Lake of the Returned Sword

Part of the Dream Traveler series

At the heart of Hanoi, there is a scenic lake called The Lake of the Returned Sword. According to local legends, the lake is home to the legendary Golden Turtle Deity. 

In the 15th century, the land was occupied by ruthless foreigners who enslaved the people and robbed them of their wealth. A young local hero decided to take up arms in an effort to free his people from foreign tyranny. His revolt against the invaders gained widespread support. Unfortunately, his group was severely short of key supplies and weapons. They were soundly defeated and had to flee from their base.

While they were fleeing, the young hero and his men reached the aforementioned lake. As the group was resting by the lake, a giant turtle emerged from the water carrying a golden sword. It happened that the lake guardian had heard of the young hero’s unyielding courage and decided to offer to lease his magical sword to the hero. The young man accepted the offer and promised to return the sword at an opportune time.

With the magical sword, the hero and his comrades were able to defeat the invaders and banish them from their land. Staying true to his words, the young hero (who was now a king) came back to the lake and returned the golden sword. 

While the tale is most likely a myth, giant turtles have from time to time been sighted in the lake. Every time they appear, the occasion is known to have set the whole city abuzz. 


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