The instant her tent entrance opened late that night, Mulan knew her army captain would not keep her secret for free.

It had been revealed that Fa Ping was actually a female when she was slashed by Shan Yu's sword and passed out after the avalanche. The army doctor had discovered her secret and told Captain Shang. He had come in to her tent and stared for a moment then left without a word after she had sat up and told him she could explain everything.

He had managed to keep Chi Fu from finding out that Mulan was a girl after giving a strict order to the doctor not to tell anyone else.

Had Chi Fu found out, he would have insisted on her death based on the law. So by Shang keeping her secret from him, he was protecting his bravest soldier from being beheaded. Or was that his reason at all?

Now here he was in her tent, late at night and everyone else was sleeping except the soldiers on night watch.

Once his intention became clear, she tried to fight him off but to no avail. Shang was much stronger.

She didn't scream because he warned her not to, and she refused to let him see her cry. She just stared at her helmet until she saw her terrified reflection staring back at her. Then she focused on the tent ceiling while her commanding officer raped her.

When Shang finally left, taking her innocence with him, she picked up her sword and stared at it. So this was the cost of secrecy. Worse than a beheading. She'd rather fight Shan Yu and 100 Hun soldiers than face Shang again.

No other soldiers knew Fa Ping was really a girl. No one except her commanding officer. It appeared he intended to keep it that way and keep her all to himself. She would never overcome this dishonor.

Raising the sword to her chest, she intended to pierce her heart. Just at that moment, she heard "Hey, Ping, Where are ya?" and realized it was past dawn. Yao opened her tent and stared at her. "What are you doing?" She rushed out of her tent as fast as possible, but her body was sore from her struggle with Shang.

That day, they broke camp and headed through the pass to the Imperial City. They set up camp just outside the perimeter. As the last fires were stamped out, she was filled with dread.

Yao, Ling and Chien Po remained outside their tents talking, so she stayed out and shot the breeze with them until she heard a stern "lights out, soldiers".

Shit. She had to go to her tent. Alone. But how long would she be alone for? When she heard footsteps approach, she knew last night's ordeal was to be repeated.

Mulan no longer doubted that rape was worse than death. But still, she didn't let Shang see her cry. She managed to leave bruises, bites and deep scratches on Shang's face, neck, and chest. He got his way, but not without a big fight. She was a skilled soldier and she used his own training techniques against him.

After he left, she reached for her sword to take her own life, but it was gone. He must have grabbed it as he'd gotten dressed, knowing that would be her next move. Her daggers were also mysteriously gone. Suicide was her only escape, but he had just taken that away.

The next morning, the regiment of soldiers was informed they would all remain on guard near the palace indefinitely. There had been possible sightings of Shan Yu and his troops in the mountains, and there was rumors that they had dug themselves out after the avalanche.

Mulan was put on watch with Shang during the last part of the evening, every night. It seemed he was always nearby, making her escape or suicide impossible.

To the rest of the Chinese army, she was Fa Ping, a courageous young male soldier who had single-handedly buried most of the Hun army in an avalanche after firing a cannon at a snowy slope as they had raced towards the remnants of the Chinese army. The other soldiers respected her.

But Shang, newly promoted to General, knew otherwise. He usually showed up at her tent soon after Ling, Yao and Chien Po took over the night watch, sometimes staying all night.

Week after week of this went by. Every night, Shang showed up at her tent. Probably anticipating she would attempt suicide, he had taken her sword and daggers out of her tent, and inconspicuously returned them to her for their night watches. When their watch was done and no one was looking, he'd take them again.

Once Mulan was able to sneak a dagger into her tent. Shang must have figured it out because he came in soon after and grabbed her arm as she was about to plunge the dagger into her chest. As she tried to fight, she managed to superficially slash his chest twice. But he grabbed it, slapping and punching her and whispered "You can't escape. I will always win, so stop fighting me. " Then he held it to her throat.

Mulan would never stop fighting. That she knew. The Fa's never back down. Ever.

Now Mulan was pregnant. Fatigue and nausea plagued her daily. Shang figured it out and started punching her in the belly all the time, but she never miscarried.

Other soldiers noticed 'Ping' wasn't 'himself'. She blamed it on homesickness and recovering from being slashed by Shan Yu's sword. No one else knew her secret, so no one suspected otherwise.

Abruptly, Mulan was dismissed from watch duty and placed on kitchen duty,. This isolated her away from the rest of the army. The pregnancy was beginning to show and Shang had noticed. When other soldiers asked why Ping was off night watch, Shang told them he had been caught sleeping on the job.

She began begging Shang to please just let her go home, to stop what he was doing to her or to just kill her, but it fell on deaf ears.

Finally, with a blossoming abdomen and almost constant nausea, she felt she couldn't take it any longer. She stopped eating. Then stopped speaking. Her days became a blur of cooking rice and sleeping and Shang's inescapable visits to her tent. She longed for a way to escape.

He still punched her belly hard several times a day and sometimes even dug his knee in. This, coupled with his brutal attacks, caused Mulan to vomit and contract and bleed but she never lost the baby.

The Chinese army remnant defeated the Huns and assassinated Shan Yu. The war was over. But Mulan's fight had just begun.

She longed for home, but there was no way she could go back to her village in this condition. She could barely climb up onto Kahn's back for the 2 day journey, and she couldn't show up at her father's home single and pregnant.

After loading up her armor and other belongings into a bundle, she slowly set off with Kahn beside her. She would settle in the first village she came to and pass herself off as an expectant war widow from a destroyed village, and raise her child alone.

How did her life turn out this way? How could she have known her commanding officer would have done this? Mulan hoped to never have to see Shang again.

*but will she see him again?*