GUESS WHO INSTEAD OF SLEEPING, DECIDED TO WRITE A VIETNAMESE FOLKLORE FANFICTION.
Aka this is the story of how Vietnamese people came to life.
Author’s note: I write my interpretation of the story below:
Which, you may know as how a dragon and a fairy fell in love.
The story took place when Vietnamese soil was still warm from the untamed lava bubbling beneath the Earth’s crust. Divine beings freely roamed the open fields with an innocent sense of humility, although they could raise mountains and freeze up the seas should they wish. They mostly felt alone. Timeless. For time had not existed back then, daylight and darkness were just like a flickering light. They were everything that exist yet felt like nothing in the wide wide world with endless greenery and stretching mountain ranges, followed by sun-shining blue sea. Their loneliness seeped from their footsteps into the ground as their movement formed the uneven panels of our country.
The fairies’ territory was on mainland, barricaded against the world by towering mountains. They reigned over forest animals and feasted on fruits of the purest growing. The chief of fairies was wise, but a man of firm traditions and boundaries. His ruling of course inspired complacence in his people. Not many would venture further than the protection of the mountains and forest lines for this was taught to be uncommon, even life-risking. Yet, the daughter of the chief cannot be confined within branches and tangled vines of the forest. She would regularly travel to lower lands. She was freer than any of her kind, her thirst for novelty and knowledge could not be quenched by any forest stream.
She was already warned of the danger outside, places where venomous and writhing creatures apparently ruled. Of deceptive shape-shifters and the unforgiving assault of salt water crashing onto land and drowning the tallest trees, suffocating the plant life of low lands. Yet she went because of unusual flowers and their scent in the warm winds. The way her voice would echoed against hollowed valleys. She was awed.
One day, she encountered a creature that was no fairy. While fairies would have soft, streaming hair and slim elegance wrapped in fair skin, this being towered with strength. His hair was unkempt and his skin a bronze brown colour not unlike fine wood. He looked as if build from stone, rough lines carved his physique to be intimidating. He was quiet, but his eyes glow gold under harsh sunlight. Watching her.
She placed a flower crown on his head.
“What are you?” He asked, scooting away. It was hard to feel intimidated by his novel physique if they were sitting in the middle of a flowery meadow. Especially when his movement caused dandelions to scatter to the sky, fluttering around him before being blown away by the wind.
“Âu Cơ, princess of fairies and heir to Đế Lai, the Mountain King.”
“Why are you here?” He looked as if he didn’t believe her. As if he had never seen a fairy.
“I like the low lands. So beautiful. And what are you?”
“I live here.” He hadn’t removed the flower crown on his head.
“You must know so much about the low lands. I’ve only started travelling here after my Coming of age.”
“I think you shouldn’t be here.”
“Why?” She asked, standing up. There’s a strange sensation where her heart rate quickened and her wings itched to sprout. The feeling was foreign, what would later be known by her descendants as Fear.
“You don’t belong here. You won’t be able to handle the harshness of low lands. Return to where you come from and rid yourself of unnecessary anguish.”
“I shall not. For only I tell myself what I can and cannot handle.”
Now she noticed the man was carrying a large blade at his waist band. The sheath was adorned with gleaming scales but coloured a gradient of silver and green. Her father warned her of how fairies might be burned by metal. She never knew what it was. Could this sword be made of metal?
The being scrutinized her with his hand on the handle of his weapon. Âu Cơ took a step back, tunic flowing up in the strong wind. She would take off if she must. Lower land beings couldn’t fly, that was what her father said.
“You don’t seem to be youkai in disguise. I shall spare you. But heed my words: should you bring terror to my citizens, I will not hesitate to slay you like a youkai.”
And with that, the being vanished from sight, leaving Au Co alone to the silence of open meadow.
She would definitely come back.