[Cut to a vendor's stall on a busy city street. Jili is browsing an herbal medicine stand]

Proprietor: Sir, are you looking for anything in particular?

Jili: I've been having some problems the past few days with staying regular. I haven't been able to "go" for several days now. I don't suppose you might have a cure for this ailment?

Proprietor: Ba beans! Ba beans will make you as regular as a clock. But you mustn't take too many of them, for they are poisonous in large quantities.

Jili [hesitating]: They're poisonous? Hmm I'd best buy a smaller quantity first then. Give me a kilogram!

Proprietor [eyes wide]: A kilo? That many? That's enough to give 3000 people diarrhea for days!

Jili: It's that strong? Very well. Then make it two kilos.

Proprietor: Two kilos?

Jili: You look puzzled. I intend to take a little each day and keep it up so that I will stay healthy. That's why I'm buying a lifetime's supply from you. Surely you don't object?

Proprietor [stammering and dazed]: Alright. Let me go wrap it up for you…

[Cut to the mess hall kitchen. Jili saunters in and surreptitiously puts the beans into one of the vats of food. He grins when he thinks of the havoc this will raise. The next scene shows all the soldiers running for the outhouses, clutching their bellies and shouting for the ones in front of them to hurry up. General Li calls the mess hall crew before him for a scolding. Mulan, Monkey, and Pudgy are all looking like whipped dogs, while Jili is trying to look innocent]

General Li [sternly]: You men of the mess hall crew, what did you put in the food? What did you do that would cause several thousand of my men to all come down with diarrhea at the same time?

Mulan: Sir, we prepared the food the same as we always have. I don't know why the troops came down with diarrhea. Perhaps the water was dirty. Perhaps the meat wasn't …[General Li angrily interrupts her]

General Li: Quiet! I don't want to hear your excuses! If this had happened in a battle, how do you expect our troops to be able to fight? Don't think that because you are only mess hall soldiers that you can do your duties haphazardly and carelessly! Some of my men came to me a few days ago to complain that the food was unfit. If soldiers aren't fed well their physical condition will deteriorate. In war, at the very least it would cost us great casualties. At worst, the whole empire would be lost. [Continues pacing] Don't you have any sense of responsibility towards your country? To think that the safety and fortune of the country rests on such incompetents as you!

Mulan: Sir, if I have not done my utmost and put my whole heart into my duties, you can go ahead and punish me and I won't complain. But I will not stand by and let you humiliate me!

General Li: So, you wish to be punished? Fine. I will grant your wish. Sergeant, I want you to give each of these four soldiers a hundred strokes! [The four of them gasp in dismay. Jili comes forward and whispers to General Li]

Jili: Sir, are you punishing us also? What did we do wrong? [Mulan drags him back and steps forward, chin high and standing straight and tall]

Mulan: I have made my bed, now I will lie in it. Don't take your anger out on them.

General Li: I'm punishing them for their actions, not for your insolence.

Mulan: It still doesn't concern them. I have full responsibility for all the food that is prepared in the kitchen. Every dish has to pass my personal inspection before it gets served. If anything goes wrong, I take all responsibility!

General Li: You're hardheaded, aren't you? All right, I'll let you be a hero. Sergeant, give this soldier 300 strokes!

Mulan [blanching]: Wasn't it supposed to be a hundred?

General Li: I was going to let you off easy while I investigated what happened. However, since you decided to take the entire blame, of course I have to make increase the punishment.

Mulan: You're still angry that I gave you those two black eyes earlier. You are using your authority to avenge a private wrong. You are no man! You're a worm!

General Li: Insulting a general and showing insolence towards your commanding officer. Sergeant, increase his punishment by fifty strokes. [Sees Mulan is about to say something else] And for every word he says, give him ten additional strokes! Start now! [The sergeant tells two of his men to grab Mulan and hold her down, while he takes a large board and starts to whack her rear. General Li leaves the room while Monkey and Pudgy hide their eyes from the horrid sight. Mulan grits her teeth while the sergeant hits her again and again. Jili can barely contain his glee and looks certain that Mulan will give up soon and go home]

[Cut to barracks. Jili, Monkey, and Pudgy escort Mulan back to the barracks and help her to her bunk. She tries to sit down but immediately jumps up from the pain. They then lay her on her stomach]

Monkey: Mulan, you were so brave to take the punishment meant for the rest of us. You are my sworn brother from now on. Fellow comrades, from now on, let's all call him our Boss. shall we? [Loud cheers come from the other soldiers]

Pudgy: Boss, you just rest and take it easy for the next couple of days. We'll take care of everything for you. Don't worry about a thing. Monkey, go fetch my special healing salve so I can put it on Boss's wounds.

Mulan: Thanks for your help. [Jerks up when she feels Pudgy lifting the hem of her uniform] What are you doing?

Pudgy: Boss, this medicine is an old family recipe that works quite well. I wanted to put some on your butt so it would heal faster.

Mulan: Oh, that isn't necessary. Really, it isn't.

Jili: Let me do this. Boss, take off your pants.

Mulan: Oh, I really don't want to…

Jili [eyes her significantly]: What are you embarrassed about? We're all men here.

Mulan: Really. I don't need any medicine. I'm… I'm… I have proud flesh. It will heal just fine on its own. If you put medicine on it, it actually makes things worse, so don't put anything on.

Jili [picking on her still]: No? That's such a strange condition you have, though…

Mulan: Exactly. Now go about your business. You don't want Mr. Li to catch you again. Otherwise you will get strokes, too. Go on. Go on!

Jili: Well, you heard Boss. Everyone, out. [He herds out the rest of the soldiers while Mulan sighs in relief. He then hops over and sits down on her bunk. She is startled by his presence]

Mulan [snapping]: What are you doing?

Jili: See. We should have escaped when we had the opportunity. Now, because of your stubbornness your butt was the loser today. If you weren't here, you wouldn't be suffering so in body and spirit. But I must admit, my brother, that you had guts to stand up the way you did before General Li and call him a worm in front of our comrades. [Mulan chuckles at the memory] However, I fear things will be uncomfortable here for you in the future, so just say the word and I'll drop everything so we can both desert this place, understand?

Mulan [thinks a few seconds]: No, I refuse to go. I'm going to stay here and continue standing up to him. We'll see what he can do to me.

Jili: Hey. Why are you so stubborn and mulish? What's wrong with being a common man? It's not everyone that is destined for fame . For example, look at me. I know I'm not special. I don't spend my time thinking up ways to gain glory. But I enjoy my life this way, without a care in the world, and I'm satisfied.

Mulan [sad]: Do you think I enjoy fighting for glory? If my mother hadn't always looked down on me, if she had treated me the same way she treats my younger brother, if I wasn't my father's burden, I wouldn't bother coming here to fight for glory.

Jili: But why are you so intent on only finding the glory?

Mulan: I'm not; I'm discontent with my life. I want to prove not just to others, but also to myself, that I can do anything another can, and I can do things that others can't.

Jili [whispers]: You are just making life hard on yourself.

Mulan: Get out. Now! [Jili scurries out the door. Mulan lays back down on her bunk looking very disconsolate and unhappy]

[Cut to Marshal's quarters. General Li and the Marshal are walking in, while in the shadows outside a masked figure is stealthily walking about the sleeping camp]

Marshal: The Tujue army is heading towards us in growing numbers. At the same time, our troops are increasing in number. It appears they mean to attack us soon. It will be a costly battle, with much bloodshed. [General Li interrupts him when he spots a corpse on the ground. They see it is the guard that was posted there. General Li hurriedly looks through the Marshal's papers and spots some items missing. He hurries outside to look for the spy that stole them. He spots the masked figure and gives chase but loses him. The whole camp is soon in an uproar, with soldiers scurrying to and fro, looking for the spy. Amidst the chaos, Pudgy wakes up and looks out the tent flap of the barracks of Mulan's platoon]

Tiele [to Pudgy]: What's all the racket about?

Pudgy: I heard that there is a spy in camp.

Tiele: Really?

[The drill sergeant runs in to the barracks with some of his soldiers. They tell everyone to prepare for a strip search for the missing papers. Most of the soldiers submit without protest, but Jili keeps dancing around, saying he is ticklish. Mulan scurries in the barracks and asks what is going on]

Sergeant: Where have you been?

Mulan: Sir, I had to use the bathroom.

Sergeant: Go stand in front of your bunk. We are going to do a search. [Obediently, Mulan stands where she is told] Raise your arms!

Mulan: What?

Sergeant: Raise your arms! [Mulan gingerly raises her arms, but then keeps shying away from the sergeant's hands. Luckily for Mulan, Colonel Yu walks in and asks what's the matter]

Mulan: Brother Yu!

Colonel Yu [eyes her dangerously]: What did you call me?

Mulan: Er… Colonel Yu.

Colonel Yu [to sergeant]: What is the meaning of this?

Sergeant: General Li has ordered that all soldiers be searched.

Colonel Yu [impatiently]: I know you need to search everyone. What I want to know is what just happened here with this soldier?

Sergeant: Sir, this one seems very reluctant to be searched, so it raised my suspicions.

Colonel Yu: Is that so? [Hands his helmet over] Then let me do the searching. [He pulls Mulan aside]

Mulan [whispering]: Colonel Yu, don't you believe me?

Colonel Yu: That's not the issue. We all must submit to a search to prove we are innocent. Raise your arms.

[Mulan reluctantly raises her arms and submits to a quick pat-down from Colonel Yu. She tries to keep from blushing while he conducts the search]

[Cut to field outside camp. The soldiers of the camp are all lined up in formation with the Marshal and Colonel Yu standing before them]

Colonel Yu: There is a spy among you. Whoever you are, if you will give yourself up, I promise to persuade to the Marshal on your behalf. I will count to three. Come forward before then, or it will go hard with you. One… [everyone looks at everyone else, but no one makes a sound]

Two …[Tiele looks nervous, as does Jili, but neither makes a move]

Three …[There is still no one who comes forward]

All right! You have thrown away your one chance at saving yourself.

Marshal: The spy could very well be the soldier standing next to you. If you present him to me, I will reward you with an exemption from the draft for your entire family, plus you will receive a hundred ounces of gold! [Jili starts hopping up and down in excitement at the thought of all that money] But remember, if I discover the spy and none of you exposed him, then you will all be put to death! [Hearing this, Jili almost faints and Mulan has to drag him upright again by the nape of his neck]

[Cut to Colonel Yu's quarters. He walks in and notices that Mulan is asleep at the table. He walks over and shakes her awake]

Colonel Yu: Crazy wench, wake up.

Mulan: Brother Yu, you're back. [Yawns and stretches] I've been waiting here for you for a very long time.

Colonel Yu: Why did you wait for me?

Mulan: Brother Yu, I have urgent business to discuss with you.

Colonel Yu [starts to blush]: Is it about what happened last night? [Mulan nods her head. Colonel Yu starts to blush even more and begins to stammer] I'm sorry that I had to act the way I did. I had no intention of taking advantage of you with my hands. While I was touching you, I thought of you as only another soldier, I'll swear to that!

Mulan [looking sheepish and also blushing]: I know that. If it weren't for you yesterday, I would never have been able to get out of that little predicament

Colonel Yu: Oh. So that's not what you wanted to talk to me about, then.

Mulan [shyly]: There's nothing much to talk about. What am I going to do, insist that you marry me just because you touched me? You may be willing, but I certainly am not! [Turns around and smiles sheepishly]

Colonel Yu: Then what did you want to speak to me about?

Mulan: What did I want to see you about? Oh yes, here. [Gives him a large flat envelope. He opens it and spreads out the contents on the table. It contains a military map]

Colonel Yu [aghast]: It's the missing map that was stolen from the Marshal's quarters. [Turns to Mulan and grabs her arm, twisting it behind her back and pinning her against the table]

Mulan [grimacing]: Hey, what are you doing? You're going to break my arm! Ow!

Colonel Yu [maintains his grip]: So you're the spy that broke into the Marshal's quarters last night, stole the map, and killed the guard! Mulan, what were you thinking?! Were you trying to prove your military prowess? Are you insane?

Mulan [snaps at him]: You're the one who's insane! Do I look like a spy to you?

Colonel Yu: Then how did you get this map?

Mulan: I came here to tell you that. [He roughly lets her arm go and she stands up, trying to shake some feeling back in her arm] Who knew you'd grab me without warning and then accuse me of being a spy. Forget it, I'm not going to tell you. [She starts to head out the door but Colonel Yu grabs her sleeve]

Colonel Yu: Hey! Insane wench, come back here.

Mulan [scolds him]: How could you think such things of me?

Colonel Yu: Fine. I apologize. Now will you tell me?

Mulan: An apology isn't enough. I want to punish you.

Colonel Yu [with great patience]: Okay. How do you want to punish me?

Mulan: I can't think of anything right now. I'll tell you later. But you mustn't squirm out of it later!

Colonel Yu [at the limit of his patience]: Fair enough! Now tell me what happened!

Mulan: Alright. [They sit down] Last night, I woke up and noticed my wound was rather itchy, so I got up and headed to the dispensary for some cream. Did you know the cream you gave me really worked so well? Thanks for giving it to me. [Colonel Yu rolls his eyes impatiently and waits for Mulan to continue her story] My bu… I mean, my wound is doing a lot better now. [Colonel Yu cuts off Mulan]

Colonel Yu: Stop beating around the bush and just get to the point, will you?

Mulan: Oh. alright. I then saw someone dressed all in black. He had a mask over his face and he was creeping around the camp. [The scene changes to show the masked man hiding behind a tree and removing his mask. It is Ling Dabao. Mulan follows him and sees him bury the map under a pile of leaves near the tree, then leave]

Colonel Yu: So the spy is Ling Dabao?

Mulan: I originally thought it really was Ling Dabao, but I started thinking some more. It finally makes sense now.

Colonel Yu: What did you think of?

Mulan: When I first arrived here, I stayed at the local inn, where I met Ling Dabao. I thought it suspicious that a man was found dead the same night I arrived, but nothing was stolen from him. I originally thought it was a vengeance killing, but now I'm pretty sure that the real Ling Dabao is already dead. The person who killed him stole his draft papers and took on his identity to sneak into camp.

Colonel Yu: That bastard… I'll see to it that he will rue the day he crossed paths with me!

[Cut to field. The drill sergeant for Mulan's platoon is talking with General Li]

Sergeant: General Li, what say you we have a tug of war contest?

General Li: Very well. How many men do you have?

Sergeant: Three.

General Li [confidently]: That's it? Bring on all the men you have.

Sergeant: Sir, you may have unusual physical strength, but you shouldn't be too confident, lest you lose badly.

General Li: Even officers have to be willing to take the consequences of their actions. If I lose, I submit to your punishment.

Sergeant: Alright. Let's do it.

[They square off on both sides of a ditch, with General Li on one side and the sergeant and eight of his men on the other side. They huff and puff for several seconds, with neither side gaining a decided advantage. Soon, it appears General Li is slowly winning, but an (apparently) unlucky slip of his foot causes the rope to slip, sending the sergeant and his men sprawling. General Li admits defeat and asks the sergeant what punishment he thinks is fit. Dabao is looking on from behind a tree and nods knowingly at General Li's deception]

[Cut to barracks at night. Dabao is polishing his sword and listening to his comrades talk about General Li's prowess]

Soldier: General Li is fantastic! He doesn't take himself too seriously at all. He hit the Tujue general in the last battle with his arrow, thus causing their entire army to lose their vigor and morale. He is one in a thousand.

[Off to the side, Jili is fidgeting in bed. He gets up and starts swatting at unseen mosquitoes]

Jili [grumbling]: I didn't do anything to these bugs. Why are they biting me?

Pudgy: That's just the way they are. [Swats a bug and picks it up] See? This is what I do. [Pops the bug in his mouth] They bite me; I eat them.

Jili [incredulous]: Are these things even edible?

Pudgy: That's not the point. I am not eating them; I'm taking my revenge on them. I am seeing to it that I obliterate their line.

Jili [mumbling to himself]: My goodness. I can't stay in this place any longer.

[Monkey comes running into the barracks, shouting that the spy has been caught]

Other soldiers: Who is the spy? Who was it?

Monkey: The spy is Hua Mulan!

[The other soldiers mutter to themselves, incredulous that Mulan is the spy. They argue that he couldn't be the spy, that there must be some mistake, etc., etc.]

Jili: That's impossible! Hua Mulan is absolutely smitten with becoming a general. Why would he become a spy?

Monkey: I saw with my own eyes Colonel Yu dragging Mulan to the Marshal's quarters. If he wasn't getting arrested then what was it for? I also heard that he was caught trying to escape from camp yesterday night. Moreover, he was caught with the maps that were stolen last night. [Dabao visibly flinches at this, though no one notices his interest in Monkey's words]

Jili [to himself]: Given the current situation, looks like my mission will soon be over and I can go home. [Snickers to himself]

[Cut to empty field in the middle of the night. A masked man, presumably the false Dabao, is digging in the earth for his hidden map. A bright flare lights nearby and he is caught off guard as Mulan and Chenen present themselves]

Chenen: Are you looking for something?

Mulan: You aren't the real Ling Dabao. Who are you?

[Dabao doesn't respond, but instead attacks Chenen and Mulan. The three of them battle for a while, with Mulan landing a few blows before Dabao runs off. He heads back towards camp with numerous soldiers chasing him. Meanwhile, General Li is in one of the tents entertaining the soldiers and sergeant who defeated him in the tug of war competition earlier. As part of his punishment, he is playing the part of a female dancer, coquettishly teasing the troops and waving a pink veil at them. Hearing the commotion outside, he runs out and goes after Dabao. They battle for a bit, but Dabao is no match for General Li, who easily beats him up and arrests him]

[Cut to Marshal's quarters. The Marshal is giving General Li a dressing down for "conduct unbecoming an officer"]

Marshal [angrily]: It is only with great effort and time that an officer can earn the respect of his men. Yet here you are, throwing away all dignity to entertain your men, letting them treat you in such a disrespectful manner. How do you intend to get them to obey you if you don't maintain a certain level of dignity?

General Li: Sir, you should have seen the happy looks on the faces of my men yesterday, though. I think it's well worth a temporary loss of dignity to cheer them up and maintain their morale.

Marshal: If you don't want to listen to my advice, then there's nothing I can do about that. Normally, having concern for your men is admirable, but to join them in such lunacy is too much!

Colonel Yu [walking in and saluting]: Marshal, the prisoner refuses to speak or beg for mercy, no matter what we do to him. Sir, what are your orders now?

Marshal [sternly]: Take him to the main field and have him drawn and quartered! We'll see if anyone else dares to come into my camp and spy on us in the future!

General Li: Uncle, I'd like to try my hand at making him talk.

Marshal: What do you have in mind?

General Li: Sir, with stubborn people like this, you can't use force to get them to talk. You need to gain their trust and use guile. I'm sure I can do it.

Colonel Yu [disdainfully]: It's no use. I've tried both hard and soft ways to persuade him to talk and it didn't work.

General Li: Well, I haven't tried yet. Just because you couldn't do it doesn't mean I can't.

Colonel Yu: Then put your money where your mouth is. The prisoner is tied up in jail. I leave it to you to persuade him to talk. Marshal, please let General Li have a try.

Marshal: All right. I give you four hours. I don't care what method you use. Chenen, regardless what happens, when the time is up you are to drag the prisoner off to be drawn and quartered.

Colonel Yu: Yes, sir!

[Cut to jail. Dabao is securely chained to a pole. General Li walks over and offers him some wine]

General Li: Here, drink this. You'll feel warmer. [Dabao drinks a large mouthful, then deliberately sprays it all in General Li's face. Surprisingly, General Li doesn't flinch, nor does he look angry] You're trying to get me angry, aren't you, so I'll kill you with one swipe of my sword? Do you want to die? [Sees Dabao sneer] Good! You've got balls. I have always admired heroic men like you. I'll grant your wish. [He removes the chains that hold Dabao to the pole and starts to beat him. He waves off the guard and shoves him out the cell] I'm going to teach this fellow a lesson.

[Cut to empty field on the outskirts of the camp. There is no one around except for General Li and Dabao, who is no longer chained. Dabao leans against a tree to catch his breath and await the next blow from General Li, but it doesn't come]

General Li: You really aren't afraid to die, eh? You've got one foot in the grave and yet you have no regrets. [Turns his back on Dabao] Scram! [Dabao looks at him in surprise] After you reach the opposite bank, cross the mountain and you will be free. You'd best hurry, because you only have four hours. At noon, you will be drawn and quartered. How far you get is up to you. [Sees Dabao is still hesitating] Don't worry. I'm not carrying any weapons, nor do I have anyone following you.

Dabao: Why? Why are you doing this?

General Li: So the great hero has finally decided to speak? I know because you are a hero, your only fate is to be drawn and quartered. I'm doing this because I detest drawing and quartering; I think it's a cruel and inhumane practice that is barbaric and unfit for humans to employ. Since I can't stop others from doing it, I have no choice but to let you go.

Dabao: Is it that simple?

General Li: Yes, it's that simple.

Dabao: You could easily kill me right here and now.

General Li: True, but I detest killing people.

Dabao [chuckling]: Li Liang, you are a poor military man.

General Li [retorting]: But I am a human still, a plain and simple man. You must be a Tujue. [Sees Dabao isn't responding] If you were just an everyday spy who wanted to find out information by infiltrating our camp, you wouldn't be willing to die rather than tell who sent you. You must be a Tujue. In fact, you must be a very patriotic citizen, too. Go home and tell your Khan that if he insists on encroaching on my country's soil, on attacking my countrymen, then even though I detest killing people, I will see to it that he dies a shameful death! [He turns on his heel and leaves Dabao]

[Cut to Marshal's quarters. Mulan is kneeling before the Marshal. Colonel Yu is standing at the Marshal's side]

Mulan: Your humble soldier, Hua Mulan, salutes you, Marshal.

Marshal [smiling]: Rise, soldier. Chenen, see to it he gets his discharge papers and two hundred pieces of gold for a reward.

Mulan [arising]: Sir, I do not want to be discharged, nor do I want a reward. I only did my duty to my country. All I ask is that you allow me to join the regular troops in combat training and to be allowed to join the infantry.

Marshal [puzzled]: Why?

Mulan: I want to serve my country as a warrior, to find her glory and prestige. I swore an oath at the Hua family altar that I would not return home without glory for our ancestors.

Colonel Yu: Sir, he may not be very skilled in fighting, but he has great ambition. Marshal, please grant him his wish.

Mulan: No. I really am a skilled fighter. I must have been too nervous the day you saw me display my skills. Sir, let me demonstrate my fencing skills to prove myself. May I please borrow a sword?

Marshal [taken aback by her fervor]: That won't be necessary. Hua Mulan, I am pleased to see someone with such love for his country. I will grant you your wish to join the regular forces.

Mulan [saluting]: Thank you, sir! [Sees General Li has just walked in. She walks over and starts rubbing it in that she is now a regular soldier] General Li, did you hear what the Marshal just said? I am no longer a mess hall soldier.

General Li: Oh?

Marshal: This soldier deserves some credit for helping capture the spy. He refused an honorable discharge and instead insisted on becoming a regular soldier to better serve his country. I decided to grant his wish.

Mulan: So, General Li, what do you think about that? [Smirks]

General Li: Me? I think it's great that you want to serve your country. [Walks away from her and approaches the Marshal]

Colonel Yu: General Li, it is almost noon. Did you have any luck with our prisoner?

General Li: Of course I was effective.

Marshal: Then did he talk?

General Li: Talk? He has already run off, how could I get him to talk?

Marshal: What?!

[Cut to field in camp, where the troops are all lined up. The Marshal is sitting at a table at the front of the field. He tells Chenen to read off General Li's transgressions (it looks like a court marshal)]

General Li: That won't be necessary. Bring it forth.

Marshal: What kind of attitude is this?

General Li: Marshal, I haven't done anything wrong. However, if you feel you must punish me to maintain our army's morale, then I have nothing else to say.

Marshal [furious]: How dare you! Li Liang! Don't think that because you've won honors for your feats in battle that you can act insubordinate towards me! [Mulan is silently mouthing along; it appears she knows what words the Marshal uses regularly] You let a known spy escape and you still think you are not guilty of any wrongdoing? I don't care who you are and what you've done in battle. If you disregard orders you must be punished accordingly.

General Li: Marshal, I didn't disregard this order lightly. Do you think the spy is the only guilty one because he infiltrated our camp? If we were to investigate, every last soldier here, including you, sir, shares some of the blame.

Marshal: What did you say?

General Li: It's because we are not prepared and have weak security that a spy was so easily able to steal our secrets. You're the Marshal, sir. Are you saying you do not bear some responsibility for these events?

[The Marshal looks chagrined and at a loss for words. Colonel Yu speaks up]

Colonel Yu: Li Liang, you not only disobeyed a direct order, you are trying to push the blame on the Marshal and insult him.

General Li: Marshal, I joined you in the army when I was fifteen years old. Aside from my mother, you are the person I respect and esteem the most on this earth. Would I deliberately insult you? [Sees the Marshal remains silent] There is something else I'd like to say, but I'm not sure if you wish to hear it.

Marshal: Go ahead and say it.

General Li: To kill a defenseless spy does not strike me as a way to shout of the glory of the Sui Empire.  On the contrary, I think if we were to release such a spy it would add honor to our name.

Colonel Yu [protesting]: Preposterous! You're spouting nonsense!

Marshal [rebuking]: Chenen, let him finish.

General Li: The Emperor rules this empire with humanity and fairness. But in the military, we rule with only lip service to humane treatment. We instead maintain order with such things like drawing and quartering and skinning people alive. It all serves to profane the human body. Our great Sui empire professes to follow chivalry. But when we do such grotesque and cruel acts, then we are no better than mere beasts and barbarians.

Marshal: Just because you did not agree that we should draw and quarter this spy does not give you the right to let him go!

General Li: If we didn't kill him, he would have killed himself. But letting him return to his people shows their soldiers that we soldiers of the Sui empire follow the ways of chivalry.

Marshal: You have your own twisted logic to explain your actions. However, in an army we still must follow the rules. We cannot have people deciding which rules they want to follow and which ones they won't. I will not allow anyone to defy orders and take matters into their own hands. While I admire your sense of humanity, I cannot condone your actions. With such matters, there are no two ways about it. If you ever disobey me again, I won't forgive you so easily. [Mulan is so shocked she almost shouts our a protest, but Jili stops her just in time. The Marshal turns on his heel and leaves, with Colonel Yu following close behind]

General Li: Thank you, sir.

[Cut to mess kitchen after hours. Mulan and her fellow mess crew are eating and celebrating her success]

Mulan: I thought today in the main field we'd get the chance to see Li Liang get his comeuppance at last. Who knew it would be all thunder but no rain. That's no fun.

Pudgy: Boss, you can't worry about that much. Who told you not to have a relative that was the Marshal, to help you out when you needed?

Mulan [sniffing]: I don't need family ties to help me out. I'd much rather earn the title of Marshal through my own efforts and abilities.

Monkey: Well said, Boss! When you become big and famous, don't forget your old comrades and pull some strings for us, okay?

Mulan: I won't pull strings, but I'd be more than happy to put in a good word for you. Tell you what, starting tomorrow I'll train you in fencing and spear fighting. When I feel you are skilled enough, I'll talk to the Marshal and ask him to relieve you of mess duty and join the regular fighting force. From now on, we won't let anyone else look down on us. We'll be all comrades working together to serve our country and gain her glory and honor. Are you with me? [Loud cheers and toasts] Hey, how come Su Jili's not around?

[Cut to place just outside the barracks. Jili is holding the reins to a (pretty woebegone looking) broomstick horse when Mulan approaches him]

Mulan: Su Jili, what is it? [He turns away. She tries again] Jili? [He faces his horse and starts talking to it]

Jili: I want to kill someone.

Mulan: Oh, I didn't know you wanted to shake off mess service and go to battle to serve your country. That's easy. I already told Pudgy and company that I would teach them fencing and spear fighting in my spare time. If you practice hard and work at it, you'll one day be able to join me in the regular forces and we can go make a name for ourselves together.

Jili [snapping]: Go make a name for your ancestors! (I think this is supposed to be an insult) [Mulan is shocked, then reaches back and slugs him a solid punch in the face and stalks off, gingerly rubbing her fist] Hey, Mulan, wait. I'm in a bad mood today. You're too big hearted and generous to be this petty besides.

Mulan [still mad]: Just because you're in a bad mood doesn't give you leave to insult other people's ancestors!

Jili [placating]: Alright. My fault. A thousand apologies.

Mulan: Then tell me what's going on. Don't you consider me your comrade? [He nods] Then tell me what's troubling you and I'll see if I can help.

Jili [neighs a bit, then lays his head on her shoulder]: I recently lost some money. [Mulan shrugs him off and he stands up straight] I was gambling with the brigadier general of the neighboring Flying Tiger camp yesterday and lost a lot of money. He said if I don't pay up, he's going to chop off my fingers.

Mulan [taken aback]: Why so vicious? [Grabs his arm] Take me to him and I'll deal with him.

Jili [grabs Mulan and restrains her]: Wait, his name is Wang Fei. He's a relative of the Marshal; you mustn't offend him.

Mulan: What kind of Marshal is Li Cong? His relatives are all over the army, but not a single one of them is law-abiding; they're all damn fools. [Jili looks around nervously to see if anyone has overheard them]

Jili [whispering]: Are you criticizing the Marshal?

Mulan [whispering back]: So what if I am? I wouldn't be scared even if he were standing right before me.

Jili: If you're going to insult someone, at least pick a hero and not a petty person. If you're going to scold people… could you please not drag me down into it? You may not be scared of getting in trouble, but I am…

Mulan [frowning and muttering]: You're such a coward…