Leo adjusted his sleeves one more time. His clothing had been cleaned and repaired immaculately, all of the damage he and it had taken in his impromptu duel erased as though it had never been. Appearances, as always, were important. He couldn't expect to inspire confidence and leadership if he looked like he'd come out of a brawl. (Out of a battle, maybe, but only if they did, too.)
Stepping up onto the platform, he walked purposefully to the very center before stopping and looking out over his army. They stood facing his position on the platform, watching and waiting silently for him to speak, and the familiar thrill went through him - like the buzz of alcohol and the high of adrenaline all mixed together. Today, rather than draw on it, channeling it into his speech and motivation, he clamped down on it hard. It wasn't the time; he was here to calm them down, not inspire them to action. For once.
"You've heard what happened." There was no point in pretending otherwise. Appearances mattered, but so did honesty. "I won't waste your time telling you what you already know. The Mara I fought has been handed over to Red Doomsday. She is handling the situation according to Cloverleaf laws, and we will not be retaliating against Addergoole."
They were too well-disciplined to grumble, but he caught a stir of unrest across the ranks, like a ripple of wind. He looked at the faces at the front; they were angry, resentful. And they were his barometer for the army as a whole.
"We will not be retaliating against Addergoole." He repeatedly it firmly and determinedly. "Not now. We might be strong - no, we are strong. Every single one of you is, every single one of you has an important role, and every single one of you is one of the best. I know this; you know this. But we will not retaliate - not because we won't win, but because we would lose too much.
"You are my army - my people," he put every fiber of himself and the truth of it into the word, "and I refuse to waste your lives on petty revenge. We will not retaliate. We will keep to our mission. We will let Addergoole lash out at us, let Addergoole see how futile their actions are, let Addergoole watch us grow stronger and cripple itself in its fear of us - and then, if it is still a threat, if it is still within our mission, then we will take Addergoole down."
Almost in one voice, they cheered, raising their arms or their weapons, and grinning back, he let the heady wave flow through him. They were his army, and damned if anyone was going to take them away from him.