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> As I understand it when you load a file or string you compile the chunk
> into a function which is then called to evaluate the code in the chunk.

load (and friends) just does that: loads the chunk and compiles it
into a function. If you don't save or use the result, it'll be garbage

> question is where is the function stored?

It is stored where you tell Lua to. If you use it immediately, it'll be
stored temporarily in a VM register and eventually be collected.