Level Eater - Chapter 1
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Chapter 1 – What is this supposed to be?
Inside the rip was nothing but darkness, completely deprived of any form of light.
However, the two could still feel a pulling sensation, similar to what you would feel falling down. And so, inside the seemingly endless void, Tatsurou held Ai in his arms, waiting for it to end.
How long has it been?
After an eternity of waiting, they could finally see a ray of light, shining from the bottom of the abyss. If they were to look at it closely, they would notice that it was exactly like the rip that brought them here in the first place.
“Is that the exit?
“It could be but…”
Just when Ai was about to resign to the fact that they might be stuck here forever, the ray of light washed her fear away. However, it did not cross her mind that in a place where reality was warped, such a simple exit could not possibly exist.
“We’re going out!”
Is what they thought but, in a situation like this, what you expect to happen would always be replaced by something far more bizarre.
Surrendering themselves to the void, the two got pulled continuously towards the light until they finally exited the rip.
Falling sideways to the ground, the pair screamed at the sudden change. As they entered the rip feet first, they assumed that they would land feet first as well. However, as said, their expectation would always be replaced with something else.
On the other side, was a scenery that greatly differs from the one they were in before. Upon realising, the two yelped in surprise.
What appeared in their sight was enough to cause flash blindness; right in front of them was a bright gravel path; to the left, a dense forest; to the right, a clear river and beyond that, the same dense forest.
No matter how one looked at it, it wasn’t the city that they were in before.
And then, there’s another catch.
Right now, they are floating, or more accurately, moving in mid-air.
The rip from which they exited from was located on the ground. But with that said, they were violently thrown out of it and are now flying in a parabolic trajectory, with them closing in on the peak of the arc.
Though the chances of them dying seemed pretty low, landing on the gravel path with their current speed would definitely hurt like hell. It wouldn’t be the most pleasant experience.
“Throw your bag down!”
Tatsurou started moving.
First, he told Ai to throw her backpack down while skillfully removing his own mid-air before throwing it away. Despite the lack of words, Ai understood him completely and removed her shoulder bag before promptly throwing it away.
Next, he held her in his arms in what is commonly known as the princess carry while staring at the ground. The moment his feet touched the ground, he kicked up with all his might to shift their trajectory to the right.
But, one kick wasn’t enough. While still in mid-air in what seemed like a long jump, Tatsurou kicked off the ground again to further propel them forward. In the end, he managed to change their landing spot to where he intended it to be – that is, the river which they saw earlier.
With a fierce backlash from the surface tension, they successfully landed in the neither too deep nor too shallow river.
Rising above the water at the same time, they both wiped the water out of their eyes.
“I’m fine. What about you, does your leg hurt?”
After Ai reminded him, Tatsurou tried moving his feet as he stood on the riverbed.
“Hmm… Doesn’t hurt, so it looks like it’s fine. Let’s just get out of the river first.”
Saying that, the two went up onto the riverbank, and then onto the gravel track, searching for the bags that they threw away earlier.
“No matter how I look at it, it seems like we’re in the middle of a forest, huh?”
“Ahh, it’s THE FOREST, isn’t it?”
“I have no idea.”
While exchanging a few jokes between them, the two once again stopped near the riverbank to take a look around. To their right side, they could only see rows upon rows of trees. To their left was the river, and further down that direction was another endless collection of trees.
Taking a good hard look at their surroundings, the two sighed and started walking again.
“Just where is this place?”
“Where’s your phone?”
“In my bag, what about yours?”
“I put it in the shoulder pocket of the bag so it won’t get wet.”
“At that time… I should have done that too…”
As a sudden realisation hit her, Ai subconsciously stopped in her tracks.
“Is this the thing they call ‘warping’?”
“Maybe. I wouldn’t want people calling us crazy when we get back home… Are our houses even ok?”
“Now that you mention it, that was a pretty big earthquake. It makes me feel anxious whenever I think about it.”
“Well, let’s confirm our current location first. The sooner we can contact someone and get back home, the better.”
“Right… Achoo… Uuu, it’s getting a bit chilly.”
“Yeah, let’s hurry and get our bags back.”
[Sentient life form with the minimum required intelligence – confirmed.]
[System installation will begin soon.]
The pair let out a surprised voice.
They both heard the same mechanical voice at the back of their head and so, they started looking around for the source, but there was no one else besides them. Still, they looked at each other.
“Uhh… Tatsurou, it wasn’t you, right?”
“Yep, not me. It… it’s some kind of system from what I heard… right?”
“Un. It did feel that way but, aren’t we just hallucinating?”
For a while, they stared at each other wordlessly but nothing happened. Right after, they managed to find their bags, still intact and safe. Thanks to today’s PE class, they still have their school jerseys stuffed into their bags and so, both of them started to change their wet clothes to dry ones.
“Uuu…It’s all wet now. I’ll change my clothes so turn around, ok? Hah… Even my panties are drenched now…”
“Hmm… Can I see?”
“Of course not! If you look this way, I’ll start calling you Erorou instead of Tatsurou.
“All men are perverts so I don’t mind!”
“Just don’t, please! It’s embarrassing if I have to call my boyfriend a pervert! And what do you mean by all men are like that? Can’t you just be quiet and start changing too?”
“’Yes’ is just one word.”
They continued messing around like that until they finished changing. After that, they took out their smartphones and tried calling for help.
“So… How’s your side going?”
“Just another no-signal phone… Ahhh, what do we do now?”
No matter where they went, both their phones indicated that they were out of service and the more that they tried, the deeper into despair they went.
Just as they were about to succumb to the hopelessness of the situation, ‘it’ happened.
[System installation complete]
[Initiating system startup]
Surprised by the unknown voice, the pair gasped at the same time. Soon enough, they started seeing letters and panels in their line of sight.
“What the hell is this?”
“Ah? Eh? You can see this too?”
“Wha? I don’t see anything in front of you but… I see something saying status and gold right in front of me.”
From that exchange, they understood that both of them have their own panels in front of them but the other is unable to see it.
“Status, huh… Is this some kind of game?”
“Should we try this out, then? It would be great if we can interact with this thing.
This and… this! The display changed. Tatsurou, you should try it too.”
Name: Tatsurou Hasami
Magic Resist: 10
Mana Control: 5
Unused skill point: 3
“I don’t know if this is strong or not but… is this supposed to be a Lv 1’s stats?”
Name: Ai Yashiki
Magic Resist: 1
Mana Control: 1
Unused skill point: 3
“Why does my stats have to be that of a muscle-head’s?”
After checking their own stats, they exchanged each other’s information as they couldn’t view the other’s stats.
“I just remembered, there’s a help button on the first screen, right?”
“There is! this airhead… Aaand how do we get back…. Uhh, is this the right button…? Alright, we’re back.”
“How? Ahh, it’s this one, right～?”
Selecting the small back arrow on the lower right corner of the screen brought them back to the first initial screen. 
When they touched the ‘Help’ button on their screens, something resembling a handprint framed in black borders appeared right in front of them.
“So, do I place my hand here?”
“Let’s try it!”
Placing their right hands on their respective panels, in contrast to their expectations, nothing happened.
“Hmm, did we do something wrong? Ah, do we just think about what we want to know while we put our han… Huh?
“No, I didn’t know how we’re supposed to use this thing but as soon as I thought that, the answer just came to me. To be honest, it felt kinda refreshing.”
“Heee… Looks like it has that function too. It feels a bit hard to get used to.”
Like Ai said, the Help function of the system works by placing your hand on the panel while thinking about the question that you want answered. Upon doing so, the relevant information will flow into one’s head.
“Alright, then. What about other’s Sta.. That was fast. Well, it’s natural considering that we think faster than we can speak…”
“N?? Oh, I see.”
While fooling around with the Help function, the two were able to learn the basic controls of navigating the menu.
“Hmm hmm… In the system’s home screen, there’s a party button. In there, we can check our current party, apply to one, and accept or reject applications. So if we create a party, we just have to touch the ‘open to party members’ button and then…!”
“I’m gonna make my status open to party members now. Can you see it? Wai… Ai, isn’t your stats basically a cheat?”
“Uhh, from my point of view, isn’t yours just too weak?”
“Nah, it’s probably yours that are too weird. Mine looks about right for a Lv 1, I think.”
“And how do you know what’s the average for a Lv 1? … Now that you mention it, what are these skills?
Mine shows [Valkyrie] while you have [Level Eater]. Don’t they feel a bit too flashy?”
“That? If you don’t know, then Help-sensei is here to help! To see more details, uhh… It looks like we just need to touch the skill name on the stats screen.”
“That sounds easy enough. If it’s just that, then we would have found it out by ourselves after a few tries. Aaand, there we go.”
Skill: Level Eater
Grade: Unique 
Description: Devour another’s level to increase one’s own.
“Nice. Tatsurou, you got a cheat skill, didn’t you!!”
“Mine’s a weird one for sure. It’s gonna be a terrible one if I can’t control when to use it. And what about your [Valkyrie]?”
Description: Reach the peak of martial arts in exchange for losing all capacity for magic.
Greatly increased talent in martial arts allows the user to acquire martial arts-related skills faster. As a trade-off, magic skills acquisition becomes nearly impossible.
“A forced sacrifice of magic in exchange for strength. Looks like the law of equivalent exchange applies here too. To be fair, looking at your cheat stats, I think it’s a pretty good skill.”
“But I always go for magic-related classes in games… It would have been great if it was the other way around…”
“”…………… And, what’s this supposed to be?””
After the initial curiosity from the new “system,” reality finally struck the two.
 If you’re new to Japanese, this little bit means yes, but sounds like a hum.
 Original line is 「ああ、THE森だな」. I have no idea what she’s referring to. Anyone know what this is?
 Level of control regarding magic. Magic control sounds weird, even if the novel has a lot of chuuni.
 武神could mean anything from God of War to a godly martial artist- basically anything that’s god level in fighting. Novelupdates synopsis translates it as warlord, but that sounds like a macho man to me… Either that, or Thrall from warcraft comes to mind so… :p
 Unacceptable! Back arrows must be on the left side! Upper left side for bonus points!!!
 Katakana says リアリティ：ユニーク (Reality: Unique)
This translation is hosted by Nocturne Translations.