Chapter 328 – Episode 328: Hidden In Plain Sight.
Avriel puts the map of the three sovereignties on the table then taps on the map.
"Based on the information I got, there are a total of seven bases of the Segregate Guild. Up north, the Eston Town is where we are right now, and based on the information I got, they have a few hidden basements where all of them are hiding and it's easy to find them through the sewage system."
Avriel drags her finger straight down and taps on it.
"Andalus Town, one of the towns of the Eynhildr Kingdom. It used to be a ruthless place before because all criminals and wanted people are hiding, it's a lawless town. Thanks to the current situation, Andalus town is now clean from those people but since it was used to be a hiding place, there are so many hidden passage and underground places where those criminals used to hang around."
Avriel drags her finger to the far east and taps on it.
"Vitosia Town, a newly built town when it used to be a village but thanks to the enormous amount of population and strategic area, it's now become a town. There is not much information about that town since I haven't been there before, but if it's a newly built town, there's a high chance that this town is being occupied by the Segregate Guild which is only a few miles up north from Fjel Town."
Avriel drags her finger to the southwest where the Eluna Empire territory is at.
"Alensia Village, the biggest village in the three sovereignties that is rich with its resources. The Aarus Empire used to wage war just to take this village for decades but failed to do so. There are so many underground warehouses that we called it the thousands of rooms where it is impossible to go explore the whole underground in a day. I believe they might use that as a hideout or a base."
Avriel drags her finger up north of the Eluna Empire from Alensia Village.
"Gelshire Village, the unwanted village because it's in between the Aarus Empire and Eluna Empire that they are shackled by the rules of both empires that it's impossible to be at ease and hard to live in that village. I guess based on that information, we can tell why they choose this village as one of their bases."
Avriel drags her finger to the southwest of the Gelshire Village entering the Aarus Empire territory.
"Zarastela Town, the town of the strong, where are the strong people are born and raised. More than half of the population every year the Emperor drafted them into his army because of their physical strength. A town that attracts all the people around the three sovereignties that even myself amazed how can a certain people could be produced and breed such outstanding offsprings. Captain Safran from the Sarkh Village was born and raised from this town."
Avriel drags her finger far down to the southwest from Zarastela Town, a place outside the three sovereignties.
"Lastly, Balthar forest, the biggest forest in the three sovereignties, there are so many villages in there and the people who lived there are avoiding the world outside the forest so most of them are hostile toward people who are coming into the forest. As you can see, all of them are quite spread out from one to another, I can check all of them if you order me to."
I shake my head.
"No, it's not necessary because we both can tell that the main base is not in one of these places."
Avriel is humming with understanding.
"But I can get some information from them, though, are you sure you don't want me to do that?"
I look at her while raising my eyebrows.
"Are you that thirsty to kill someone? I know you can do it, and in fact, I'm sure you will get all the information that we need so easily but I can't let you be there since everyone knows that we both are close to each other. If you're caught in action they might connect the dot and it will end up pointing at me and the Ophiuchus. I don't want people to start putting a bounty on your head because you're important to me."
Avriel's hunger for blood is getting out of control ever since I put that thing inside her, she sometimes couldn't control her bloodthirsty and had to satiate her hunger by killing and hunting monsters and criminals whenever she heard one. I wonder if that's one of the side effects of consuming that pill, but I hope it won't get any worse since I don't want her to lose her sanity.
Avriel is chuckling while wrapping her arms around my neck as if she's trying to let her do her things but I'm not going to let her do what she wants, not when I still need her on my side.
Allen raises his hand and looks at us with curiosity.
"Mister Trevor, why did you say that their main base isn't from one of these places?"
I fix my sitting while gently removing Avriel's arms from my neck.
"It's simple, they don't want to expose themselves when their goal is to take down the Ophiuchus. They only put all these bases around the three sovereignties so they can keep on a watch from the players that might hunt them. They're only showing the legit bases where the Segregate is indeed doing what they said in the community, there should be so many layers beneath that and it's hidden from anyone."
Aven raises his eyebrows with disbelief.
"So that means, there are so many bases that they didn't show to the players who joined the guild?"
I nod in agreement.
"It could be, but sometimes, hidden in plain sight is the most effective way to conceal themselves from the face of those who are looking for them. That's why Avriel said something about hidden places on each base, she believes that those who know or have a high rank in the guild might be in there as well but just hidden underneath or above."
Ilvia looks at Allen and raises her eyebrows.
"So which base you're in, Allen?"
Allen is pointing at the map.
"He wants me to go to the Zarastela Town. I wonder if they have some kind of ranking for the bases they have so we can tell who are the members of the Segregate guild that have potential based on where they're getting deployed to."
I'm humming while thinking.
"If they do have that, I believe the safest base and closer to the three sovereignties is the lowest. The further and the harsh the environment should be where they deployed their members who have the potential. So based on what I just said, the Gelshire Village and Balthar forest are the top tier base."
Everyone is nodding in agreement, and then Allen raises his hand again.
"So, what should I do next, Mister Trevor? Should I climb up and get contribution points so I can get more information about the Segregate guild? But if that's what you want, I don't think I will be able to get anything related to their plan during the invasion."
I'm leaning on the table while looking at him.
"You don't have to worry about that, just do what you can to get as many contribution points as you can. Maybe you can try to approach Halfaer's friend who joined the Segregate as well since it will be easier for you both to gain contribution points if you work together. There's a slight chance that he might know something the Segregate guild."
Allen and the others are looking at Halfear and they're asking him where his friend is deployed at. Halfear immediately messages his friend and does some small talk before he asks that question.
While waiting for Halfaer to get the answer from his friend, I'm thinking about the Segregate bases around the three sovereignties. If 30% of the players' population are now factionless and half of them joined the Segregate guild, that is more than 200 million players. If they use them and take over the three sovereignties, that would be a piece of cake.
Allen raises his hand while staring at me.
"Mister Trevor, are you sure that you don't want me to do anything else? I feel a bit useless if you just told me to raise my contribution points in the guild. Don't you want me to find some information about their plan from the members of the guild? I can do that if you ask me to."
I smile and shake my head.
"It's not necessary, rumors are easy to spread when a lot of people are talking about it. So you don't have to do anything but keep your ears open because you might hear some kind of rumor that will stir up the situation between the Ophiuchus and the Segregate guild. When that happens, you can start to investigate it if you want to."
Allen is tilting his head with confusion.
"What makes you so sure that something like that might happen?"
I tilt my head and raise my eyebrows.
"It's just a feeling, and I believe that's the easiest way to make people join their cause when they showed them that they're the good guys. All this time, everything that happened in the game is just based on rumors and lies, and a tiny amount of them was barely true."
Avriel rests her hands on the table while leaning toward Allen and smiling at him.
"Remember, a tongue is sharper than a blade, a word more dangerous than weapons."