And so with the question " Would you like to stay for dinner? ", the marriage between Fa Mulan and Li Shang seemed to be sealed.
It was a most joyous evening as the Fa family and their quite welcomed guest sat down to their feast. Grandmother Fa cooked a large chicken in her famous secret sauce to celebrate the special occasion. They talked about many things, the war, and the changes it had brought to everyone. The Fa family were very sympathetic towards Li Shang's father. They understood the pain Li Shang felt for Mulan had told them everything. However, Li Shang expressed the feeling that even though the loss was tremendous, such loss was inevitable in war. Fa Zhou looked at the young man with approval, for his words expressed courage and tolerance. Fa Zhou also saw the admiration and affection Li Shang now hold for Mulan. Every now and then, Li Shang would suggest such feelings in a rather shy sort of way. Mulan, of course was not oblivious to his endearment towards her. However, there is an uneasy way of communicating between the two. Everytime they try to recall the previous experiences and battles they've shared, one would suddenly break into a most unimaginable stutter while the other would blush into a most uncanny hue of red. The now Great Guardian Mushu observed," They need to work on their people skills..."
And so the two shy lovers agreed to keep in contact since Li Shang must return to his hometown in northern China. He has no other relations in that region except for a younger sister, now that his father is gone. Li Shang's mother had died when he was only a boy. Finally, Li Shang unwillingly bid farewell to Mulan and the Fa family as he headed home to take care of some domestic affairs.
Seasons came and went as the peach blossomes for Fa family's garden withered and fell from the branches, the breeze carrying them to their final fate. Meanwhile, letters flew like swallows between Mulan and Li Shang. No great details are needed to go into these letters, for with every letter the two learned to admire and honor each other more.
As the year drew closer and closer to its end, Mulan and Li Shang finally agreed to marriage vows. Grandmother Fa impatiently gave her approval to, in her mind, th emost perfect couple in all of Middle Kingdom, " They're destined to be together", she says, " Like gold and jade, it is a heaven-made match!" With no further ado, the rest of the Fa clan gave their approval too.
Mulan, however, felt troubled by one aspect of the match. She cannot bear to be separated long from her family. Where Li Shang lives in northern China is certainly a long way from Mulan's southern hometown. And it is usually a custom for a Chinese bride to go live wiht her husband's family after the wedding. Li Shang learned of his bride-to-be's dilemma. And after much thinking over, Li Shang finally came to the decision that instead of making Mulan move far away from her beloved family, he shall move to Mulan's hometown where he shall be in command of building a handsome home for him and Mulan. Such decision was quite uncommon for a man to make in that time and place. As for Li Shang's sister, she has already found a good match and is willing to stay in northern China.
As the wedding day quickly approaches, the Fa clan busies itself with the wedding preparations. One small detail should not be omitted. And that is when Mushu, the now nearly famous Guardian of Mulan, learned of the marriage plans between Mulan and Li Shang, immediately became boastful of his own contributions to the match. " If it wasn't for me, the Great Mushu, there would never be a famous girl-warrior Fa Mulan. And there never would be this 'heaven-made match'. For all you know, she would still be moping around here with a dozen matchmakers trying to make a doll out of her. And he ould still be in war, dead or alive, lying in a gutter somewhere!" Then his greatness Mushu demanded of the ancestors to make him a title superior than a simple guardian. His demand was received with a fierce wring-around-the-neck the ancestors.
There is no word to describe the happiness felt on that final special day. Everything was the color of joy. Everything was quite perfect, in Grandmother Fa's mind, except for the small fact that the more-jittery-than-usual Mulan managed to spill the ceremonious rice wine down the front of her groom's brand-new silk attire; and the groom, who was as ready for the wedding as he was for war, managed to completely forget his ceremonious bows to the bride and bride's family. But these small incidents are quite unimportant compared to the rest of the wedding ceremony which ended with Mushu, drunk from all the rice wine he consumed, hiccuping: " Where's the bachelor party? How about a lucky kiss from the bride?"
It is with a rather Chinese fairytale ending that I conclude my story. Fa Mulan and Li Shang lived long and prosperous. Their descendants might have fought and died in great wars of dynasties, they might have suffered and survived through famines and droughts. Some of them might have became famous leaders who retained the qualities of their ancestors: Mulan and Li Shang, while most of them just became ordinary Chinese. Whatever the outcomes of the descendants are, one can be sure that the world now knows about Mulan.