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)
2nd Anniversary
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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Excellently Constructed Time-Loop Story

Reviewed at: 101. The Switch

Mother of Learning is a time-loop story following a student in a magic academy, who repeatedly lives through a month-long time loop which always culminates with an massive attack on the city. The main character tries to learn about the attack while also working to develop the skills and strength to fight back against it.

The story is very well thought out, with a plotline that is clearly planned in detail, a unique and finely-crafted magic system, a varied and interesting cast of characters, and a fleshed-out world.

Firstly, the magic system is a detailed and multifacted one that has many progression paths. The characters learn and focus on some branches of magic, but also study others in a way that avoids info-dumps while still giving the reader an excellent overall picture of the the system. Progression and development of magical skill is very well written, with the MC working both hard and smart, resulted in a impressive power curve that feels fully earned. 

The worldbuilding has been slowly and methodically performed over the course of the story, and has constructed a complex and intruiging world. The plotting has been very well done, with the level of planning that went into it on clear display. 

Finally, the characters are all well-developed individuals with consistent and evolving personalites. The main characters are all likable and interesting once we get to know them, making their adventures very enjoyable to follow.

If I had any criticisms about the story, it would be that it starts a bit slow, and that the MC is slightly annoying early on. However, the story very quickly ramps up in pace once the plot gets going, and the MC's early behavior is fully intended and has an explanation.

The story is very well-edited, and it flows very well. Finally, its only a few months from being completed, so a conclusion to the story is guaranteed.

I would strongly recommend this story.

(As of Chapter 101)


Mother of Learning has been online for 5+ years; it is a monthly serial that has incited wonder, awe and anxiety in its readers, and a journey that is only now starting to come to a close. 

Along with Worm, this web serial has captivated the hearts of an online audience since the inception of the online medium. An intriging Ground-Hog Day, Time-looping, premise that evolves to a murder mysterey, and an epic fantasy tale of the nature of existence, the soul and how human ingenuity can overcome any problem - given time.

I recommend this as a great web-novel for those starting down the online rabbit-hole of web-fiction. The characters build and feel truly fleshed out. The grammar is superb, having migrated that over from Fictionpress. The story's plot hook and style are brilliant in concept; amalgamating much of what people desire in high fantasy and urban settings. 

Please, by all means, give it a read.


One of the best novels on RoyalRoad

Great story with interesting plot and charactors. Well paced and quite long without being a slog. 10/10 would recommend.


Things to know before reading.

It's good. You should read it. You will enjoy it.

Every moment you spend reading this review is a moment you could be spending doing something worthwhile with your time, like reading this story.

Luke Scheffe

A truly amazing fiction, with logical mechanics

Denver Kane

Simply amazing. I everything about this novel. 


The grammar is perfect, the characters are perfect, hell even the worst things about this novel is perfect...Because there aren't any!!


one of the best stories I've read online or off

Great story with a great premise, its in the time loop, style similar to groundhog day just closer to groundhog month lol. It is extremely well executed and not overly repetitive despite the looping. The author doesn't get wrapped up in describing every single little thing the character see's and fixes throughout the loop, towards the beginning there was a little emphasis on this to demonstrate how the loop worked but he was also thinking and discovering things in real time. Instead of repeating an act over and over (which he does sometimes it just isn't illustrated) its more like hes exploring and discovering new things he didn't notice the first time through. The characters are all individuals they aren't a big mash up of the same person just with different names. It has been a little while since I read it (they are releasing fairly slowly atm) so I can't truly comment on the grammar however I don't remember any large grammatical mistakes. Overall it is a great story and if you haven't read it already then you definetly should.


I've been reading this story for years. I would count nobody103 up there with Wildbow for quality and story. The characters are fully fleshed out with actual character development. Read it. You won't be disapointed. 


Time loop story done RIGHT

Reviewed at: Afterword


This story is a gem. Time looping stories aren't my most liked genre, but this was done RIGHT. I read this the second time already, to see if I missed hints about what the future chapters would hold (I did) and loved it again. Probably will read a third time to correct typos and such, Believable characters, no plotholes, good worldbuilding with consistent unbreakable rules, mostly rational choices, few typos and basically no grammar mistakes, enjoyable style. Plot twists come at you from all sides, hitting you with all they've got. Chapters are LONG, so even though it's only 100 or so, this thing is like three thick books minimum. But you will read through them like you'd drink water when you're thirsty, because there's very few moments that are boring. GREAT WORK.


Time looping stories are usually difficult to pull off in such a nice way. Usually, time looping characters get an incredibly unfair advantage (thus making them interesting), which makes them overpowered. This is not the case here. The main character is a beginner at magic, and at the start of the story is underpowered and not fit to get out of the time loop, or even survive. The story has no loopholes (at least not that I could see), and the world building was done right. It's what you'd expect would happen in the real world if magic existed. The rules of the world are never broken. Minor spoiler that won't really spoil your read.

If "X is not possible", then it's never going to happen. If it appears to be happening, it's not what it seems

If something is not possible, later there won't be a divine artifact made by gods that is able to do it anyway because divine magic can do bullshit.


Characters are alive, believable, make rational choices most of the time, are their own person, each with a different personality and there's nothing more one can ask of an author.


There are typos, and questionable choices on how to word things from time to time. It doesn't impact the read in a negative way. The read is still enjoyable.


Sometimes the author chooses to describe things instead of showing them. Description of how something works sometimes requires too many words, too many paragraphs. Makes that part less interesting than actually seeing it in action. I wouldn't know how to make that better, because some description of things is necessary, but alas, I'm no author. I felt this deserves some attention in some way.

The style is otherwise pretty ok. Third person POV describing what the main character feels and thinks about things is definitely good. I liked how it was done


Simply Amazing

Reviewed at: Afterword

As someone who loved the time loop genre before reading, this fiction blew all of them out of the water.  So many unique concepts were used and the world was so well made.  If I had any criticisms, they would be that there's nothing else quite like this to read. 

Nobody103 needs to get stuck in their own time loop so they can have 100 more works written as soon as possible.