Myths and Legends: The Magic Crossbow

Thanks to the magic bow given by a god, king An Dương Vương succeeded in defeating the Chinese army. Not being able to fight in weapons on the same footing with his army, general Triệu Ðà had to make peace and send his son Trọng Thủy to the court of Âu Lac


Trong Thuy succeeded in winning the heart of king An Duong Vuong’s daughter and so became the close adviser to the king. Despite of the affection and love he brought to his wife, Trong Thuy did not lose sight of his mission vested in him by his father: neutralize the magic weapon that helped assure king An Duong Vuong supremacy. This miraculous device was well guarded at a place known only by the king and his daughter. The latter, after many insistence of Trong Thuy, showed him the magic weapon whose the trigger was made of the Golden Turtle’s claw. Taking advantage of a moment of inattention of the princess, Trong Thuy succeeded in unhooking the Golden Turtle’s claw and replace it with an imitation. Then, shortly after that, using his father’s ill health as a pretext he asked the king for permission to return to his country.

Before his departure, he asked his wife ” How could we find each other in case of a sudden separation?”. “You could find me easily in emergency, I will throw on my way the goose down of my coat”, she replied to him.

Convinced that the magic weapon no longer possessed its devastating quality, the Chinese general launched offensive attacks on kingdom Au Lac. Always confident in the power of his magic bow, king An DuongVuong went for his weapon to destroy his enemy. Realizing that the weapon had been detracted, the king fled on horseback taking his daughter with him behind, in the direction of the sea. Arriving near the shore, he called out :” God of Golden Turtle, please come for help!”. The god appeared at once and pointing his index finger at the king he said “The enemy is behind you, on the back of your horse”.

The king looked back, saw his daughter with a trail of white feathers scattered on the road he had taken. Furious, he pulled out his sword, killed My Chau and followed the god of Golden Turtle to the sea. Guided by the goose down, Trọng Thuy found the body of his wife, dead on the beach. The blood that flowed down was swallowed by oysters and turned into pearls. Desperate, Trong Thuy took his wife’s body to Co Loa and committed suicide by jumping in a well near the tomb of Mỵ Chau.