Mother of Learning

by nobody103

Original COMPLETED Adventure Fantasy Mystery Magic

Zorian is a teenage mage of humble birth and slightly above-average skill, attending his third year of education at Cyoria's magical academy. He is a driven and irritable young man, consumed by a desire to ensure his own future and free himself of the influence of his family, whom he resents for favoring his brothers over him. Consequently, he has no time for pointless distractions or paying attention to other people's problems. As it happens, time is something he is about to get plenty of. On the eve of the Cyoria's annual summer festival, he is killed and brought back to the beginning of the month, just before he was about to take a train to Cyoria. Suddenly trapped in a time loop with no clear end or exit, Zorian will have to look both within and without to unravel the mystery before him. And he does have to unravel it, for the time loop hadn't been made for his sake and dangers lurk everywhere... Repetition is the mother of learning, but Zorian will have to first make sure he survives to try again - in a world of magic, even a time traveler isn't safe from those who wish him ill.


If anyone is interested, I have a story-related worldbuilding site that can be found here. I don't update it as often as I should, but there is a fair amount of content there already. It also contains a page with all the fanart, fan translations, audio books and the like - you can reach it directly by clicking this link.

I have a patreon account for those kind people that want to give me money. It also contains info for those who want to donate via paypal.

The story was originally posted on fictionpress, back in 2011. When I reached chapter 91, I started uploading the story to RoyalRoad, one chapter per day. The story will continue to be updated on fictionpress as well as here, and can be reached by clicking on this link if somebody is interested, though at this point there is nothing there that isn't also on RoyalRoad.


The cover you see on the side has been made by a fellow RoyalRoad user Sydorow. Thank you for your time and art skills.

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Word Count (16)
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1. Good Morning Brother ago
2. Life’s Little Problems ago
3. The Bitter Truth ago
4. Stars Fell ago
5. Start Over ago
6. Concentrate and Try Again ago
7. Of Gaps And Pretending ago
8. Perspective ago
9. Cheaters ago
10. Overlooked Details ago
11. Limiters ago
12. Soul Web ago
13. Any Second Now ago
14. The Sister Effect ago
15. Busy Friday ago
16. We Need To Talk ago
17. Sympathy for the Spider ago
18. The Pact is Sealed ago
19. Tangled Webs ago
20. A Matter of Faith ago
21. Wheel of Fortune ago
22. Complications ago
23. Lighting the Fuse ago
24. Smoke and Mirrors ago
25. The Unexpected ago
26. Soulkill ago
27. Cast Adrift ago
28. Cauldron ago
29. The Hunters and the Hunted ago
30. A Game of Shops ago
31. Marked ago
32. Alternatives ago
33. Gateways ago
34. Unreasonable Things ago
35. Mistakes Have Been Made ago
36. A Battle of Minds ago
37. Slow Burn ago
38. Return to Cyoria ago
39. Suspicious Coincidences ago
40. Shifting Tracks ago
41. Myriad Clashing Motives ago
42. Sum of its Parts ago
43. Overwhelmed ago
44. A Show of Trust ago
45. Fine Structures ago
46. The Other Side ago
47. Politics ago
48. Well of Souls ago
49. Substitution ago
50. Containment ago
51. Out of Control ago
52. Things Fall Apart ago
53. Phantoms ago
54. The Gate Is Barred ago
55. Threshold ago
56. Obscure ago
57. Unwanted ago
58. Questions and Answers ago
59. One Step Forward ago
60. Into the Abyss ago
61. Anthills ago
62. Improperly Used ago
63. The March of Days ago
64. Distance ago
65. Dangerous Ground ago
66. Marred Perfection ago
67. Convergence ago
68. Green Hell ago
69. Ruin ago
70. Carried Away ago
71. Shadows of the Past ago
72. Crossroads ago
73. Plodding Ahead ago
74. The Return ago
75. Soul Stealer ago
76. Critical Blunder ago
77. Testing ago
78. Grinding Stone ago
79. Crime and Evading Punishment ago
80. Enemies ago
81. A Civil Conversation ago
82. Ancient Circles ago
83. Scorpion ago
84. Powerless ago
85. Critical Mass ago
86. A New World ago
87. Agents of the Crown ago
88. Mysterious Ways ago
89. Victory ago
90. Change of Plans ago
91. A Path Paid in Blood ago
92. The Scramble ago
93. Shelter in the Storm ago
94. Ghosts ago
95. Betrayer ago
96. Contract ago
97. Illusory ago
98. Beneath the Surface ago
99. Powderkeg ago
100. Sacrifice ago
101. The Switch ago
102. Giants ago
103. Window of Opportunity ago
104. I Win (I) ago
105. I Win (II) ago
106. I Win (III) ago
Epilogue ago
Afterword ago

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  • Overall Score

Baka-Tsuki author comes to RRL?

I read this story a few years ago on the website Baka-Tsuki. It was one of the only original novels on the otherwise translation based platform... I haven't checked as of yet if there are any major differences in the chapters or if the author is simply just reposting what they currently have written. Either way I truely hope the story progresses past where the author left it on BT as this was honestly one of my favorite stories on BT for a while. I will be rereading it knowing that while I remember quite a bit, after a few years my memory obviously isn't going to hold onto all the details.

Dell Ambraelle
  • Overall Score

I've read this up to current on fictionpress. It is a story that really is one of the best around. It makes Harry Potter look like the utter trash that it is (Not that its unenjoyable trash) but it is lesser when compared to a work of this quality.

Read it.

  • Overall Score

It might get better but I won't find out

I have seen the other reviews but I'm not willing to put however much time is required in before the mc stops being such an angsty. edgy, spineless looser, it's typical fantasy SI bate and having read it, it makes sense why this story is so popular. It's blatent self fufilment with nothing interesting going on to make me want to slog through more. The complete lack of charecter descriptions is disapointing as well, it shouldn't even take that long but it's completly missing. The biggest dissapointment is how feely the author hands out the idiot ball to make the story work.

Pale imitation
  • Overall Score

Chapter 3 so far. The dialogue between the characters is simultaneously mind numbing and incredibly cliche. I am beginning to hate all of the characters and hope for a Goblin Slayer ending where they are the goblin children.

The narration is not terrible, but the chattering teenager styled dialogue sets me on edge. It's as if the author intentionally dumbed down the dialogue to copy the Harry Potter books. I predict some kind of magical quidditch bs in future chapters.

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Spoiler: Spoiler


Spoiler: Spoiler
Alina Zhou
  • Overall Score

How is this novel the highest rated novel here?

Reviewed at: 102. Giants

This novel is terrible. It relies on a groundhog day like gimmick. The characters are flat, not terribly nuanced, and don't transform themselves much over the course of the story. Furthermore, the plot has no surprises.

The entire novel falls flat.

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5 starts for grammar.That is the reason why I spend so much time at this. Had to read like half of this novel to realize that there is no story at all beside whole time loop. Twists are boring and predictable. Mc as a person closed in timeloop doesn't seems to mind. The only "reactions" we see are those between him and his sister and those are shallow and not real at all. There is no character build and progres. The only reason I gave it a 2 star no less as overall score is becouse it could be longer.  

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Probably one of the best webnovels out there

Reviewed at: Afterword

I really liked this story. no like really. I binge-read the whole thing in less than a week.

Ever since I was a little kid I wished that the magic system in harry potter was more fleshed out and made use of. Years later and now I've found this story which does almost exactly that and more.

in my opinion, the characters aren't what makes this story so wonderful. they aren't bad, but they're not the best either. zorian the mc grows a lot, but there is just so much going on that it can't really be the main focus. the only thing that i didn't really like about the writing style was the lack of character descriptions. 3000 pages later and you still barely know what any of them look like. all I've really gathered about the main character is that he has glasses and is scrawny.

what really made this story stand out to me was the grand mystery aspect, worldbuilding and the use of the various fantasy systems like magic and alchemy. my only complaint is there not being a map of the world since there is a lot of traveling. 

There isn't much luck involved in this story. he doesn't just stumble upon a magic rock that gives him unimaginable superpowers, or a grimoire with all the secrets of the universe in it. nothing is given to him, and he has to work for it. in this story, knowledge is power, not a magic rock. 

i also really appreciated the family aspect. family stuff can really change someone and its really common but not written about to this extent. it really helped zorian feel more real. 

The story ended in a good spot and didn't feel rushed or stretched. while i can't say I wasn't looking forward to zorian conquering the world and other stuff, i can't really complain about how the story ended. all I want now is a slice of life epilogue sort of thing. what is he gonna do now he is out of the time loop? will he make ripples or big waves in the world? what about kirielle? believe it or not that little imp grew on me quite a bit. 

i didn't expect this level of quality from a webnovel. if polished and adapted into a book, i think this could become a best seller. i'm praying to the Glorpnorp all mighty that he'll write an after story to tie up loose ends. it'll be a while before i can find something that'll scratch the same itch. i guess I'll be itchy for a while.



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Wow,I feel like I needed to make a review because of another book I recently read that brought light to the great points of this story. Okay, I finished this a long time ago, but never really felt the need to review because obviously it is the best on this website by far, but something really changed my mind. I still think this is my favorite for now because of the great plot twists that were in the whole book. I loved how much anticipation there was in the whole book and just the story in general. It rightly deserves the top spot on this website.

Again, the reason I am finally realizing how one of a kind this story is and how great it truley is because of another book I read called The Pillar of Aspen. It is really new here and only has three chapters, but it really started to give of MoL vibes after its latest chapter. Ever since this series ended, I have been looking for that new web novel that would hook me like MoL and I never found it. I enjoyed others too, but nothing resonated with me like how this did, until I read that new book. I don't know if others will agree, but if the author nobody123 (the author) looked at it, I would think that he made another secret account and started writing this book. 

Seriously, I get the same vibes. But this is not a review about that book, so I don't know. Enough about that, I want to get to why I wrote a review. After reading that, like I said I realized this is a one of a kind story. Sure it had its ups and downs in my opinion, but I always enjoyed the ride.

If nobody123 sees this, I just want to clear up that I'm not trying to promote the other book in anyway, I am just writing how I feel. Seriously, I think that the new book has the chance to make it up here to the top as well. If that really is you making a secret account nobody123, then I just want to say I would support that too. 

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Honestly I can't really remember the grammar, so unsure about this, however the rest was great.

Characters, while sympathetic in some instances and bordering psychotic paranoid in others, did things for reasons that made sense. They were generally well fleshed out and the POV switched to provide thooughts and viewpoints from people other than the MC allowing for understanding.

Style was on the money for me, and I am aware that the style, is a very subjective thing for reading.  It contained the right amount of humour, politics, and action for me to thoroughly enjoy it.

Story was relatively complex, multiple arcs and definitive schemes, rise to power, building alliances, and a few macguffins thrown in to boot, as well as a twist and final showdown.  Also liked the take on time travel, and the various machinations that ensued as a result of this one theme. Clever without being needlessly complex.

When I caught up to currency, I was still an anon user and was very sad to learn it hadn't been completed, however it started updating (slowly, but thats the price of good content) and finished which was good.

Good writing! Thanks for the read Nobody103!