It didn’t take much maintaining, not really. He’d erected his shield over the city, protecting it from the enemy’s attacks. He’d done it slowly, piece by piece, one performance at a time on street corners and in plazas, adding in chuckles, giggles and good humor as he went. He’d even performed a little real magic in his shows, although that had come close to getting him into trouble. The real magic was in the shield and the beauty of it was that most people, both on his own side and the enemy’s, didn’t know it was there.
Military magic dealt with force and explosions and pyrotechnic displays. He couldn’t do those things and the people who could often couldn’t do the things he could do. Often they couldn’t even tell that his spells had been cast. That was his advantage. They didn’t know what they were fighting.
Four half hour performances a day in front of an audience at various points around the city. That was all it took, although he often did more because he enjoyed their reaction. Enjoyed spreading a little happiness. Perhaps under it all he was a showman?
The real payoff for him was when the enemy attacked. Bombs were defused in mid fall. Enemy aircraft got confused, landed at the wrong airfields and perforce surrendered. Saboteurs inserted by stealth handed themselves in. Magical attacks inexplicably failed.
He could tell when they changed their attack wizards; the flavor of the magic, the rhythm of the casting and the beat as they released their attack were different for everyone. He’d heard that the enemy High Command did not take failure well. He’d heard too that their magical augmentation on the battlefield was dropping off. His own side wondered why his city alone was spared the nightly bombardment by firestorm.
Every night he felt the attacks bounce away was a victory. Every change in opponent was an enemy resource eliminated. Every night his city was safe and all for a few hours of work a day.