76 Introductions (1)

After some contemplation, Seran suggested a rather straightforward idea: for the two to have the same surname and identify as orphans who eventually became siblings as they grew older. Of course, that would mean that Rexus, as the elder sibling, would have had to raise his little brother on his own, which, unfortunately, was a very common story throughout Aregard. While Rexus initially objected, as he still had his Imperial Guard principles instilled in him, Andrew's innocent heart and Etienne's reminder that, in Greenwood City, he would not be an Imperial Guard, Rexus did eventually agree to the suggestion.

After deciding that the pair would take on the surname of Kingswell, which meant 'by the king's well', denoting their very obvious new home's location, Zero drew up their alternative identity files. Once this was complete, Etienne, who had slipped out momentarily, returned with two flexible silver wristbands, which he handed to the pair. "We have yet to fully integrate Zero's capabilities to the entirety of Greenwood City, so we came up with these bracelets for personal use. You can access most of what the public can use when it comes to Zero, such as the currently small-scale Internet, city maps, a 12hr digital clock, a calendar, and more. Each unit has its own ten-digit code, which, once you get used to it, you can use to have either audio-only or holographic conversations with other units. As for the rest, take your time to explore." He chuckled, "All citizens get one, and each is encoded to a single individual. Those two devices cannot be accessed by anyone other than you, though Zero obviously is the exception."

As Andrew equipped his wristband, which Etienne mentioned was called a Z-Band (Zero Wristband formally), he felt the strange sensation of the metallic item briefly fusing itself to his skin to identify its proper user, before returning to its original state. Afterwards, blue lines formed into a four-digit digital clock, a three-letter abbreviation of the current day, and a DD/MM-style calendar date, on its surface. "Um... let's see... Zero, where do I live?"

The familiar electronic voice came from the wristband, "You do not have a set residence. To set a residence, move to its location and say, 'Zero, set this location as my home'."

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Seran smiled, "Zero, locate appropriate apartments for our two new arrivals." In no time flat, the spiritual AI used a wall-mounted display to reveal a list of locations for the new pair. Each one, when clicked, showed several realty-style snapshots of the interior and exterior, along with detailed introductions and what it contained. "As you have no need to worry about security here in Greenwood City, thanks to Zero and our police officers, you can choose whichever one you like. Do remember, though, you only have 500 silvers, so do choose wisely. The first month of rent is free, but, Rexus, you will need to get yourself a job to support the two of you. As for Andrew, you have the least amount of responsibility, meaning you get to be just like a regular child. In Greenwood City, children between the ages of 3-to-6 years old attend small kindergarten before they begin to attend the school system at 7, which they will then continue until they graduate at around 16-18 years old. Due to your upbringing, you are currently at the average level of a 15-year-old student, which would make you either a Grade 9 or 10 student. However, so you can meet kids your own age and make real friends, we are going to have you go into Grade 7, where you will be just a bit older than most of the students, but not by more than two months."

Taking finances into account now that he would be listed as both Andrew's guardian and the only working member of their two-man family, Rexus eventually chose a small 1 bedroom apartment located about three kilometres from one of the three schools, fully furnished with a full-size bed and standard amenities thanks to recent technological advances, on the third floor of the complex. Though he preferred to be on the ground floor simply out of his occupational habit, his new situation and Andrew's insistence convinced him otherwise. After Zero finished registering the apartment under Rexus's name, with Andrew as a dependent, Rexus inquired as to how he was to get a job.

"There are a few methods for you to get a job in Greenwood City. First, you can use Zero's help to search up places that are hiring employees. Second, you can walk around town and look in person. Third, you can visit the Department of Occupational Employment down the street, where they will assist you in finding a job that fits your capabilities. For new citizens, we highly recommend using the third option, as they have the advantage of Class 4 occupational access, which can only be used while on the job. With that access, they can do in-depth job searches and help you find a good fit." Etienne, having been responsible for the development of the city aside from Seran's genius concepts, was even more familiar with how the city's system operated than his son. "We do need to emphasise this again, just so we're clear, but you cannot mention your original occupation as an Imperial Guard. If they ask for your previous work experiences, come up with alternatives, like being a former caravan guard, a retired soldier or mercenary, something like that. As you have Andrew to think about, I suggest you say you retired from your previous job as a guard-cum-general labourer in a merchant association."

Rexus agreed that it would make sense for him to use such as a cover, as it wasn't too far from the truth. "Is that it, or is there more for me to do?"

Seran smiled, shaking his head a little, "With how simple we've managed to make this process, that's all there is to it. As it is very early in the morning, I suggest going to your new home and getting comfortable. Zero will register Andrew into the school system so you can attend as soon as possible. As it is a Saturday, however, students get the weekend off, so you can enjoy the city for two days before you start school. Here in Greenwood City, thanks to our police force, Zero's vigilance and the resident Golden Crows, children can run around all they want without too much fear. Still, be careful of troublemakers. There's always a few of them."

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