The Duke smiled wryly as he came in from the balcony, leaving the cheering crowds to carry on. He could see from the eager demeanor of the dusty courier that the news was good but he could also see by the slightly apprehensive look in his eyes that there was some shadow over the victory.
Three out of 5 infantry regiments chased off the field? Good grief! and that dull old, head strong Izzo the hero of the day? Well his long service was reward enough. Thank goodness for the artillery, consummate professionals, too keen on plying their trade to even notice any favours. If we've taken any towns perhaps they can have a bronze bell from the church for their next cannon. Cannon from canon. The Duke's lips twitched at his own humour.
And the citizen regiments, all dispersed! So much for the plan to get rid of all the mercenaries. Was that Nicollo was really as smart as he thought? Well, best praise any stragglers that came home anyway, make them feel that they fought nobly and their Duke appreciates it and that he trusts them to do better next time. Maybe that will put steel in them?
Oh and perhaps some form of civic award for the riders of the Cianti regiment, mostly sons of the richest merchants. Yes their support will be important going forward, and besides, they seem to be able to fight. Still the enemy seems to be following that Frenchman Henri of Navarre with his cold steel charges that that Lombardi fellow was scoffing at. Lombardi's cavalry did beat them in the end but the matter bears looking in to. As Duke, knowing things never goes astray and after all Lombardi may not be around forever.
Well, if the mercenaries and professionals are so important, perhaps an award for the Utti Regiment? Must keep them happy in my service.
and that Rossi fellow? Will have to keep an eye on him!