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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Sick story. Pretty good ending

Reviewed at: Afterword

Absolutely amazing story. Probably the single best novel I have read on this site so far. Doesnt feel like its stretched out. Doesnt feel like its particularly rushing really either. Just great pacing with a great story and interactions and a story that makes sense. 


And I am happiest of all thag it actually had a really nice ending. Id love a sequel but I wouldnt mind not having one. In my opinion the best thing a sequel could do would be to just continue the story in the eyes of a bunch of the main characters and be more relaxed slice of life style than immediately start another epic story of grand proportions. 


The only thing holding this story slightly back is the similarity of a lot of the characters. Nothing major though. And the world building seems a bit.... small for a lack of a better word. Everything in cyoria and so on was very accurate and dynamica where explained in an interesting way but every other country? Not so much. Well it did its job for the story but there are definitely things that could have been improved.



All in all though. Great story. Great characters. Best characters was Novelty hands down. Great world with a lot of potentional. And for basically being the first big story you ever wrote this is absolutely mindboggling.

Jan Alexander
  • Overall Score

Highly recommended (Sequel please!)

Reviewed at: Afterword

This novel is fun to read. Its like Groundhog Day but with a month instead of a day. The long chapters is a treat. Hope this novel gets a sequel.

Organic Chicken
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You've seen the other reviews, I've got nothing new to add. Just take a look at the first 3 chapters and if you don't like it, then the story's not for you. For the rest of you people, or as I like to call it, for those of you that don't have mental disabilities, enjoy the ride! 

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I love the fact that there is a solid storyline. It is like a mix of Re Zero, Groundhog day and some traditional fantasy magic school type story. The time loops are written in a way that it is not too repetitive and conveys the feelings of the characters well. It also slowly gives bits and pieces of information, eventually culminating to the final, grand picture.

I do love how the small budding relationships between the characters do not overtake the storyline. That can be one of the hardest things to pull off and it has been done very well.

The grammar looks good and I don't see any obvious flaws

The world building is great. As readers, we get bits and pieces of exposition as opposed to an avalanche of information, making it easier to cope. The characters are quite relateable, the schoolwork frustrations and irritating teachers especially. I do like the obvious character flaws, it makes them seem more real and enhances the story and the setting.

The magic system seems to be quite solid. Any anomalies are explained well and mostly follows logic.

Spoiler: Spoiler


The descriptions are quite straight forward, quickly conveying to the reader what something means or looks like. There is no beating around the bush which suits the story. As readers, we are given just enough to 'see' this world. I do feel that some parts of the story seems...rushed or condensed. It is not a bad thing but it does momentarily throw the reader off.

Overall, this is one of the most enjoyable stories I've read. It dominated all my reading time. I would definately recommend it to people!

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One of the best on royal road. Amazing work.

Reviewed at: Afterword

I am an old royal road fan and I have read a lot of fictions on this site, most of them unfinished. Mother of learning has been in my reading list for a long time but I always held on to reading it because the time loop trope always seemed unappealing to me. But then I saw all the good reviews and that it was finished and decided to give it a go. It definitely was a good choice. 
I Found the story and its execution, also factoring my prejudices, amazingly well done and perfectly paced. The characters, especially Zorian, actually grow in a convincing and relatable manner. 
The only real problem I encountered is that descriptions and depictions are a bit too short and I think should be refreshed in the course of a long story, to keep characters depictions fresh in the mind of the reader. To wrap things up: amazing work. Definitely one of the best on royal road, possibly the best one overrall. I really look forward to new works from "nobody103" and wish him/her a long and fulfilling writing carreer! 

Red Yeti
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Great time loop story

Reviewed at: Afterword

Interesting premise, well thought out magic system, and great writing. The title doesn't do the story justice in my mind but definitely worth reading. 

The author avoids being too repetitive despite the story being about a time loop. Time skips are common to explain the rapid advancement in skills during parts of the story. The protagonist goes from slightly above average in the beginning (and even below average in some aspects) to someone who can be considered a continental powerhouse by the end. 

My only major complaint is that I want more! (Sequel anyone?)

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If that doesn't sound cool enough, I don't know how else to convince you to read this literary masterpiece.

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The Mother of Learning is a modern classic for a reason... if I were to boil it down to what makes it so popular I think the reminig constituents would be a pushy, drivy, moving forward phase without much bumps on the way and the character/driven humor. Combine the two and you have a great story, like The Motjer of Learning

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The Style.

The author is using the omniscient third person narration. Which means that, although there's a main character, the authors is also writing from other characters' perspectives. He's able to convey the thoughts, feelings and expressions of the characters into the mind of the readers in a brilliant way.

How is he making use of this style? In a brilliant way.

The Story.

The story is about Zorian who wants to ensure his own future and free himself from the influence of his family. The story is a brilliant take on the fantasy genre. The storyline is interesting, and when readers start reading it, they will find it difficult to drop. The whole worldbuilding setting is on point, and the story develops in a great way.

The grammar.

Excellent use of the grammar.

The character.

So far, the characters are well written. They are well thought out, especially the main character, Zorian. His character is able to incite different feelings in the readers, showing how well-made he is.

Great job author, keep up the good work.  

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Time Loops Are Kinda Cool

Reviewed at: Afterword

By webnovel standards, this book is definitely one of the best I've read.

The plot is solid and maintains an appropriate pacing throughout most of the story, with only the end feeling perhaps a tad rushed. I haven't seen too many time loop stories outside of fanfiction so to many readers this should be a novel take on fantasy. The world is very fleshed out and consistent and the magic system is simplistic but well built.

The grammer is pretty consistently great as far as I could tell with only a couple of spots that had noticeable typos, but that is easily fixed with a round of editing which the author seems to plan on doing.

The writing style is good but a little bland with some spots where descriptions or explanations drag on longer than necessary and other spots where more imagery would really help flesh out the scene. Particular scenes didn't deliver the impact that they should have because the writing didn't manage to build up a proper atmosphere or the required tension.

Characters have believable roles and actions but don't particularly stand out from each other. They felt fairly similar in their personalities and could do with a bit more development.

Overall its a great fic with mostly minor flaws and definitely one worth reading.