That strange little dragon. Mulan didn't quite know what to think of him yet. Trust was an easy thing to request, yet hard to earn. Especially if you faced an introduction like THAT.
Lost in her thoughts about the strange little creature she kept a careful eye on him as he waddled before her, and soon he had seemed to notice.
"You know, I will need a hiding place," he said.
The young warrior stopped in her track.
For a moment she pulled away carefully trying to get where that had come from and eventually she figured that he was referring to that earlier… incident.
The red critter shrugged apologetically as he continued his reasoning.
"It's what I've been looking for earlier," he explained as if it was the most appropriate motive in the world. To her it felt like the stupidest lie she'd ever heard and freshly reminded of it she reflexively pulled an arm over her flattened chest.
"Easy, girl!" the dragon tried to calm her with a raised eyebrow, "I suggest you don't walk around like that in the camp. That'd be even more obvious than talking to a handsome lucky charm, that is me!"
"Eh…" was all Mulan could force out of herself, as she struggled in removing her arm. It didn't help that the little bug had started to pull hard at the dragon's whiskers and ended up being showered in threats for it.
"See?" the dragon stated as soon as he had the cricket captivated beneath his palms, "Told ya so! You know, your fellow comrades-to-be are not allowed to see me. They'd think you're crazy."
Mulan slightly shook her head, at her guardian mentioning something like this after an entrance like THAT. This creature was a walking oxymoron, and yet… she could relate.
Actually, seeing it in this light, the young cross-dresser hoped that Mushu hadn't noticed her sign of disapproval; not only because it was generally unwise to gainsay an immortal spirit, but especially if said spirit was sent by the ancestors to your aid. He had managed to silence her easy enough just because of that, even if her new company seemed to be no friend of tranquillity or quietness.
"Now, since you won't let me choose myself, how about if you suggest something instead?" the dragon had stated with a single clap of his hands, while he kept his eyes locked on the female prospective warrior.
A little stunned about his offer, Mulan still didn't need long for her first suggestion.
"How about the helmet?" she asked, simultaneously picking it up from the floor.
The reptile critically tilted his head with a quick headshake following.
"How am I supposed to know if anything strange is going on outside if I'm practically locked away behind that?"
Mulan reconsidered for just a second and then slightly pulled her sword out of the scabbard, slower and more accurate than before.
"Are you crazy?" the loud voice of the small creature that wanted to stay unnoticed caused her to almost drop the blade, "Do you wanna SLICE me open?"
Reluctantly Mulan tucked the sword away again, without another word.
Well where could she keep the little critter? Absentmindedly her gaze fell upon the floor, and hence, down towards her lower parts. No, surely not her trousers. Please not her trousers.
The belt maybe? Or curled around her topknot?
The dragon meanwhile had started to tap his foot impatiently. The cricket next to him seemed lost in thought as well. The only one who looked at ease right now, was Khan, who turned his back on the crowd with a disinterested neigh.
After an unsettling extent of silence the dragon outrageously threw his arms in the air.
"Girl, I KNOW your secret! Don't make such a fuss ab-"
Interrupted, he found himself being lifted up, two of the girl's fingers carefully pinning his mouth shut.
"I'll think of something as I go," she explained to him and let the guardian pry off her hands as soon as he had arrived on her shoulders.
"Nice, girl, really," Mushu complained with an overdose of sarcasm as he crossed his arms to emphasize his disapproval. The horse, who kept a watch on the reptile from the corner of his eye blew him down with a disgusted snort.
Mushu, first fighting against the blow, jerked back when Khan changed his attitude and snapped at the dragon. Due to this losing his balance, the reptile had in a matter of seconds slipped into Mulan's collar. The girl straightened herself as a nasty itching emerged from her spine and began to slap and scratch for it. Her guardian however, didn't want to go through yet another stampede and clawed his way up on the clothing, meanwhile trying his best to escape the claps.
"I said NO SLAPPING!" the dragon barked, making a point that this time, her cow would have been to blame for anyway.
The young warrior immediately went stock-still, and let the guardian move up her back without resistance. The sound of a deep intake of breath close to her ear signalised the girl that Mushu had reached his goal.
"Trust me, babe," the dragon breathed, glancing out of her collar, "I wouldn't want to stick down there all too long myself." He then glanced around at the view he had from the height of her shoulders, especially since it was almost eye-to-eye with his charge – literally.
"Hey," he then exclaimed more chipper than one would have expected after the outburst the tiny creature had just given, "What do you SAY about that?" He went to ruffle Mulan's hair a little; "I got your back here. Oh, this is gooood."
While her guardian fought away a chuckle, Mulan thought about the current option. Having him stuck there was way more comfortable then having him in the front, and besides, when people addressed her and focused on her face, they surely wouldn't see what was behind her head.
The girl gave her guardian a still uncertain, but finally accepting nod. She just had to trust that he wouldn't do anything stupid with his claws and scales and all that, but then again, her guardian had promised that he didn't plan on sticking there longer than necessary. Her train of thought was interrupted when the sound of clapping reached her ears, that Mushu – with a big smile on his face that Mulan couldn't see – was giving her.
"Alright, on we go now. We've wasted too much time already."
As Mulan spotted the campsite just in eyesight before her, she felt the dragon disappear back in her collar and moved over to carefully examine the people she had to deal with from now on before she'd risk anything. While the girl was indeed a spontaneous mind, she was sure this would turn out best by playing it save.
However her guardian did not agree on that.