When King Jaya Sinhavarman III of Champa died in 1307, Cham custom dictated that all the wives were to be cremated along with the king. One of the wives was Queen Huyền Trân, sister of Emperor Trần Anh Tông of Đại Việt. The Emperor sent General Trần Khắc Chung to attend the funeral on his behalf, but in reality, Khắc Chung's mission was to rescue Queen Huyền Trân.

According to legend, Khắc Chung was able to rescue the queen and escaped Champa by boat, but Khắc Chung was actually Huyền Trân's lover, and their return to Đại Việt took an unusual 10–11 months, a trip that should not have taken longer than 3 months. Another version of the legend says they lived on an island off the coast for nearly two years, creating rumors that the two were lovers and wanted to spend time together. However long it took for the two to return, when they finally returned to the Đại Việt palace, the emperor was happy to see his sister again and did not punish her or the general, although many court officials were critical of the relationship between the two.

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