Once again, it's been a while so let's get in on this.
There are twelve plates for this rule. I'm going to end up grouping some of them together, because they're a pretty clear progression through the whole action. It's a bit different than how I've done this previously, but I think it'll make sense once they're all lined up.
Interestingly, along with the first picture, Fabris brings up one of the problems that we can very easily run into when examining plates in manuals. Specifically, that they are snapshots in time, and not necessarily moments to be held. "In the illustrations, it may seem that our fencer, after performing a transverse step, is waiting for a tempo; but this was done only to show the position of the foot, body, arm and sword. In real life, all of this should be done quickly and without pause." This is an important thing to keep in mind with most plates, but perhaps especially when we're looking at Book Two, where the entire point is that we should be in constant motion.
Before we take a quick look at the other possibilities that Fabris mentions could have branched out from the ones that are illustrated here, I want to point out a couple things from plate 132. Notice just how squared off we are in there - start with the hips and look both up and down. There's some profiling in the shoulders, and the positioning of the left arm supports that, but that really just seems to be the final moment of structuring your shoulders for a good quarta and a little more reach. Looking at the hips and legs, we are overall in a very squared off position. The hips are almost completely square to our opponent, with only just enough right hip leading to maintain body structure on the attack. The feet are not remotely in line with each other, either.
How could that have gone differently, though?
If back during plate 130, our opponent could have followed our body with the point of his sword. If they did, we lean off over the other foot which has the additional impact of allowing our sword to more easily close out our opponent's sword, which should now be pointing in the wrong direction. We rapidly follow that with another step, and that's pretty much that.
Around the point in the process where we see plate 131 our opponent could try to cavazione, in which case we can "bring [our] right foot on the line with the left and wound [our] opponent in third" which works in part due to the additional breadth and the geometry caused by the body lean off to the side.
Fabris wraps up this sequence of plates by noting that once we are in a place where we're capable of wounding our opponent, the only option they have available to them is to try and break measure, whereas the fencer who is moving forward has a number of options available to them. This is a pretty common theme in Book Two - the idea that once you get sufficiently close to your opponent, and have maintained control over the engagement the entire way, there's a point where there's nothing that they can do about it except to try and retreat. If they do try to retreat, you just keep progressing toward them, effectively replaying the last step of the progression again and again. It certainly has a different look and feel to more typical engagements, where the "there's nothing you can do here" portion of the fight happens later in the play and doesn't last for as long.
Here we began by stepping off-line with our left foot, leaning over it, and pushing forward with our right. We've placed our blade next to that of our opponent's which completely shuts them out to the outside. As we do that, our opponent turns into seconda and lowers their body as they attempt to strike us underneath our blade. The reason this doesn't work is because the movement of our blade is both incomplete and minimal - we're not committing to a large movement. Additionally we are already in motion forward, all we need to so is to lower our blade and stay in terza. While we pass with our left foot, our body and arm lower as well. Comparing this plate to previous plates with a wound (132, 135, and 136) we can see that our arm is somewhat withdrawn. This is to keep our guard strongly on our opponent's blade to force it downward, with the pictured result.
As an aside, this serves as a good reminder of what Fabris means by "over" our opponent's sword. Here, as in plate 137, our guard is on top of our opponent's sword and is forcing it down and away. While yes, our blade ends up under our opponent's guard and arm as well, it is our guard which has the control in the situation; contrast that with plates 132 and 134.
Plate 139 is an excellent illustration of the sword being stronger in the direction toward which it points - which in the case of a quarta is towards the outside. Quarta closes the inside line, but the guard is stronger towards the outside. Similarly, seconda closes the outside line, but is stronger towards the inside. Angles, wrists, and physics are pretty great. Usually I'd want to turn into seconda to really close out that line, but we're already too close to have the time for that, and with our guard right on their blade, it's really not all that necessary.
Note how here we can see a depiction of Fabris' warning from the first section of this rule, how as we lower our guard, we need to be sure to leave the
Plate 141 is the result of the setup in 140 if our opponent doesn't do anything; we've turned into quarta. The only options for our opponent that could extend this play involve breaking measure, and raising their sword to parry. If they do this though, they'll likely bring their points off line anyway, and we can just use our body positioning to remain safe and wound them underneath their blade in seconda.
Whew. That was a lot of material to cover. We have two more rules for the sword alone, but for my next post, I think I'm going to take a break and go through the material we've covered so far and look for similarities, differences, common concepts, and how it all works. I think that looking at each rule as an individual flowchart is perfectly valid and honestly good - you can absolutely approach your opponent and decide as you're approaching which rule to apply - but digging a little deeper might show us something useful, or at least be an interesting exercise.