"Our allies arrived but not until later. They had waited to see which way the war would turn. Only in the end did they choose to cast their lot in with us", the baron said.
"A decisive choice nonetheless", Victor said _____________. "For it was what helped us snatch the victory."
I am trying to make Victor sound fair and impartial. He is trying to point out that the outcome was favourable despite the initial hiccup. However, I am not sure which word would fill that space.