“Where are the loopholes?” asked Sir Bedasteer, looking out the window.
“Loopholes? There’s no need for such a primitive defense. This castle is a strong fortress with a unique, impregnable design. There are no loopholes.”
“Wait while I go tell the captain..”
The young knight clanked down the hill, the plated armor on his forearms and legs banging against the chain mail. “Damned armor,” he said. “Always like this. Impossible to sneak up on an enemy.”
“Captain, the agent says that the way the castle is built, it doesn’t need loopholes.”
“You purulent idiot,” said the captain, banging Sir Bedasteer on the head with the flat of his sword. “We WANT loopholes. We WANT to be able to shoot out of the damned thing without the enemy being able to shoot back.” The captain, Sir Blinksalot, scanned the face of the castle looking for places to take up a defensive position in the case of attack. “I just see windows. That’s no good. Very vulnerable, windows.”
“Uh, sir, how’s an arrow supposed to reach the windows? I mean, arrows lose velocity pretty quickly when they’re shot straight up,” Sir Bedasteer offered.
“You get right up there and ask the question in a reasonable way.” Sir Bedasteer clanked back up the trail. “Inbred scion of an incestuous whore. Where am I going to get decent knights? Knights who can ask the right questions, follow orders? Understand what I say to them? Holy Mother of God. The plague has taken the best of us,” Sir Blinksalot muttered to himself.
“You’re still here,” said a small voice crying from the wilderness. “Give a thought to all those who are not.”
“Good point, my Lord.”
“Bedasteer is just a boy. You can’t expect him to know what you know.”
“All right. Let’s not belabor this. I get your point. So, Sir Bedasteer, what’s the story?”
“The agent explained that as the castle backs up to a cliff, no one’s going to attack from THAT side. It has its own well, there, in the middle. It’s possible for the people living in the castle to escape from a well concealed secret exit, a tunnel, that climbs up the back, up the cliff. It has good resources for sustaining itself during a siege. The whole edifice has to be reached by THIS trail, this one little narrow trail, and the agent says that, in the past, they’ve dispatched the enemy by pouring vats of boiling water or oil down the trail.”
“Ah yes.” the captain looked around for evidence of old oil in the dust. “I see that now.”
“If you want my opinion…”
“What did I tell you?” said the voice.
“Yes, Sir Bedasteer. What do you think?”
“I think it’s a great castle at the price.”
“Why is it empty? Did the agent mention that?”
“Ah. Have they cleared out the corpses?”