilty at this admonition and bows his
Crown Prince: I'm sorry. I know I did wrong.
Empress [laughing]: Get up. Hurry up and help get my things ready.
Crown Prince [grinning]: Yes, ma'am.
[Cut to open field. Two people are on horseback and going at a full
Mulan is in the lead and Li Liang is right behind her. The next scene shows
them on foot. Li Liang grabs Mulan by the arm]
Li Liang: Mulan, listen to me.
Mulan [hotly]: Last time you wanted people to believe that Su Jili saved
you, so you lied and said he lost his family jewels. Your mother said you
were a liar and then insisted I ask for forgiveness before the ancestors.
This time she made a huge scene and is clamoring that she will become a nun; she
wants you to hit me before she'll change her mind. You go and tell her that
if she really wants to become a nun, I'll be the first to raise my hands in
approval! [Mulan tries to storm off but Li Liang holds her back]
Li Liang: Mulan, consider it a favor for me. You don't have to really
Just make it look good.
Mulan: Fine. As long as you're willing to let me turn the tables and
you sometime, I'll gladly exert myself for this. [Turns around]
Li Liang: Mulan, please help this one more time? If my mother really
become a nun and word got out, then everyone would know I was an unfilial
Mulan [shakes off his hand]: If I let this happen and word got out,
how am I
supposed to maintain discipline among my troops?
Li Liang [protesting]: No one is going to know about it. Besides, I'm
going to make it look good for my mother. How would I really ever hit you?
Li Liang: Mulan.
Mulan: No! And that's final! I don't care what you say, I will never
Li Liang [coldly]: Well, if you refuse then there's nothing I can do.
and filial piety are two things that are difficult to reconcile with each
other. If my mother insists on becoming a nun I won't do anything. If she
shaves her head then that is her choice.
Mulan: Are you trying to blackmail me?
Li Liang: Who dares try to blackmail you? You, Hua Mulan, have a heart
unyielding as iron. But I don't want to have a reputation as an unfilial son
and living life caught between you and my mother. I'd rather shake the
accursed dust of this world from my feet! [He storms off and mounts his
horse, then gallops away. Mulan watches him go and starts to have second
[Cut to room in nunnery. Li Liang's mother and Yiren are walking around]
Li Liang's mother: Has your cousin returned yet?
Yiren: Not yet.
Li Liang's mother: Do you think I was too hard on him? What if your
can't persuade her to bend to his will? That will make it even harder for me
to back down.
Yiren: Aunt, I wouldn't worry. Cousin is the most filial son in the
This time since you have threatened to become a nun, it will only be an
opportunity for him to teach Hua Mulan a lesson. Why wouldn't he be able to
Li Liang's mother: But... Hua Mulan isn't an ordinary woman.
Yiren: It doesn't matter how extraordinary of a woman she is; she's
still a woman.
A husband is the sky and his wife is the earth. How can the earth be greater
than the sky? No matter what happens, we have to take her down a peg and put
Cousin back in his rightful place as the man of the family. No guts no
Li Liang's mother [nodding grimly]: That's true. We need to take the
out of this woman's sails, or else how is Li Liang going to dare face
anyone? Regardless, we will make sure she will bow and scrape respectfully
before us when this is over. Otherwise, I won't go home!
Yiren: Right, Aunt! In my opinion, this time your victory is assured!
[Cut to street in front of the Peaceful Cloud Temple. Two litters pull
Out of the lead one the Crown Prince steps out. He goes to the second one
and helps his mother out]
Crown Prince: Mother, we're here.
Empress: Oh my, it's quite busy around here. No wonder you prefer to
roam the city streets.
Crown Prince: Mother, stop teasing me. Let's go inside.
Empress: Very well. [They walk in the main doors of the temple, escorted
[Meanwhile, in the stables adjoining the temple, Li Liang is putting
and Mulan's horses]
Li Liang: Here, let me do that. [He ties the horses' bridles to the
Mulan [pouting]: Humph! You're faking devotion.
Li Liang: Mulan, I know this asking a lot of you. If you help me do
my mother, I will do whatever you say when we go home.
Mulan: Remember, don't get carried away, or when we get home I'll wear
Li Liang: Alright, alright, I know. Let's go. [He takes her arm and
they walk into
the temple together]
[Meanwhile, from another entrance, the Crown Prince and Empress have
the main altar in the temple]
Crown Prince: Mother, we're here. [He helps his mother before the altar]
Let us pay our respects now. [The entire group gets on their knees and bows
before the altar a few times. The Crown Prince helps his mother to her feet]
Empress [to servants]: Come. Deposit some money for incense and oil here.
Servants [bowing]: Yes, Mistress. [They leave the room]
Crown Prince: Mother, how about we take a look around the gardens and
Empress: Very well. [Just as he starts to lead his mother to the courtyard,
overhear two nuns chatting]
First Nun: Did you hear that we have a special visitor today?
Second Nun: Really, who?
First Nun: It's the most unusual woman in the world, the one who served
her father's place in the army and was even victorious in battle.
Second Nun: Really? Let's go see her!
First Nun: We can't do that. Abbess said we mustn't disturb them.
Empress [to Crown Prince]: I didn't expect to see General Hua Mulan
Crown Prince: How about we go visit them and give them a pleasant surprise.
Empress: Yes. I trust that when she sees me, she'll be very surprised.
walk off together]