The ride was long and even uncomfortable; there was silence for the longest time between the three of them except when Shang told them where they were going to head to which was one of the last camps, that would take a day or two to get to. Shang just hoped that nothing bad happened before they got there. It seemed more and more camps would get destroyed by the enemy or that the troops would leave to go fight but none would ever return. He just hoped that, that wasn't the case and there would be troops to help fight.
The whole way there Shang noticed that Jang stayed close to Mulan and even tried talking, saying anything. But it seemed that she was too upset for some reason to talk to anyone. He knew that some hurtful things were said or just things that plainly upset her. Even though he wanted to talk to her and explain everything to her, he would mentally stop himself, everything from the letter, her letters, the war, death, and even just what happened with him being found by her and the kiss. Everything was driving him insane, he wanted to be with her, but there was Jang. He knew what Jang was all about, they had trained together when they were little, even friends which he cursed. He cursed him for not going to war along side with him and his men and for taking Mulan. Jang knew that Shang and Mulan had been together even that Shang wanted her, all from which he over heard.
Jang and Shang caught each other watching Mulan; each began to glare at each other then quickly turning their respectful ways.
Night grew quick and so did dismounting and getting tents ready. Unfortunately there were only two tents, one was larger then the other which left them standing next to each other and wondering who would sleep next to whom in the one large tent. "Mulan you and I can take this one." Jang interrupted.
"I don't think that's a good idea."
"I'm not sleeping next to him."
"Neither am I, has someone had to stay up and take watch?" Shang replied in disgust.
Mulan sighed and rolled her eyes. "Good night" and began walking to the smaller tent.
Both watched her walk away, "I'll make you something." Jang called out. But there was no reply, she was in her tent.
"See what you did Shang" Jang whispered. "Why did you have to come back, why couldn't you leave her alone when Fa Zhou told you too?"
"It's not my fault she found me, besides you knew that I wanted to be with her."
"You were gone and she needed someone! She got me!" Jang replied back.
Mulan walked out in her favorite dress that was pink, and green and had a gold sash around her waist. "Enough!" Mulan looked at both in disgust. "How dare both of you! I'm not a piece of meat that either one of you can have! You both disgust me! I'm going to take watch and both of you stay away from me!" She yelled.
Mulan stayed up and watched the sky while she stayed by the fire. She closed her eyes and wished upon the stars that her life had been easier, that law and war weren't the destruction of what she wanted most. Her mind seemed to confuse her she wanted Shang back, she always did, but then there was Jang who even if he did lie, he had stayed with her and was kind to her and didn't blame him or his heart. Even if Shang wasn't around she could feel that Jang would have been a fine husband, a kind one at that. But it didn't matter; she was already to be Jang's not Shang's.
"Mulan…" She heard her name and felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see Jang. He looked concerned; he sat next to her and looked at her, taking her hands into his. "I'm worried…about us, since he's back." Jang swallowed. "You're so strong…but ever since he came back you haven't been yourself. I'm worried I'm losing you Mulan. You know I would do anything for you, I love you." Jang said so tenderly and lovingly.
Mulan felt sorry for him, "I'm sorry…" Jang leaned in and kissed her softly keeping his lips touch hers passionately. She couldn't deny his kiss, he had been so kind and caring, besides she had made a promise that she couldn't break now. They parted and he gave her a smile and kissed her forehead.
Shang watched from the distance from his tent. He lowered his head, looked back at her again. He felt sorrow and anger; he cleared his throat and began walking over to her in hopes to convince her to go to bed as well as hopefully apologizing to her. She looked over her shoulder to Shang and with realization she turned back around and stared into the flames. He sighed and sat next to her. "I'm sorry for what happened earlier."
"I would never….your not a piece of meat, and neither of us should of talked how we did about you." He cleared his throat, "Jang really loves you."
"Yeah…" she replied quietly and with sadness.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there for you."
Mulan looked up and faced him, "It's not your fault….I understood what you needed to do, I didn't want to go through this, it was my parent's idea, I was waiting…" She looked down at the ground and then back at him. "He is nice to me though."
Shang looked at her intently, there was so much tension between them, things that he knew he shouldn't say or do. Then he remembered the soft and passionate kiss that they gave each other. Shang took his hand pressed it against her face. "I want to apologize to you but at the same time I don't regret what happened the other day." Mulan studied him; she didn't pull away from his touch. "I wish I could only kiss you one last time."
Mulan could feel herself shaking, she felt nervous and anxious at the same time, she knew it was wrong but she felt it was so right at the same time. Her thoughts went to Jang, how kind he was, what he said, and the kiss between them.
As Shang inched closer to her as his eyes closed, as did hers, their noses touched each other, Shang moved even closer, and even though she wanted to feel his soft kiss again she backed away slowly, seeing this Shang opened his eyes and made a face of disappointment. He sighed heavily and looked around the area feeling uncomfortable and saddened. "Go rest…" he said in agony and anger. She felt her heart sink, her chest was pounding, she felt like she did something wrong. Anything and everything that she did seemed to hurt either one of them. She felt blind. She got up and stared down at him. She felt so much energy in her that was taking over. Shang looked up at her in confusion, she leaned down and with her hands on his face she brought him to her. She kissed him with such a force, that it caught him off guard. He closed his eyes and took her in his arms. He continued kissing her, as did she. There lips parted and their tongues became familiar again. As they parted, they remained in each others arms. He stared at her in concern almost like he was scared but it quickly turned into a passionate look. "Don't stop." She requested quietly. He smiled in a boyish grin and replied by kissing her.
He brought her against a tree and they continued kissing passionately. He then brought his lips to her neck, kissing her gently but with a small force, he wanted her, he missed her. Her arms remained around his neck while his hands were feeling her around her breasts and then moving them down to her hips, and before he could go any further, she placed her hands on his making him stop kissing her and looking at her. "Sorry..." Before he started kissing her again but then caught himself and looked at her with concern and love, "I love you Mulan…I never wanted to leave you or lose you, I did not want this to happen." He said stroking her face with his one hand. "I need to know…"
"I love you, I can't help myself, and I needed you." She said softly. This made Shang smile, he felt like he won, even though he didn't, at that moment it didn't matter. He felt even more turned on knowing that she felt the same way; just hearing it made him feel closer to her, and wanting more of her. They began kissing again softly.
"Let's leave, and then we can be together." Shang said with out thinking logically.
Mulan stopped, only now realizing what they had done, she felt horrible but happier at the same time. "Shang…" she looked at him and then looked at the tent that Jang was in. They looked back at each other, he sighed and took her in his arms and held her tight. They both knew that they had to face the hard truth, life together was impossible; she vowed to love and marry Jang. A single tear rolled down her cheek, he looked down at her and brushed her tear away. He didn't want her to be in pain. He felt so guilty for what they had just done and shared, it almost seemed like everything was worse now knowing the truth. "I'm sorry…I shouldn't have..." Pleaded Shang.
Mulan hushed him, "It didn't happen." She whispered with hurt then walked away. He watched her with sorrow.
"I will always love you…" Shang whispered to himself.
Another day came and their journey now to the Palace was more uncomfortable then ever. But as they walked past towns they found men and woman that came out of hiding of the ruins that they were still calling home. As sad as the picture was seeing everyone living in pathetic ways Mulan could see their courage, and how it brought people together in some ways. The journey seemed to end sooner then they all thought, people cheered at the sight of the palace, it seemed like nothing changed except that it was heavily guarded with other solders. It didn't take long for all three of them to get their horses into the stables and make their way to the Emperor who was standing at the top of the stairs looking out towards his land, and then looking at his visitors. He smiled warmly. "Welcome my children." They bowed down instantly. "Please make yourself comfortable inside and get some food. We have plans to talk about before our enemy arrives."
Mulan was out side on the balcony of the palace. She wore a silky dress with little golden and pink dragon and blossom patterns that lay on her dress. The dress even trailed behind her as she walked, She felt like royalty in some ways but her heart made her feel like something much less. The wind whipped her hair around her encircling her, making her look like a goddess of the nightly sky. As she walked around the balcony that encircled the whole palace she got to the front and saw Jang standing their in the distance staring at the sky. He was wearing heavy armor that was embroidered with gold. He looked like royalty. She caught herself staring at the young handsome man that was soon to be her husband. She did care for him and it wasn't that he would be a bad husband but she feared that her love for him would not be enough at least not for her, her heart was for another.
Jang noticed Mulan and he seemed to be taken by her appearance. She smiled and walked even closer to him. "I'm sor… He held up his hand in protest. "You look amazing… He said. Mulan blushed at his kind comment. They both looked at each other and then the sky that was clear and was filled with thousands of stars. Both caught themselves sighing at once. "Mulan…" Mulan could hear hesitation in his voice. "This war has taken many lives and I fear for our lives together, I don't want to lose you and I want to know that if I do die, that I didn't die with out a purpose, I don't want to be alone when I die." Mulan could feel her heart get softer, she knew what he was feeling and was sure what was going to come now, and she didn't blame him. "Mulan….I want to make you my wife…tonight…" Mulan knew that this moment was coming. She nodded and forced a smile upon her face. Jang smiled and embraced her warmly. "I love you Mulan."
"I love you too…" she replied.
Shang seemed to always caught what he didn't want to see, He swallowed hard and held back all his mixed emotions that began fueling him up inside. He gritted his teeth in fury; Mulan was his girl the one that he began courting a long time ago. He cleared his throat and walked as easy over to them as he could. "Jang we need you at the east corner of the palace, seeing as you are a scout and the best guy that we have on archery."
"I'll be there shortly; first Mulan and I have to get married."
"Tonight? Now? We don't have time for that"
"I would like to be a married man before I die."
"What and make her a widower!?" Shang protested.
"You wouldn't understand." Jang said beginning to walk away dragging Mulan with him.
"Jang! I command you to go to your post."
"Or what!" He ran over and looked Shang straight in his face. "What do you want?" Shang kept his stare on Jang until he looked at Mulan who was beside him. Jang looked at Shang and then at Mulan, then back at Shang again and smiled a conniving smile. "You want something to happen don't you? Because if something happens to me then you will move in on her."
Shang rolled his eyes pretending he was being ridiculous. "You're insane."
"Am I Shang?" He paused. "I can just see you trying to stab me in the back when no one is looking and blame in on the enemy."
"Jang, please Shang wouldn't do anything like that."
"We'll see…I want you to stay far away from him." Jang ordered Mulan.
"Jang your being ridiculous." Mulan stated.
"You know he has a thing for you, and I didn't want to have to do this to you but until we're married I can't trust him or you, Mulan. I know how your feelings are towards him."
All of a sudden a Man's scream filled the air. At that second everything seemed to stop and everyone's head seemed to wipe to the entrance of the palace. All the solders that were stationed outside pulled their bow and arrows out and aimed at the doorway. Shang pulled out his sword while Jang pulled out his bow an arrow both made a battle stance and motioned for Mulan to go; she nodded and ran inside to get her armor on. Shang Yelled commands to the different ordnances and kept his eye on the door that seemed to be moving violently. "THEIR COMING IN GET READY FOR THEM MEN!" Shang yelled out. "Jang get ready"
"I've been ready." He said in his cocky tone aiming his arrow high in the air along with everyone else as if in sync with every other individual.
The door slammed open and in came a heard of dirty men with heavy thick armor. Yelling cheering for battle to really start. "FIRE" Jang ordered. And in that second a forest of arrowed soared through the air catching their pray from down below. Jang continued to order as more men came out of the doorway. Shang gathered up the men with swords and ran towards the enemy with his sword ready to strike. His Men followed him raising their swords as he did and began piercing their enemy and their enemy to them. Shang wielded his blade through each man that went past him then he heard a vulgar ugly, man ran past them on horse back knocking who ever was in the way. Shang jumped out of the way and got up instantly realizing that it was the Captain, the one who was looking for Mulan. Shang gathered up his sword in his hands and tried to get through the heard of man but saw that the man was getting further and further away. "Jang!!" He yelled. Jang looked down at shang. "Find Mulan!!NOW!!" Jang nodded and ran towards the front doors. He looked behind him one last time and placed three arrows on his bow ready to be fired. He held them tight and aimed at the man that ran on his horse closer and closer to him. He let go instantly as he thought he got a good shot, the man held up his shield as one caught him in the shoulder and the other two hitting his horse making his horse neigh and fall over in sudden death. Jang turned back around and ran to where Mulan's room would have been.
The Captain furious as ever stood up and broke the arrow that hit him in half. He began running through the palace in a made search for the one that hit him and the one that he was here for in the first place, he wanted to kill mulan and her reputation. He wanted to show the world that a single woman was not the one who destroyed all those men before and to show everyone that she was not some god that couldn't be killed.
"Mulan!" Mulan jumped and looked behind her and ran towards Jang. "We have to go, he's after you!"
"What? Who's after me?"
"Some huge guy that I don't think I killed." While saying this he grabbed her wrist and they began to run. As they began running a dagger flew right between them, both looked behind them to see the huge man following them. Jang whipped her across the floor and got his bow and arrow ready to fire another but only hitting his shield. Jang got quick to his feet and ran after Mulan.
Shang felt his arms get tired of the entire hack and slashing. He continued to do so until he heard a scream come from inside. He looked nervously and decided to barrel through all the men that were in his way. When he got to a clear area he looked around hesitantly. "Mulan!" He called out in a panic. And then he turned to see Mulan running and fighting off man as she past by and what looked to be Jang running after her and firing arrows at the huge captain that was running after him. Shang began running towards them.
Mulan tripped and fell to the floor and flipped over as soon as she could just in time to catch the other mans sword with her sword. She pushed back with all her might. When suddenly the man arched his back and screamed out in pain and fell over. She looked at him and saw that there was an arrow in his back. She smiled noticing that Jang had killed him. She took Jang's hand and pulled herself up quickly. Then saw the Captain hold up his sword ready to strike down upon Jang. "Jang!" Mulan yelled out in fright. Jang whipped around quickly and pushed mulan to the floor while dodging his hit. Jang found a sword on the floor and quickly picked it up and turned around to see that the man was about to strike again at him. But found Shang their with his sword cutting off the Captains. Shang began to sword dance with the Captain as Jang decided to come into the fight and help out shang, but then quickly found out that Mulan needed more help.
Mulan knocked another guy out and then turned to see that Jang was right behind her helping her out. She smiled until she saw Shang in trouble. "Jang, I need your bow and arrow!" Jang threw her his bow and arrow and she got it ready quickly and aimed it at the man's chest. She let the arrow go and watched it sore and hit her victim. The man stepped backwards from the impact and looked straight at Mulan. She lowered her weapon in doubt. She dropped it and picked up her sword and lunged at the huge man who smiled sinisterly back at her. Both began to run at each other with their swords and both clashed against the others.
They began to battle it out against each other, but he was just too skilled and strong for her, which made her land on the ground hard. He brought his blade up ready to kill her until two other swords from either side of her caught his. She looked up to see that Shang was on her left side and Jang was on her right. They both looked at the man and all three released their swords. The man began to back up but then lunged instantly at the two of them with much power. Both Men looked at each other and swirled around hitting the man in his side. But what seemed like what would have been a huge gash seemed like only scratches to him. He laughed evilly and they continued hitting each other blades with the other. Mulan got up and reached for her sword and ran towards them, and as if they knew what she wanted to do, they both placed their hands down near the ground which Mulan climbed on and was lunged into the air by them. She soared through the air catching the captain off guard and drilled her sword through the side of the man' neck. He screamed out in pain while she landed behind him, as she flipped around she noticed that Shang and Jang finished him by sending their swords threw the captains stomach. Mulan sighed heavily and as she smiled as the man came down and she faced both of them.
They all turned and faced where another set of screams and chants were coming from. They all smiled to see that what looked like towns folk of all ages came from outside and bombarded the enemy with their anger and frustration and revenge states.