VI/ The Crimson Sunset
Imperial Reverend Osahar swung her sharp scythe through the crimson mist, her face as still as a marble statue behind a white silk veil. She jumped off the high ledge, her bare feet touching the ground without a sound, and slowly approached the Sheido and the Mogo who had just joined the battle.
Usually, the Imperial Reverend would not come to the rescue of such a pointless fight between various races on Viet land. Osahar had her own thoughts and calculations, and even the fact that she still held the title of Viet Kingdom’s Imperial Reverend was a fact that raised many questions.
Osahar frowned, thinking back to the strange event that had unfolded that morning in Viet Kingdom.
At dawn, as the sun spread the first rays of sunlight on the peaceful Viet land as usual, suddenly a dazzling light emanated from the lake deep within the kingdom, accompanied by constant tremors, wild animals wailing madly. At the Temple, the priestesses and Imperial Reverend bowed down to beg the Gods not to punish the people on this land. Everything happened without warning, becoming more and more intense, threatening the entire palace. In the midst of the turmoil, the Queen appeared at the Temple, asking everyone to leave.
Lac Linh closed the gate of the Temple with one hand and locked herself in it. The earthquake gradually stabilized, Imperial Reverend Osahar kept her face calm but her heart was burning hot, constantly fidgeting with the vase in her lap. No less than ten times did she plan on break down the doors of the Temple.
The officials knelt outside the palace for half a day. When the sun reached its peak, Lac Linh finally came out, sweaty, her face a little haggard. She smiled reassuringly, said that the Gods were not angry, the earthquake just now was just an unusual natural disaster, nothing else. The Queen then advised everyone to strengthen their homes, stock up on food and keep training themselves physically and mentally. The officials rejoiced, respectfully lowered their heads and left, not daring to look directly at the Queen's appearance.
She tried to keep her steps slow, attempting to hide her fatigue, and walked towards her quarter. Osahar followed closely behind, closed the door, and reached out a hand to support the Queen. Lac Linh lost strength, almost collapsed.
“Imperial Reverend… Look at the mark on my nape.”
Osahar lifted the Queen's long black hair, startled to see that the golden tortoise shell seal was tinged with an eerie black shade like never before. She took a silk scarf and dabbed the sweat on the Queen's forehead and asked softly:
"What happened, My Excellency?"
Lac Linh bit her lip, her small face filled with emotions, as if there was a secret that could not be revealed, but in her heart was carrying too much burden.
"Imperial Reverend... The day we feared may have come, I must go to the dragon's head cliff today, there is no other way!"
Osahar stopped dabbing the running sweat, looked at the Queen with both eyes of different colors, cautiously said:
"My Excellency... The earthquake could be anything, why are you so certain that The Day is already here? I'm afraid You're just too tired, I haven't received any message yet from…"
Her throat stiffened and she could not finish her sentence. She looked out the door in a daze. It was the crimson sunset! The blood red shade covered the great sky of Viet Kingdom. Lac Linh smiled weakly, put her hands on the table to get enough strength to get up and change clothes.
“That was the message from your God. The red sunset has arrived. In today's boat trip that starts from the dragon’s head cliff, there shall be a person who will the thousand-year fate of Viet Kingdom!"
But in what direction would it change? Would that person be an ally or an enemy? Lac Linh could not know. Why she knew that the oracle was true, she could not reveal it to Osahar. She only knew that it was her duty, it was the order of the God that among those who would board the boat at the dragon's head cliff on the day of the blood-colored sunset, guided by the noble queen of Viet Kingdom - one person would change everything.
She could not refuse this mission, even though she did not know what would happen, but the mark on her nape did not allow her to disobey.
Osahar recalled the tumultuous events of the day, remembering the Queen returning to the great hall immediately, ordering her to hurry to rescue the rude people who had boarded the boat – who barely touched he Viet land before breaking into fight. Not knowing which of them was important, the first thing that she shall do was to save their lives.
“Woman! Who are you?!"
The Mogo man straightened up, pointed his sword at Osahar, and asked loudly. Osahar's face remained unchanged, spread her scythe wide, lifted his chin and replied:
"I am the Imperial Reverend of Viet Kingdom, I shall not allow you to kill indiscriminately on our territory!"
The red mist dissipated, and on the shore were only the Imperial Reverend Osahar, the Sheido couple and the young Mogo man.
Wei Liu had disappeared.