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There are, in fact, many wonders in the world, extending beyond the eight we commonly recognize. The Temple of Ho Chin is one such marvel. Built atop a submerged island, it rises on wooden stilts, giving the illusion of floating amidst the vast ocean. The design of Venice in the 5th century is said to have been inspired by the Temple of Chin Ho when refugees from the mainland sought sanctuary on the islands in the lagoons following the fall of the Roman Empire.

The temple guard is split into two factions: the male HoNas and their female counterparts, the HoNes. Both groups are elite warriors meticulously trained in martial arts, representing the dual aspects of combat—strength and mental prowess. The Kio, which lives in the temple’s pools, has evolved to flourish in saltwater environments over the centuries. Dominating the central garden is a cherry tree over two thousand years old, which remains the only visible testament to the original island’s legacy.

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 LEWIS CHARD

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