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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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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Great though like all storie got it's quirk 😅

Reviewed at: Afterword

Well the storie was great the world building and the character devlopemeent as well ! It was a crazy ride from the start to the end, though there is on little thing that has buzzed me at the end because there was one spell that could have solved a few moral problem the Mc get at the end that is introduced at the beginning with a little bit of tweeking i believed spoiler alert don't read if you did not finished the storie !

The cause of the storie, the soul melding spell that the necromencer use at the the very start would have resolved the problem when going back in the real world after all the problem with that spell was the mixing of 2 different soul a little bit like the dark magic in tsukuyote saga ... am i wrong ???


Alina Zhou

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.


I cannot remember how many times I re-read this!

Reviewed at: Afterword

As the title says, yes, I can't count the number of how many times I read the book.

I still remember the first time reading this it was probably back in 2013.

Well, anyway back to the review.

You will hate the MC at the beginning because of how he is, but later in the story you will like him more and more.

The story is great, the magic system is great, I really want a sequel to this because of how great of a story this is.


Thank You For Finishing

Reviewed at: Afterword

No wonder this is the best-rated work on RR. Did not disappoint at all. If anything, I wished we could see more scenes with the characters post-loop or others you’ve mentioned on your site like the Immortal Eleven, but I guess the reader wanting more is a sign of good writing.


This is the best story I've read on royal road. And there's an ending. It top rated for a reason. I need more words to submit the review. Words words words. Just read it already, or dont but you wont likely regret reading the book that is free and only takes up some of your tine


I didn't like this story

Reviewed at: Afterword

When I first started reading this story I couldn't understand how it had gotten so popular. The story seemed bland and repetitive, indicative of the time loop setting. I read the first 25 chapters before leaving it to lie as a permanently unfinished work, just another mediocre story that somehow got popular.

Then, 6 months later I decided to come back. I declared to myself that I would do it. That I could do it. I read the first chapters again, gradually losing my enthusiasm. Then I reached parts of the story I had never read before, gradually picking up steam as I saw resolutions to previous plot threads and the beginnings of new ones. The blandness and repetition I had hated was reexamined, and instead of looking for what stayed the same, I looked for what had changed. I started getting gradually more and more invested in the characters, the story, the mysteries, and the magic.

I made my own predictions and read the ones others had left behind. I had my own musings and thoughts, and began to watch as the mystery gradually unfolded. I was devastated by losses, invigorated by victory, shocked by revelations, and awed by magic. This story became something entirely unique for me. A mystery story that wasn't either blindingly obvious or stupidly obtuse. A magic story with hard, set rules that remained unbroken and interesting. A time loop story that changed every time, yet stayed noticeably the same.

I loved this story. I think that if you're on the fence enough to be reading the reviews, you will too. I'm not gonna make any promises as to when it'll get interesting, or when you'll begin to love it. Maybe chapter 1 will hook you, or maybe it'll take until chapter 30 like it did for me.

Just don't give up early. If you take a break, come back. If you read it slowly, make sure to remember what's happening.

And most importantly, look for what's changed, rather than what's stayed the same.