V/ The Viet Queen
Every 18 years, a supernatural phenomenon took place all over Sedrah.
On that day, heaven and earth came together and you shall see all 8 moons on the crimson sky, the landscape transformed into something that was both mysterious and spooky. All over the kingdoms held rituals of sacrifice and worship of heaven and earth with great solemnity, praying for peace and happiness for all. That day was called “Ruby Moons”.
And Ruby Moons was the most important day in the 18-year cycle of Viet Kingdom.
When all 8 moons shone bright like pearls on the blood red sky, 18 children would be born in Viet Kingdom, divided equally into 9 boys and 9 girls. These children could belong to common families or aristocrats, could be born anywhere in the territory of Viet. They greeted this world with a strong cry and were welcomed by all the subjects of this country like children from heaven. On the nape of 18 children lied a small mark in the shape of a tortoise shell.
These 18 children were outstanding.
From an early age, they were much more intelligent than ordinary humans, their appearance very attractive, their bodies supple and durable, extremely suitable for martial arts training. Among the villages scattered all over Viet Kingdom, if there was a child with the mark of a tortoise shell on their nape, it was the whole village’s responsibility to devote all their energies and resources to raising and nurturing the child. In order for the gifted child to not be entangled in worldly feelings, children with the tortoise shell seal were not allowed to know about their biological parents, and they must consider all Viet people as their own fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. They were forced to take an oath not to break the precepts, to keep a pure body to serve the country until their last breath.
When all 18 children reached sixteen, which was fixed on a day when the moon shone on the summer solstice night, they gathered in a large lake located deep in the middle of Viet Kingdom to perform a sacred ritual to choose the next Emperor. No one knew exactly how the ceremony unfolded, not even the Imperial Reverends nor the heads of the Temple knew. The ceremony remained a secret that only these 18 children who bear the tortoise shell mark knew, and they must not reveal it, dead or alive. After the ceremony was over, the mark on the nape of the chosen one would shine brilliantly as if embroidered with pure gold thread, a stark different from the other 17. At the same time, the golden seal on the current Emperor would fade, making way for the age of a new ruler.
In the history of Viet Kingdom, the hereditary monarchy was not allowed, all generations followed this arrangement. The remaining 17 children bearing the seal of the tortoise shell would divide among themselves to protect the mineral ore mines, the bamboo forest, the islands surrounding the Viet land, or become heads of military forces, etc. They were respectfully called the Seventeen Generals by the Viet people.
The 256th Emperor of Viet Kingdom was a woman named Lac Linh. When claiming the throne, she took the title Luo Co. Bearing the mark of a tortoise shell – she was born in the Ferrum Lunae ore mine. At 5 years old, she mastered the use of lance while other women put their all into embroidery and needlework. When she was 19 – already went by Luo Co, she put on a golden armor and commanded an army of thousands, exuding an aura that made heaven and earth tremble. Viet men did not know whether to fear her or admire her extraordinary beauty – they could only swear allegiance to the noble queen.
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