Where's the linux kernel located?

Where's the linux kernel located after flashing the firmware? Where does uboot find it and load it from?
I've been looking for it but can't seem to find it anywhere

That is heavily SOC- and device dependent. In most cases, the kernel is outside the rootfs on a dedicated flash partition (e.g. a hard mtd, a virtual one via mtdsplit or an ubi partition, it depends), the OEM bootloader typically loads a hardcoded amount of bytes from a given flash offset and loads the kernel from there.

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See e.g. https://openwrt.org/docs/techref/flash.layout#partitioning_of_the_flash

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